Wrecking Yard Etiquette

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Perhaps one of the greatest part sources available is your local wrecking yard. Whether you call it a junkyard, wrecking yard or "u-pull-it", you can't deny that it is an excellent source for good, yet cheap, parts. Unfortunately, because of abuse many wrecking yards are no longer allowing the public into their lots. This means that we loose a valuable source of parts, and prices become higher for parts that we can get (we must now pay for them to remove it, which may or may not be done correctly). Therefore, everyone who frequents wrecking yards should follow a simple set of rules. Not only as a courtesy to others, but to make sure that their own source of parts will be available in the years to come.

1. Please don't steal
This should be a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised. Just because an individual buys one piece of interior trim, it does not mean that this individual can shove another 10 pieces of trim into his or her jacket. I know you've heard it before, that stealing hurts us all. And it's true. If wrecking yards see a constant problem with the number of parts going out verses the amount of money going in, then it is a large incentive for them to make their yard "out of bounds" to the public. It also goes without saying that many yards are now employing cameras to prevent theft.

2. Preserve the interior
If you are working on a car with a good interior, please do not leave doors and windows wide open to the weather. You may not care about the interior parts, but it is likely that someone else does. Nothing ruins interiors faster than a few rainfalls.

3. Don't just break stuff
Please remove the part you are after properly. This means not destroying the area around it in a mad dash to get what you want. Remember that someone else may be desperately searching for the part that you just broke. On the same token, mindless destruction is also a bad thing. Breaking windows, taillights, etc. just because you can may be fun, but keep in mind that those are also common parts others need, and are the property of the wrecking yard.

4. Consider lending your tools
We've all been there: at a wrecking yard 10 miles from home, only to discover we forgot the 10MM socket. And we've also all had someone refuse to lend out their 10MM socket sitting idle in their toolbox. Since you know how this feels, it shouldn't be a large stretch of the imagination to realize what it's like when you refuse to lend a tool to someone else. A little good karma can go a long way in this world. Though it certainly doesn't hurt to keep a close eye on any tools you have on loan.

5. Above all, be careful
Don't do something unsafe. Examples include smoking around fuel, lifting with tire-change jacks in soft soil, etc. Such a hazard is not only a problem for your own safety, but can be harmful to others around as well. It is also worth stating that the last thing a wrecking yard wants to deal with is an injury on their property.

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