Category Archives: Blog

Car Trivia: Check Out These Surprising Facts

Want to brush up on your car trivia? From the factory to the auto recycling plant, take a look at these fun facts you may have never known about vehicles.

car facts

  • The first automobiles required drivers to work up a sweat getting the engine revving. You had to hand crank the engine to jump start the car. You also didn’t use a wheel to steer — you used a lever.
  • Today, it takes about 25 hours to build a quality vehicle. Surprisingly enough, about 10 of those hours are spent painting the finished car.
  • Most car horns beep in the key of F. You could potentially orchestrate a musical number when you’re stuck in traffic.
  • Today, the modern vehicle has Bluetooth capability and iPod connectivity — it’s standard. But plenty of people would rather stick to the old days of cassette tapes. In fact, the last car to offer a tape deck as an optional feature was the 2011 Ford Crown Victoria.
  • Did you know Motorola’s first product was a car radio? They began by trying to create the first record player for cars. Their company name illustrates their intentions. “Motor” stands for car and “-ola” stands for sound.
  • When you’re running on empty, your tank might not really be empty. Most cars can drive another 60 miles after hitting empty — it’s called the buffer zone. Vehicles made in the U.S. have the largest buffer zone compared to other countries’. Still, it’s not recommended to continuously run your gas tank down to empty. This can tax your fuel pump and lead to an early breakdown.
  • Even though the average driver spends $400 yearly on vehicle diagnostics, maintenance and tuneups, an estimated $60 billion worth of car maintenance and repairs go ignored annually.
  • Did you know cars are the most recycled item in the U.S.? Every year, 12 million cars are recycled. Eighty percent of a vehicle’s parts and materials can be reused. The auto recycling industry in the U.S. and Canada recovers enough steel to create 13 million new vehicles.
  • You can recycle your tires! The rubber can be used to create sandals or asphalt. You can also recycle your car battery, so don’t simply turn it over to your mechanic. And auto glass is beginning to be recycled more often as well.

Share Your Knowledge

Now you know enough interesting car trivia to keep everyone entertained, from your aging grandpa to your tiny niece. Share your love of cars and prolong the life of your own vehicle — come in to Western Auto Wrecking to learn more about our used auto parts store. Turn to us when you need affordable repairs, and investigate our auto recycling options when your vehicle is past its useful life.

6 Used Auto Parts That Will Help You Save Big

Replacing broken or worn car parts with used auto parts is one of best money-saving tricks around.

The 6 Used Auto Parts That Will Help You Save Big

As a car owner, you already pay for plenty. You have insurance, registration and inspections to worry about, not to mention routine maintenance. When your vehicle needs a major repair, choosing the used auto parts listed below can lower your bill and keep your car well-functioning for years.

1. Transmission

A transmission problem is a complex and often expensive major issue that can run thousands of dollars. If you have an older car, this cost could essentially total the vehicle.

You can keep your older car on the road and save thousands by getting a used transmission. You’ll still have to pay for labor, but you will save significantly on parts and still get your car back on the road again.

2. Alternator

A car’s alternator is responsible for charging the battery and providing power to the engine’s electrical components and vehicle computer. When your alternator fails, you aren’t driving anywhere fast.

A new alternator can cost up to $1,000, but if you can find a used one, you’ll keep more money in your pocket.

3. Spare Tire

Everyone needs a spare tire for a rainy day … or for when they drive over a nail. If you don’t have a spare in your trunk, you’ll wish you did the next time you have a flat. Replace a missing spare tire by buying one new for a few hundred dollars, or get one from a used-parts dealer and pay much less.

4. Power Window Parts

Not only can you find replacement glass if your window or sunroof has shattered, you can also replace the hardware and switches for power windows by browsing a local selection of used auto parts.

5. Power Lock Parts

You use your power locks multiple times per day, so eventually the inner workings wear out. You could continue to be annoyed using your key to manually unlock your vehicle, or you could run over to your local used parts store and see if they have the components on hand for a cheap, fast repair.

6. Side Mirrors

Similar to window glass, replacing side mirrors can quickly become a much more expensive job than you expected. Find used replacements at a low price and save money.

Don’t Buy from Just Anyone

Not all used auto parts stores are the same. Find a dealer that can vouch for the product’s reliability and that offers a warranty on the parts they sell. You can trust Western Auto Wrecking for low-cost, dependable parts that save you money now, and in the long run.

Average Age of U.S. Cars Broke a Record

The average age of U.S. cars continues to rise, breaking record after record. It’s now 11.6 years, according to IHS Automotive.

average age of U.S. cars

In Love with Their Ride

2016 saw a 2.4 percent increase in the number of cars registered in the U.S. More than 6.2 million valid registrations are now in service, making the total number of cars on the road 264 million.

Length of Ownership Grows Too

Because these higher-quality cars are lasting longer, there’s no need to trade them in for a newer model. Consumers are keeping their cars for longer than ever — 79.3 months, on average, at the end of 2015. That’s another record, an increase in 1.5 months from the prior year.

Why Keep Driving Your Car?

A longer average vehicle life span is good news for car owners.

From a financial standpoint, the longer you can drive your car, the better. It’s easy to get distracted by the shiny bells and whistles featured on newer models, but make sure you count the cost of trading in your old vehicle.

You have to pay taxes. You have to worry about depreciation. You have to pay all the fees that go along with registering a car. You have to pay higher auto insurance rates. Depending on the car you choose, you’ll probably have a major car payment, or you’ll have to part with quite a bit of hard-earned cash.

Invest a bit into keeping up your older, just-as-dependable car, and you’ll save thousands.

Maintenance Goes a Long Way, Literally

If you are in it for the long haul and plan on driving your car as long as it will run, make sure you focus on maintenance. Get regular oil changes. Replace worn parts with quality, original engine manufacturer parts. Address minor problems before they escalate into bigger issues that affect many different systems in the engine.

What Can Western Auto Wrecking Do for You?

As the average age of U.S. cars goes up, Western Auto Wrecking can help drive that average even higher. With a wide range of affordable replacement parts, you don’t have to pay top dollar at a dealership for the parts you need for your car repairs. Instead, come shop our inventory and find the parts that will keep your car on the road for as long as possible. Visit us or call today!

Auto Junkyard Scams to Watch For

Junkyard scams are plentiful — countless dishonest scrapyards take advantage of unsuspecting car owners.

Your goal?

auto-wrecking-scams

Don’t become the victim of one of these common junkyard scams. Make sure you know what to watch for the next time you need cash for an older car, and how to protect yourself against common traps.

The Disappearing Price Quote

One of the oldest junkyard scams around — the disappearing price quote — starts when a car owner calls up a junkyard to get a quote. They honestly describe the vehicle’s condition, and the junkyard worker gives them a price. They like what they hear, so they have the vehicle towed to that company.

Once the car arrives, the second price they hear is drastically lower than what they were told over the phone. But since the car has already been towed there, they feel pressured to give in and “take what they can get.”

You should never bring your car to a scrapyard without first getting quotes from multiple companies. If possible, get these quotes in writing. That way, if one company tries to lowball you once you arrive, you have alternate options and solid proof that they’re in the wrong.

The “No Value” Lie

What’s worse than a lowball offer? Having your car towed to a scrapyard only to have them tell you it’s worth nothing.

Don’t fall for this trick — it’s clearly a lie. Every car is worth something, even if it’s just for parts. Never do business with a company that tells you your car isn’t worth a dime, but offers to “take it for you anyway.”

The Double Towing Charge

Another junkyard scam involves charging twice for vehicle towing.

Unbeknownst to many car owners, the towing charge is deducted from the junkyard’s price quote for their vehicle, then paid to the towing company. But the tow person may ask the car owner for payment anyway, forcing them to essentially pay twice for the same service. Find out up front if towing is included in the payout for your car.

The Delayed Payment Scam

Never trust a company that tells you your payment is “in the mail.” Never walk away from a junkyard without the full value of your car in hand. Otherwise, you may have a difficult time getting the money you’re owed.

False Registration Promises

Other junkyard scams involve your car’s registration. If you don’t make sure the tags are removed and the registration is canceled because you believed the scrapyard was taking care of it, you’re putting yourself at risk.

They may later try to charge you for “storage,” since the car was towed to their lot, and you may not have any legal recourse.

Honesty Is Essential

As you can see, junkyard scams can leave you broke, upset and stressed. Avoid all of that by working with an auto recycling yard that puts the customer first — Western Auto Wrecking. We treat you with the utmost respect and stand by our straightforward, honest policies. Call today to find out how you can sell your car for cash.

Is Rebuilding an Engine Economical?

Rebuilding an engine: Is it worth it? It’s probably the most critical question car owners can ask
after they’ve heard the bad news about their failing engine.

engine rebuilding

First, you must determine if it’s even possible for your engine. Next, you have to consider the
cost involved. You also must determine if other repairs need to be completed.

Once you answer these questions and explore any alternatives, you can call your mechanic with
your decision.

Is Your Car a Candidate?

Take an honest look at your car. How many miles are on it? Is it in good condition (besides the
failing engine?) Do you like it? How old is it?

Clearly, rebuilding the engine of a car more than 10 years old that has over 150,000 miles on it
isn’t worth it — the costs are likely higher than what the car is worth. However, if your car is
less than 10 years old — less than five years old is even better — and you like owning and
driving it, an engine rebuild may be worth it.

A rebuild project is usually expensive, but so is buying another car. With rebuilding, you save on
taxes, licensing and registration costs. If all other systems are in good shape, you could
reasonably make the car last for as long as your first engine, maybe longer.

What Goes into a Rebuild?

Rebuilding an engine involves taking apart every piece, inspecting it for damage and wear and
tear, and replacing it as needed. Depending on what you prefer, you can opt to replace only major engine components, and keep the parts from the original engine that are still in good working order. This may save some money.

But the extensive machine work, including boring out the cylinders and reshaping the cylinder
heads, is a costly process that should be undertaken only by an experienced machine shop.

Why Did the Original Engine Fail?

Make sure you determine the cause of the original engine failure to help prevent future problems. You don’t want to find yourself back in the same position.

Do You Have Other Options?

You can find replacement parts at a scrapyard for less money than if you’d ordered them straight from the original manufacturer, but you also have other options. Sometimes you can find complete engines at scrapyards that could replace your failing engine, allowing you to avoid a rebuild.

When you’re taking on a major car repair like rebuilding an engine, make sure you check with
Western Auto Wrecking to see if we can help you save money and get your car back on the road
for less.

Selling a Car Without a Title: Is it Possible?

Selling a car without a title makes a typically straightforward process more complicated, but it is sometimes possible in some states.

selling a car

Why are car titles such an integral part of the selling process and how can you replace them? (And why are they so hard to keep track of in the first place?)

What Is a Car Title?

A car title is a legal document that states the basics of the car, such as the make, model, mileage, vehicle identification number and the name of the owner. These documents are generated when you buy or sell a car. Boats, RVs and motorcycles all have titles too.

What if the Bank Has It?

If you don’t physically have your car title, it’s probably because the bank does. In most states, the lender keeps the title until you pay off the loan. Selling a car without a title is impossible in this case, because you can’t sell the vehicle until you’ve paid off the loan. Make your final payment, and the lender will send you the document.

What if the Title Is Lost?

If you used to have the title but now you can’t find it and you want to sell your car, you have to order a new one. Whether it was lost in the hustle and bustle of moving or you simply misplaced it (or possibly accidently tossed it in the trash), to get a replacement you must request one from your state’s department of motor vehicles. You may have to pay a fee, then wait for the new document to be mailed to you.

What if No Title Exists?

In some states, no titles are issued for vehicles that are more than 25 years old. If you bought an old car, there may be no title associated with its vehicle identification number. In this case, you will need a notarized bill of sale to make the purchase valid and complete.

Finding a Buyer

If you’re having trouble selling a car without a title, consider selling to a wrecking yard. This is an especially good option if the vehicle is old and not in good condition. You can get cash up front for the scrap metal, and you’ll rest assured that your car’s parts were recycled responsibly.

Keeping Your Title Secure

If you’d rather not go through the trying process of selling a car without a title, treat that slip of paper like you would your passport. Put it in a lockbox at your bank or keep it in a waterproof and fireproof safe in your home.

Selling a car without a title may be difficult, but selling your car to Western Auto Wrecking isn’t. Contact us if you’re thinking about getting rid of your car, and get an estimate on how much it’s worth.

6 Reasons Used Auto Parts Are Better Than New

Used auto parts should be your first choice when you need to make car repairs, and it’s not just because you’ll save money.

6 Reasons Used Auto Parts Are Better Than New

Before you bring your car to the dealership, think about the following six reasons it’s better to check your local wrecking yard first. The benefits you’ll get from used auto parts may surprise you.

1. Low Price

Used auto parts are cheaper than new. If you’re on a budget and trying to pay for expensive car repairs, this will be your first reason to consider going with used components.

2. Tested and Proven

Used doesn’t necessarily mean second-rate. Sometimes used parts perform better than new ones. That’s because used ones are refurbished and repeatedly tested until the seller is sure that they’re in proper working order.

Sometimes new components off the assembly line aren’t as dependable as a proven, working used part. When you buy used, you can rest assured that you are getting a quality product for your money, especially when you buy from a reputable parts dealer.

3. Preserve Resources

When you buy used, you’re cutting down on the demand placed on manufacturers. A lower demand means spending fewer resources. It might seem insignificant, but over time, as the used parts industry continues to grow, it will help reduce environmental pollution.

4. Reduce Waste

When used auto components aren’t repurposed, they’re either melted down and recycled or disposed of in a landfill. You can help reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills by depending on used parts when you need to make vehicle repairs.

5. Get OEM Components

If you’re looking for a deal on new auto parts, you may settle for something aftermarket — a part that’s not “original engine manufacturer.” This may not be the best fit for your car.

When you go for used options, you may be able to find refurbished original engine manufacturer parts while avoiding the high costs associated with a new part.

6. Find Discontinued Parts

Are you working on restoring an antique vehicle? Don’t waste your time looking for new parts. You’re better off visiting a used auto parts dealer. The manufacturer most likely stopped producing the parts you need, especially if the model you’re working on has since been discontinued.

Western Auto Wrecking, in West Valley City, Utah, has a wide selection of parts for you to browse. Look through the online catalog or visit us in person and get one-on-one assistance with your search. Used auto parts could be the solution to your car repair project.

5 Helpful Tips To Keep Your Car Running Longer

Attention to detail will help you keep your car running much longer than you’d anticipated, saving you time, money and frustration.

5 Helpful Tips To Keep Your Car Running Much Longer

Owning a dependable, long-lasting vehicle gives you peace of mind of knowing you will always get to work on time and you won’t be stranded on the roadside. Dependable cars are desirable, but they’re not magical — you have to put in the work to keep your car running so it’s there for you when you need it.

Here are five ways you can help ensure your car will run smoothly for years to come:

1. Drive it Gently

Staying within the speed limit is smart, not just because you’ll pay less at the pump, but because it puts less wear and tear on your engine’s components. Take your time when braking and don’t accelerate too fast when merging onto the highway.

Also, before you even put your car in drive, let your engine warm up. This gives it time to circulate oil and lubricate every part before you hit the road.

2. Stay on Top of Maintenance

Even if you don’t know much about cars, you know oil changes are essential. It’s one of the basics of regular car maintenance. Don’t make the mistake of believing it’s optional. You have to stay on a firm maintenance schedule, closely following the guidelines in your vehicle owner’s manual.

You will also have to change the air filter on a regular basis. The timing will depend on the car’s make and model, but regardless of vehicle type, regular maintenance is the backbone of what will keep your car running.

3. Check Fluid Levels

Check fluid reservoirs in between oil changes. Oftentimes, low fluids indicate a larger problem in the engine. Check all engine fluid levels every few weeks, especially if you’re planning to take your vehicle on a long trip.

4. Remove Extra Cargo

It doesn’t make sense to tax your car more than you have to. When you don’t need to transport heavy items, don’t.

Empty your trunk after every trip and take off the roof rack, cargo carrier and bike rack. Not only do these items lower your gas mileage, they make your engine, suspension and brake systems work harder than normal.

5. Fix Minor Issues Quickly

Hear a strange noise? Don’t ignore it if you want to keep your car running. Ignorance may feel like bliss, but you won’t feel blissful when you have to buy a new car because you let an engine problem go on for too long.

Find a trustworthy mechanic and get minor issues investigated as soon as you notice them.

Need to replace a car part but on a tight budget? Check out the selection of used auto parts at Western Auto Wrecking. Affordable, used auto parts can help resolve auto issues and keep your car running for much less than you’d expect. Call today to see what’s in stock.

What Should You Do if Your Car Is Totaled?

You were in a car accident and your car was totaled.

Even if you didn’t love your car, you don’t want it to be totaled, because this usually means a financial loss.

Totaled Car

How do you navigate the process of dealing with your insurance company and getting the most out of your policy when your car is totaled?

Read Your Insurance Policy Before an Accident Happens

If you have not yet been in an accident, read the fine print on your insurance policy. Call your insurance agent and ask about their process of determining whether a car is totaled.

If you still owe money on your original car loan, you may need gap insurance. This will cover the difference if your vehicle’s total value is worth less than the total you owe. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep making your vehicle payments even though your car is totaled. Get the specifics on your coverage so you know what to expect if an accident happens.

Work Out the Total Payment with Your Insurance Company

After an accident, expect to receive a check that includes the total market value of your vehicle right before your accident, minus your deductible and the cost of disposing the car. The insurance company may include the sales tax, registration fees and title tax onto the payout.

Make sure your insurance company is treating you fairly. Look up the Kelley Blue Book value of your car. Don’t take your agent’s word for it. If you think you aren’t receiving the right amount, you have the right to petition for an arbitration, but be aware of the costs involved.

Consider Buying Back Your Car

In some states, you may have the option to buy back your totaled car and fix it yourself. This might be especially attractive if you think your insurance company has vastly overestimated the cost of repairs.

Even though this might seem like a smart plan, it’s not always a viable option, because some states will no longer register cars that have been totaled. If you repair the car and try to have it insured again, you also could run into trouble, since insurance companies steer away from insuring vehicles that have been declared a total loss.

You also could keep your totaled vehicle and sell it for parts. If you already own the vehicle, this could be financially beneficial. If your car is mostly undamaged, you could get a significant amount of money back at a salvage yard by offering it up for parts and scrap metal.

When your car is totaled and you’re looking for a solution, call Western Auto Wrecking.

Here’s Why You Should Get a Wheel Alignment

All car owners should know how important a wheel alignment is to help their vehicle perform the way it was intended. You know you’re supposed to get an oil change and a transmission flush on a regular basis, but a wheel alignment can be just as vital to keeping your car on the road and out of the shop.

Wheel Alignment

How Do Wheels Go Out of Alignment?

Even without driving into anything, your wheels will eventually go out of alignment from general use. Hitting a deep pothole, a curb or concrete parking stops can make push your wheels further out of alignment.

Can You Tell When Your Wheel Alignment Is Off?

Wheel alignment is measured in the smallest of fractions of an inch. If it’s off by only a little, you probably will not be able to tell. When the alignment is severely off, your car will pull to one side and the steering wheel may shake when you drive at a high speeds.

What Will Happen if You Ignore the Problem?

It doesn’t matter how slight — any alignment issue can cause damage to your tires. If you don’t get it corrected, you can expect to pay for new tires more frequently.

If the misalignment is severe and you ignore it, continuing to drive could damage the inner parts of the suspension, making it a more expensive issue. A vehicle’s suspension is made up of many delicate parts that are costly to replace once they are worn out, such as the shocks and struts.

How often Should You Get an Alignment?

Check your tires for wear. If the treads are wearing only on one side, you could have a wheel alignment issue. A general rule of thumb is to have the vehicle checked at every other oil change. If the mechanic thinks your tires and your car’s suspension would benefit, it’s worth it to spend the money for this service.

Depending on your mechanic, you may be able to pay for an alignment once and have it checked throughout the year for free.

You may be settling for a less-than-smooth ride if you don’t pay attention to wheel alignment, and a minor issue could result in suspension problems and tire repairs. If you suspect a problem, get it looked at by a professional.

When you need used auto parts for a wheel alignment or other repair, look no further than Western Auto Wrecking, West Valley City’s top wrecking yard for affordable used auto parts.