When purchasing a vehicle, it’s always good to factor in how you will maintain that vehicle as it ages. Most people don’t buy a car or truck planning to drive it until it can’t roll anymore, but there are times you need parts replaced. I talked with Jared Hardy from Southwest Auto Recycling about electric cars from an auto salvage perspective. 

When a vehicle is in a wreck and the insurance company determines the cost to fix it is more than it is worth, they usually decide to total it. At this point, auto wreckers can bid on the car and sell it for parts. Sometimes it is worth it to rebuild the vehicle and sell it using parts from the same make of totaled vehicles. These cars, trucks and SUV’s maintain their salvage titles by law even after they are rebuilt. 

Parts Separated from Vehicles for Sale
Parts Separated from Vehicles for Sale

“We don’t have any electric vehicles at this time,” said Hardy. “There’s just not that many on the road. The percentage is still small.”  

Of all the electric vehicles, it seems like there are more Tesla’s than anything. I asked Hardy if it would be worth it to bring in some of these for parts. 

“A lot of people won’t fix Teslas because once it has a rebuilt title, they can’t buy parts directly from Tesla,” he said. “If you do get all the parts and rebuild one, you can’t use Tesla’s fast charging systems. You have to have a code and if it’s been rebuilt, it won’t work.”

A rebuilt Tesla has to go through a verification at the owners expense according to autoevolutio.com. At this point one can use the chargers, but the expense must be factored into the decision to rebuild. 

It’s not just Hardy at Southwest Auto, this is what they see in the auto wrecking industry. “We buy through all the auctions, we don’t see many electric cars go through,” he said. 

The lack of availability or used parts from auto wreckers is something to think about when deciding to purchase an electric vehicle. 



attachment-Southwest Auto Salvage

A Wrecking Yard, also known as Salvage Yards, is a business that buys recently crashed vehicles which are inventoried, dismantled, and the usable parts are sold. Auto shops buy the parts as well as individuals. The yards get several requests a day for engines, transmissions as well as seats, taillights and anything else you may want to buy for a car or truck. 

They buy the wrecked vehicles from auto auctions and have to determine if the car or truck they are purchasing is worth buying. They have to figure out how much they will have to spend and if they can make it up selling the parts. They have a clear understanding of what parts from what vehicles they are most likely to get requests for and if all of the numbers will work. 

Because of their intimate knowledge of the auto industry, I wanted to find out what they would consider their top 5 worst vehicles or make of vehicles to purchase. What should we as consumers stay far away from when trying to purchase dependable transportation. 

I talked with Jared Hardy who has worked in the Auto Salvage business for years and currently runs Southwest Auto Recycling in Washington. Here is his list of the top 5 automakers and vehicles to turn and run away from should you see a for sale sign. 


1. Fiat: We don’t even buy those they're so bad. 


2. Volkswagen: We buy a lot of these because we sell a lot of VW parts.

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3. Audi: It’s basically VW. You can get everything fixed and it still has problems 

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4. Chevrolet’s cheap line: Cruse and Sonic have engine problems, specifically the Eco Tech engine 


5. Ford Focus: Transmission problems with the automatic transmissions. There’s a class action lawsuit over it. 

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