Whether you are the constant mechanic who is always working on an automobile for family and friends, or you are on the search for unique parts for rebuilds, there is a good chance you will find yourself scouting out the right parts at a salvage yard at some point. Even though skimming through a field full of salvaged vehicles to find what you need is a pretty straightforward process, there is always room to improve to make this task a little easier to handle. Here are a few tips to help you out when you are pulling used auto parts at an auto salvage yard.
Take pictures with your phone to help you out.
You know the make and model of your vehicle, but the part you need is actually used on a lot of models; you just have to find the vehicles at the salvage yard that have the part you need. If you're going for a specific part and don't necessarily want to pack the part along with you, simply grab some pics of the part on your phone before you leave the house. Make sure you get pics of connections and hardware so you can be sure what you pull from another vehicle will line up. Just having these images can really help you narrow down your search.
Bring a few tools but not too many.
When you are going for something specific, you can make note of the tools you had to use to pull the part off of your old car and take them with you to the salvage yard. If you are not sure exactly what it is you are going to pull, it is best to take along a little bit of everything: an adjustable wrench, a small ratchet set, a few screwdrivers, and maybe even something for cutting. You may want a small toolbox to carry with you, but don't overdo it. Some salvage yards can be massive, and toting around a heavy toolbox can be a pain.
Bring something to lie down on if you expect you'll be on the ground.
Unless you don't mind laying in the gravel, mud, snow, or grass, it is best if you take along a mat, towel, or even a piece of cardboard to lie down on while you remove parts. Every mechanic knows that some part retrievals can have you spending a while on the ground working. Having something to lie down on to separate you from the ground will be super useful.