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Dashub - Finding a Good Salvage Vehicle, a Diamond in the Rough
Finding a Good Salvage Vehicle, a Diamond in the Rough

Finding a Good Salvage Vehicle, a Diamond in the Rough


When you begin searching for a good salvage vehicle, it is important to ask yourself a few questions.

Are you very particular in the make and model of the vehicle you’re looking for? Many times when looking for a salvage vehicle, your requirements could make or break many of your search results. Keeping an open mind when searching for a good salvage vehicle is important because it keeps your options open. For example, if you are looking for a pickup truck in general, you will probably find tons of options to choose from. On the other hand, if you are looking for a specific make and model, for example a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 extended cab, you will have much less to choose from most likely.

Another thing to keep in mind is the uses you will have for the new vehicle. If you are looking for a reliable daily driver, it’s extremely important to consider the mileage on the vehicles you’re considering. It’s also a good thing to review the “life expectancy” of different vehicles before purchasing. For example, many people say Honda Civics will last beyond 300,000 miles with proper care and oil changes every 3,000-4,000 miles. Typically, comparing the year of the vehicle against the mileage can provide a good idea of how much the car was driven. For example, if you are looking at a 4 year old Honda Civic with 200,000 miles on it, you should be wary that the car has been driven a lot. Perhaps these were highway miles, which have less of a toll on your vehicle’s well being, but it is impossible to be sure. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a work or plow truck, you should research the reliability of the transmissions of different manufacturers for different years on certain models.

Most quality salvage vehicles are typically a good deal for those with a tight budget, even if a few repairs are required. In order to keep costs low, prioritizing necessary repairs versus cosmetic repairs can really have a significant impact on your repair bill. For many vehicles including cars, boats, and even motorcycles, every mechanic knows that the engine is the heart and soul of your operating system. In other words, the main objective in keeping a car driveable is to maintain your engine and other major mechanisms such as the transmission. If you are searching for a reliable salvage vehicle on a tight budget, do not focus your repair budget on minor and cosmetic imperfections, as these can add up quickly. Furthermore, when you invest in repairs that do not directly affect your car’s performance, you will also spend precious time searching and researching every option that comes your way. In short, if your focus is saving money, spending your budget on a flawless, detailed, and dent free exterior should not be your priority. Minor damages may include:

Dents & dings on the exterior

Scratches and different color paint

Messy interiors

Foggy headlights

Ripped & torn upholstery in the interior

Broken or missing hubcaps

Minor electrical issues such as broken speakers, windows, interior lights, etc.

Please note: important electrical repairs that must be made if they are damaged include headlights, license plate lights, directional lights (front & back), tail lights, starter, and reverse lights. Air conditioning and door locks are also valuable to have, but you won’t get a ticket for not having it. In terms of special damage such as a fire or flood damage, it is recommended to seek a mechanic or specialist to inspect the vehicle, ensuring that you won’t need substantial repairs. Also, one of the most important repairs you have to consider is replacing or installing air bags if the vehicle does not have any or if they were deployed. Many older cars that do not come equipped are not required to have them during inspection, while newer models will require air bags in order to pass inspection. If all the airbags have gone off before in a vehicle you’re considering, it will probably be very costly to replace them all, especially considering how many come stock with the car. For example, in many larger SUVs such as Ford Expeditions, Chevy Suburbans, Lincoln Navigators, and Ford Excursions, 8-10 air bags is common, while smaller sedans can have anywhere from 2-4 airbags. If each airbag costs anywhere from $300-$700 you could be facing some serious repair charges.

When purchasing a vehicle with the intent of using it for parts on a project vehicle you’re working on, there are a few things you should keep in mind before receiving your salvage car. First, keeping the make and model of your project car in mind is important because you want the parts to match up correctly, so try and get the most similar car you can. Second, once you have a make and model in mind, you should be aware of the year ranges in which parts are interchangeable. For example, you may be able to use parts from a 2002 Toyota Corolla on a 2009 Toyota Corolla, but it might not work on a 2010 and up model. Next, considering the trim or chassis style is important for the use of certain parts. If you need a replacement bed on your 4 door Chevy Silverado, for example, the bed may be 6 feet in length, while the bed of a single cab Silverado is 8 feet long. Moral of the story: make sure it’s the right fit before you buy it. Another interesting concept to keep in mind when looking for a parts car is that certain parts from certain makes can fit on other types of vehicles. For example, certain parts from a 2003 Ford Expedition will fit a 2003 Lincoln Navigator, because both chassis are similar. This same concept can be applied between many different vehicles, just be sure to research it ahead of time.

Now that you have a good idea of what you want to search for, time to start looking! On Dashub’s homepage, our search engine can offer you the tools needed for finding the right salvage vehicle for you. Simply enter “salvage” under All Titles, enter the state or region you would like to look in, enter your Year Minimum & Year Maximum, Vehicle Type, Make, Model, and continue. Now, you can use all the filters Dashub provides to find the perfect car for you in a shorter amount of time. Some of our most important, commonly used filters include Mileage, Color, Damage, Title, Location, and Engine Type (in terms of liters). Other filters include Sale Date (when the auction begins), as well as Listing Type, Body Style, Drivetrain, and Cylinders.

If you’re unsure of the kind of vehicle you want to get, our sales team will help guide you toward proven industry standard vehicles with reliable backdrop. Some of these vehicles include Toyota Camrys and Honda Civics and Accords. These sedans have proven their worth in the car industry for years based on the reliability of their transmissions and long lasting life of the engines themselves with proper annual maintenance.

Once you have browsed around a bit and decide you want to learn more, or if you need help searching for a good salvage vehicle, feel free to call us toll-free at 855-980-0900 and one of our sales technicians will guide you through the process of purchasing your next vehicle. And keep in mind, we are constantly refreshing our nationwide inventory with new vehicles every day.