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Green Auto Repairs

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Green Auto Repairs

Ronnie Tanner
June 2, 2009

When one thinks of recycling, thoughts often turn to separating the garbage into aluminum, glass and plastics or purchasing items made of recycled materials. Those are all excellent ways to recycle, to be sure. However, there is often another way to recycle and it can save money at the same time. Choosing to use quality used parts for auto repairs is an excellent way to conserve our earth’s natural resources and easier than one might think.

The process is a really a simple one and makes good sense when one understands that all automobiles run on used parts. From the moment a car is driven off the showroom floor, it is considered a used car. So are the parts under the hood.

To gain a better understanding of why this is such a good value, let us look at where used parts come from. Most late model parts come from vehicles that have been involved in some type of collision. An assessment is made on the extent of the damage and how much it will cost to repair. If the insurance company finds that the cost of the repair to the vehicle meets or exceeds the value of it, the insurance company “totals” the vehicle. This means that they pay the insured person the cost of the vehicle or whatever was stipulated in the insurance policy. The insurance company then takes possession of the vehicle. In order to recover some of the loss, the insurance company sells the vehicle at a salvage auction where automotive recyclers buy the vehicle for the undamaged parts on the automobile. Most are surprised to learn that particularly with vehicles involved in rear end collisions most of the auto’s engine parts are not damaged at all. Depending on the age of the vehicle, many of these parts have many years and miles left on them but because they are used parts, like used cars, have lost the value of a “new” part.

Once the auto recycler has purchased the vehicle, it is brought to the dismantling facility where the individual parts are then evaluated and inventoried. Purchasing used parts also supports this industry, which in turn removes all the hazardous materials that are contained within the vehicle. In this way, purchasing used parts contributes to the conservation of groundwater, lakes and streams because the hazardous waste is removed as part of the recycling process. Choosing used auto parts also conserves all the metals and energy that are necessary to make new parts also.

It is not all about saving the environment either. Choosing quality used auto parts saves consumers money. Used parts can be purchased at up 75% less than what the part would cost if it were bought new from the dealership and while that sounds outrageous, it is very true. So, the next time your vehicle needs a repair be sure to ask your mechanic if a used part is available. Many are willing to go this route but you may have to ask for it. Some mechanics may feel that they do not have the time to look for the used part you need. If that’s the case, ask if you can do the legwork. With the money you will save, it will be time well spent.

Ronnie Tanner is a contributing writer at used auto parts. He writes about Chevy used parts and other industry specific topics.

Source: Amazines.com



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