High-mileage vehicles – they’re kind of our thing. We buy used cars, and then we do whatever it takes to keep them on the road. A coat of wax twice a year keeps the paint looking nice, and some basic maintenance and upkeep helps us to avoid many expensive repairs.
So, when we bought our weekend homestead, and suddenly found we needed a vehicle with four-wheel drive (our other vehicle couldn’t make the drive in), we didn’t hesitate to buy another high-mileage vehicle – a 2002 Jeep Liberty with 189,00 miles. The body was good. It drove well, and it didn’t seem to have any major mechanical issues.
We paid just $2,900 for it – taxes and all, so we figured there was plenty of room to make repairs, if we needed, too. And you know what? We’ve been driving it for four months now, and in that time we’ve only had to replace one sensor. Can’t complain about that.
Having gained some confidence in our Jeep, we decided it was time to address some of the small issues that it came with. Specifically, the back door locks weren’t working properly, and the front passenger door didn’t stay open on its own.
My husband looked up the dealer list prices for the parts that we needed, and here’s what he came up with:
Right Rear Door Lock Actuator – $117
Left Rear Door Lock Actuator – $117
Right Front Door Check – $63.00
Um, yeah. Good luck getting that much out of us.
To cut costs, my husband tracked down a Jeep Liberty at a junk yard, and headed there for his parts. This was a new experience for us, and it was a fun one.
My husband went to Pull-A-Part. It’s a junk yard chain, and it was incredibly well run. Before he drove over, he looked up our car on their website, to verify that they had one in stock. Then, he checked parts prices, so he knew what to expect.
When he got there, they had a computer that you could use to look up the lot location of vehicles and to sign up for a VIP Club card.
The VIP Club card is free, and it earns you discounts and rewards, so definitely get one, if you go.
Once he had his VIP Club card, he made a quick stop at the counter to pay his admission fee. It’s $2 for non-club members and $1 for club members. Since this was his first visit, his admission was free. Sweet!
With that out of the way, it was time to get down to business. They have wheel barrows that you can use to haul your tools and parts, so he loaded all of his tools into one, and set off.
You have to remove the parts yourself, so make sure you bring everything you’re going to need, and give yourself plenty of time to work.
Look at how neat the junk yard was. Can you believe it?
He quickly located the Jeep Liberty on the lot, and got to work pulling parts.
Before long, he had everything he needed, and was off to check out.
Here’s what he paid:
Right Rear Door Lock Actuator – $7.95
Left Rear Door Lock Actuator – $7.95
Right Front Door Check – $4.95
That’s a total savings of $276.15 over retail, and it was a fun outing to boot. Look like we’ll be adding junk yards to our bag of savings tricks.
Do you buy parts from junk yards? I’d love to hear from you, if you do. Please leave a comment.