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How To Part Out Your Car & Get Cash

Parting out a car is one way to maximize the profits for an old, junk car. You can sell individual parts first, before selling the remaining shell of the vehicle for its weight in scrap metal.

Particular components (like your engine, catalytic converter, and transmission) can net a nice profit, while other components (like engine fluid and oil) can be recycled.

That said, dismantling your car to sell these parts requires the tools, knowledge, and effort to accomplish. Without being both a mechanic and having a specialized garage, attempting to part out your vehicle can damage the parts and decrease their value at best or, at its worst, be dangerous for you.

With only a few components of your vehicle commanding high resale value, the rest of your car is of little worth to most buyers. Once those parts are gone, the rest of your vehicle may be sitting in your driveway indefinitely.

If you’ve got a vehicle you’re trying to get rid of quickly and want to see the value of your car, then check out our instant value calculator.

To learn how to maximize the profits from parting out your car, continue reading below. We’ll be covering:

  • What it means to part out a car.

  • Which parts are in highest demand.

  • Which option is better: Parting out or selling wholesale.

What Does It Mean To Part Out A Car?

vehicle parts in a car

Parting is a simple concept wherein you (or a qualified mechanic) take out individual pieces of your vehicle and put them up for sale. The pieces can be as large as the engine or as small as the door handles.

Removing parts by yourself and with very little knowledge about the inner workings of a car is doable.

However, there are plenty of components (especially the more lucrative ones) that you shouldn’t attempt to remove without the proper expertise and/or equipment.

Let's say you have a common car like a 2007 Honda Civic with rear-end collision and you’re parting out the car.

The buyer may be willing to purchase your engine for $600, but (unless you have the time and mechanical expertise to remove it) the cost to take it out can easily amount to $500-$700 in labor.

You can let the person take the engine out themselves, but that could risk damaging the engine altogether.

On average, this is how much you can sell these parts for if they are already removed:

  • Engine - $500+ (Mileage dependent)

  • Transmission - $250+ (Mileage dependent)

  • Airbags - $150+ (Depending on which bag)

  • Seats - $80+ (Seat conditions may vary price)

Not only do you risk damaging the part (and, subsequently, lowering its value on the market), but you also risk harming yourself with heavy objects or hazardous chemicals.

If you plan to part out your car, the safest way to do it is to employ an experienced mechanic who has the knowledge, space, and equipment to do it safely.


Our expert evaluators can help you get an accurate estimate for your car's value, FAST!

Which Parts Are In Highest Demand?

Even old, junk cars will have big components that are in high demand and, therefore, can retain a high value. These particular parts are:

  1. The Engine - The heart of your vehicle, your engine retains some value even if your car is old. Even when they require repair, you can sell your engine to rebuilders and, if it can pass inspection, it can be resold. A used engine can run between $1000 - $3000 on average, after labor for the removal is factored in.

  2. The Transmission - The transmission market is a multibillion dollar one, which is no surprise due to its importance in energy transfer, regulation, and control throughout your vehicle. Metals like aluminum, steel, cast iron, and brass make your transmission liable to fetch a pretty penny when parted out.

  3. The Catalytic Converter - A part required in every vehicle in America since 1975, the catalytic converter minimizes the amount of pollutants your vehicle produces. Catalytic converters use expensive metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Commonly, they will hold 4-9 grams of these materials, making catalytic converters a lucrative bit of scrap to sell.

While these three parts are in the highest demand, there are other parts of your vehicle that can be parted out and still net you a decent profit. These parts include but are not limited to:

  • Rims

  • Airbags

  • Alternator

  • Transmission

  • Radiators

  • Doors

Is It Better To Part Out Your Car Or Sell It Whole?

junkyards with parts

Parting your car out piece by piece is a great way to maximize the value of your old car. However, it comes with its own set of drawbacks.

If you have neither the space nor the expertise for dismantling a car, then parting it out may not be in your best interest. Furthermore, having to list each part and wait for a buyer may not suit your needs if time is of the issue.

Selling your car wholesale might be your best bet. You can get the greatest calculated value for your vehicle if all of its parts are present, versus if anything is missing.

Missing critical components like the engine and transmission will take a huge hit out of your vehicle’s overall value. If you’re looking to make the most out of an instant quote, it’s best to do so while your car still has all of its parts.

What are the pros & cons of selling a car for parts?


Cash value
Selling your car for parts (assuming that you were able to sell everything) could bring in the most money in the long run. There is always the possibility that you do not find a buyer for all your parts and you could lose out on some money.


Time consumption
There is no guaranteed time frame to when or if you sell all of the parts. After selling the engine and transmission, it could take years to sell the rest.

Occupy valuable space
Parting out a vehicle means you will have to hold onto tons of parts. Unless you have a personal storage unit, then you will find yourself with a house full of greasy and rusty metal parts.

Constant haggling
The same way a private buyer will try to haggle down your asking price on a car. They will do the same with the parts you're selling. Imagine how much time you'll spend with strangers that will be calling and texting you at all hours of the day just to haggle down your fair asking price. - A Place to Sell Your Car for Parts & Get Paid Within 48 Hours!

sell your car for parts

Is parting out too much of a hassle? The next best option is to sell your car to CarBrain. We will give a fair market value for your junk or less than perfect car.

Our dedicated team of buyers have over 30 years of experience in the car business, making it easy to sell your junk car for top dollar.

We’ve used our knowledge to develop an interactive price engine designed to make an offer on most makes and models in just 90 seconds! If the offer suits you then we will deliver the payment right to hands and tow the car for FREE in just 24 to 48 hours!

See why we’ve been recommended by thousands of customers nationwide. From California, to Texas, all the way to Florida, we buy cars across the nation.

Get a free, no-obligation offer now to see how much your parts car is worth.

Instant sale
Selling to CarBrain is quick and hassle-free. You will receive an online offer in 90 seconds and we will pick up your car between 24 to 48 hours. Payment will be delivered at the time of pick up.

Haggle Free
All our offers are haggle free! Simply provide us with a few accurate details about your car and our buyers will give you a confirmed offer! Once the driver shows up to pick up the vehicle, there will be no last minute hidden fees and you will receive the offer in full.

Fair market valued offer
While selling a car for parts could potentially bring in the most money, it could also cost you more than what the car is worth. With CarBrain, you will receive a fair market value for the car. We have a dedicated team of car buyers with over 30 years of experience, so we know a thing or two about cars! Employees

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We Make It Easy To Sell Your Car For $$$

Selling your car for parts with CarBrain couldn’t be easier — it takes just a few steps.

Easy Process Step 1

Enter Your Vehicle Information

Describe your vehicle as best as you can. We will need accurate information about the condition, location and mileage of your car. Most vehicles receive an instant offer in less than 90 seconds.

Easy Process Step 2

Accept Your Junk Cash Offer

As the vehicle owner, you will need to provide keys, a signed title and access to the car. If your title is held by a lien holder, we can help you get the title released.

Easy Process Step 3

Get Paid & Schedule Pick Up! works with a nationwide network of partners to pick up your vehicle. On average, we can have your vehicle picked up 24 to 48 hours after you accept our offer.


We know you don’t want to spend weeks negotiating with your local junkyards, and with our service, you don’t have to. Get your quote from CarBrain today to get started!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is My Car Worth For Parts?

How much your car is worth for parts depends on what parts you're trying to sell. In general, the most valuable parts of a car are the engine, transmission and catalytic converter. The rest of the vehicle would typically be sold as scrap.

Where Can I Sell My Car for Parts Near Me?

You can sell your car for parts with local junkyards near you — or you can use a service like CarBrain! We specialize in less-than-perfect cars, including cars with problems or cars that are only good for their parts. It takes just 90 seconds to get a no-obligation quote and all our offers come with free towing and no fees.

Can You Sell Your Car For Parts?

Yes, you can sell your car for parts, but you'll need to know how to safely get those parts out of your car. If you need someone else to do it, you could easily pay $80 to $100 per hour in labor costs alone, quickly cutting into any potential profit you would make for selling the parts.

Who Will Buy My Car For Parts?

Pawn shops, online part markets and recycle centers may all be interested in buying your vehicle for parts. You can also get an offer from any junkyard in your area, or turn to an online service like CarBrain, where you can get a quote in just 90 seconds with free towing guaranteed.

Should You Remove Parts From Your Car Before Selling?

The answer depends on your goal. In some cases, parting out the vehicle can maximize your profit. However, this requires patience and skill, which not everyone has. A vehicle's value goes down significantly when parts are reduced, so if you're looking to get rid of the entire vehicle as quickly as possible, selling it as-is makes the most sense.

Where Can I Sell My Engine And Transmission?

Your engine and transmission are some of the most valuable components to sell when parting out your car. You can sell them to private buyers and junkyards in order to turn a profit for yourself.

How Much Can I Sell My Engine For?

As the heart of your car, your engine holds onto some value even as it ages. A used engine can net anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 on average, after labor costs are deducted.

How Much Does An Engine Cost?

Engines typically run between $3,000-$5,000 to replace in most cars. More complex engines can rise as high as $,6000 to replace, but the average four-cylinder vehicle will typically require the aforementioned $4,000 to replace its engine completely.

How Many Parts Does A Car Have?

The average car has about 30,000 parts if you break it down to every nut and bolt. Counting large parts as one singular part, then the average vehicle has about 1800 separate pieces.

How Many Miles Does A Transmission Last?

With regular maintenance, a single transmission can last well over 200,000 miles. However, the average lifespan for a transmission is typically between 80,000 and 150,000 miles.

What Does Parting Out A Car Mean?

Parting is a simple concept wherein you (or a qualified mechanic) take out individual pieces of your vehicle and put them up for sale. The pieces can be as large as the engine or as small as the door handles.
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