So your vehicle’s experiencing some issues and you’re not able to repair them yourself. Maybe your having trouble accelerating, or your engine stutters, or your car’s ride isn’t very smooth. Most of these end up being issues you aren’t able to repair yourself so you decide to take your car of truck to a repair shop. But which repair shop do you take it to? Who’s trustworthy and who’s not? You don’t want someone who’s going to overcharge you for your repairs. At the same time, if there’s more than one issue that could affect the safety and reliability of your vehicle, then you want a mechanic who will tell you about those issues, too. I’ll give you a couple of tips you can use to decide where you can take your car to get fixed.

Make sure they’re ASE rated

ASE is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. They are a non-profit, independent group that tests and certifies automotive technicians. The were formed in the early 1970’s because customers wanted  a way to distinguish between competent technicians and incompetent ones. Auto technicians are required to have two years of hands on repair experience and pass several tests in order to be ASE certified. ASE certified technicians are also required to re-certify every five years. Certified technicians are given a shoulder patch to wear as part of their uniform and a certificate they can frame and display in their place of business. Most shops that employ ASE certified technicians will display the ASE insignia outside of their place of business. If you see that along with the certificate displayed inside the place of business then you can be certain that shop will do a professional job repairing your vehicle and quoting you a fair price.

Know how your vehicle works

Knowing the basics as far as how your vehicle runs will go a long way towards finding an honest auto technician. Not only will you be able to better understand what your mechanic is talking about when they find out what’s going on with your car, you’ll be able to ask him or her additional questions about the problem and the recommended fix. You’ll be able to keep them honest. Not only that, if there are multiple problems occurring with your vehicle and your pocketbook isn’t ready to take care of all of them, you’ll be able to decide which ones you can repair immediately and which ones you can put off a little longer. And yes, i’m aware that today’s vehicles are complex. I’m not asking you to understand what a gear ratio is or what active differential is. You just need to know some automotive basics as far as how a car works, and basic parts such as a timing chain/timing belt, suspension, and brakes and you’ll be in good shape.

Is the shop clean?

Now this is auto repair shop, so i’m not asking if it’s absolutely spotless. When you’re dealing with auto parts there’s going to be some oil and grease involved. What I mean is is the shop organized? When you look inside the garage can the technicians get around easily or are there tools and parts everywhere? Do the technicians keep the shop floor dry? Are cars parked in a way that makes it easy to get to them, or are they haphazardly parked. Is the main office clean and organized or are there invoices scattered everywhere behind the counter? Is the bathroom clean or is it filthy? Small things that people usually ignore whenever they walk into a auto repair shop can tell you whether that shop is run in a professional manner or not. This lack of professionalism can easily translate to your vehicle’s repairs. Don’t take that chance with a lack of pride and organization. If you see signs that an auto repair shop is disorganized then I would suggest looking for another shop as quickly as possible.

One last thing. The vast majority of auto repair technicians out there are extremely professional and very honest. I don’t want folks going out to every shop with a heavy dose of skepticism. There are some mechanics are there who are incompetent and will take you for a ride, no pun intended. These tips are designed to help you weed those bad technicians out so you can find one who’s trustworthy and will do a great job repairing your vehicle. I wish you the best of luck in your search!

So your car is having a few issues. One of your taillights has gone out, or you’ve found out you need to replace you alternator. You don’t have the money to get a brand new one (they can get pretty expensive) and you need the parts ASAP, so ordering online is out of the question. What do you do?

Here’s an option: getting the part you need at a salvage yard. Salvage yards, also called auto recyclers, have almost every model of vehicle dating back years. These vehicles are either totaled or beyond their lifespan. They have a lot of parts inside of them that are still in good shape and can be removed and purchased fro a fraction of the cost of a new part.

When contacting the salvage yard about a part, be sure to not only have year, make, and model of your vehicle, but the engine size (for example, 2.4 liter engine, 3.5 liter engine, etc.). This is important information for the folks at the salvage yard. Many car models have different trim levels, so knowing that information is critical to getting you the correct part for your vehicle. If you’re not sure what size engine you have then the VIN (vehicle identification number) will work just as well. The vehicle identification number is located at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side. When you give them the VIN, this will narrow their search down to include the parts that available for your particular trim level of vehicle only.

Before you head to the salvage yard, take to time to look for the prices of the same part brand new. Doing so will let you know what price a new part goes for and also give you an idea of what a comparable used part goes for. This way, you’ll recognize when you’re being overcharged. Also if you find the correct part it is up to you to visually inspect it before making the final purchase. Don’t rely solely on the salvage associate’s word when buying used parts. If you’re not sure what to look for when visually inspecting an auto part then bring someone along who can verify the part you find is in physically good shape such as an acquaintance.

Don’t forget to ask about the salvage yard’s policy of returns, exchanges, and refunds. These policies can vary from salvage yard to salvage yard. Also ask about any additional fees they may charge, such as entry fees.

Now you’re ready to head over there! Wear old clothes. Many salvage yards require you to bring your own tools and “pick” the part from the car, meaning you’ll have to remove the part from the car yourself. This may sound unappealing to some folks but what you’ll spend in sweat and effort you’ll save in dollars. If you were considering ordering that same part brand new online, you’ll also save time in having to wait for the part to get to your house and shipping fees to express ship the package to your home.

Some of the parts we recommend purchasing used from a salvage yard include alternators, radiators, fans, interior trim pieces such as door panels, headlights, taillights, bumpers, and fenders. Other minor parts such as sunroof motors, window motors, window regulators, side view mirrors, and even sway bars are good parts you can score a deal on from a salvage yard. Some of the parts we wouldn’t recommend purchasing from a salvage yard (simply because these parts are necessary for the safe operation of your vehicle) include brake components such as rotors, pads, timing belts and chains, camshafts, clutches, fuel pumps and water pumps. We’d recommend purchasing these brand new. If you’re not sure what if the part you’re looking for is suitable to be purchased from a salvage yard, feel free to ask!

Buying the part you’re looking for from salvage yard is a great option that a lot of people don’t know about. If you’re short on time and money it can save you both, and you’ll get the part you need for your car to fully function on the highway.  You’ll also learn a few things about your vehicle you didn’t know about before.

It’s the beginning of September and your kids are back in school. With the end of summer fast approaching you want to make sure that their vehicles are ready to go and in tip top shape. I’ve seen all kinds of vehicle damage, from minor dents to complete losses, and many of these can be prevented simply by paying attention not just while you’re driving but paying attention to your car when it’s at a standstill. Here are a few steps you take to keep you car or truck in peak running condition.

Check your tires

Your tires are extremely important. They steer your vehicle, absorb bumps from the road, help you vehicle stop, and of course, help your vehicle go. Tires also play an important role during wet weather. They maintain your car’s grip by channeling away water via your tire’s tread. The deeper your car’s tread, the better your car will do during bad weather. Check the tread on all four tires by using a penny and inserting it in one of the gaps between each row of treads. If you see the very top of Lincoln’s head then it’s time to replace your tire. Do the same for the other three tires. Check for uneven tire wear. If your tires are more worn out on the outside of the vehicle than they are on the inside of the vehicle then that’s a sign of alignment or suspension issues with your car. If you leave these issues unchecked they can increase the likelihood of an accident. Also check your tires for proper tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge. Proper tire pressure will improve your vehicle’s grip and improve gas mileage.

Windshield wipers and fluid

Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape and the blade isn’t brittle of cracked. Test them out to ensure they are removing all moisture from the windshield. If there’s residue left each time the wipers make a pass then replace them. Also top your windshield wiper fluid is topped off. This will help your young driver maintain a high level of visibility on the road.


Check your headlights for haziness or bulbs that have gone out. Headlamps get hazy over time from heat and residue. This can result in the headlamp beam not going as far in from of the vehicle as it should, and nighttime visibility is reduced. Many auto parts stores sell headlamp cleaner that will restore headlamp clarity for $10-$20. Another option is to switch your bulbs from standard bulbs to halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs operate at a lower temperature than regular bulbs. They also light a longer distance in front of your vehicle than regular lamps. Check the taillights to make sure they both work and the bulbs haven’t gone out.


Needless to say, your brakes are a very important part of your car. Check your vehicle’s brakes, including the drums, rotors, and brake pads. Perform a visual inspection (you may need to remove the wheel to do this) and look at the rotors and brake pads. If the rotors are beginning to form ridges or the pads have very little surface left on them then get them replaced immediately. If you’re experiencing scratching or squealing when you stop that is also a sign that your brakes need to be replaced. Have a brake technician inspect your brake fluid to make sure it’s clean and it’s at optimum levels.


Open the hood of your car and check the battery. You battery provides the “juice” necessary to power your vehicle’s starter and get the engine going. You can take the battery to any auto parts store or mechanic and have it tested. Check the terminals at the top of the battery for signs of corrosion and damage. If necessary then replace the connectors and clean off all corrosion. This will help maintain maximum contact with the battery so your car starts with no hesitation. Also check the alternator. The alternator powers the electrical components of your car and helps recharge the battery. A properly working alternator will keep your battery fully charged and prevent issues with starting your car as the weather cools off.

Emergency Kit

If you’ve got a high school student or college student who’s driving an emergency roadside kit is essential. In fact, it’s essential for every member of the family. Items you should have in your roadside kit include jumper cables, a tire jack, lug wrench,  flashlight, flares, a hazard triangle, ice scraper, and a small tool kit with a Philips and flathead screwdriver, hammer, and an adjustable wrench. You should also include a first aid kit with bandages, hand sanitizer, and alcohol pads. Many big box store offer pre-packaged emergency roadside kits.


As your kids go back to school following these helpful tips will get your kids through the school year safely. It will also give you peace of mind, knowing that their vehicles are in top shape and they’re prepared if an emergency happens on the highway.

No one wants to get involved in an accident with another vehicle. If it happens to you it can be a very stressful situation. You could be stuck without a vehicle for up to a week while the insurance company adjusters inspect the damage done and repairs take place on your vehicle. You may also have to visit a doctor in case you were injured during the accident. If you’re not seriously injured or your’e not injured at all you will definitely want to get your life back to normal as soon as possible. As you’re probably aware, a big part of that is getting your vehicle repaired. It’s important to know you have certain rights during the collision repair process and its important to know what those rights are. By exercise these rights you can ensure your vehicle will be repaired in a safe, complete, and expedited manner.

Here are a few of your rights regarding collision repair of your vehicle. Some of these may vary according to the state in which you live so check with your state’s department of insurance to find out if there are any deviations from or additions to these rights.

You have the right to decide where your vehicle will be repaired.

You have the right to have your vehicle towed to any repair shop you choose. Choose an auto body/collision repair shop carefully.

You have the right to require the insurance company to pay for all repairs within reason, minus any deductibles, to bring your vehicle to the condition it was in before the collision.

You have the right to an alternate form of transportation (such as a rental car) until all repairs are completed in full if the accident was not your fault.

You are only required to obtain one estimate to determine the amount of damage sustained by the vehicle.

In many states the law prohibits your insurer from requiring you to use a particular body shop.

You retain the right to request original equipment to repair your vehicle. Original equipment means the same equipment your vehicle’s manufacturer makes. This can help ensure that the replacement parts fit properly, work like they’re supposed to, and are safe. It’s wise to check your insurance policy to find out whether original equipment can be used and in which circumstances. Some insurance policies mandate that only original equipment be used to repair collision damage, and some policies give the option for original equipment to be used. Still, other policies state that parts “of like kind and quality” be used. “Like kind and quality” means parts that are made by someone other that the vehicle’s manufacturer. They have to look the same, fit the same, and have a similar level of quality as the original part did. They have to function the same and be just as safe as the original part was.

Most states require insurers and body shops to inform the customer whether original equipment or “like kind and quality” parts will be used. This information is usually disclosed while the damage to the vehicle is being estimated. There are a few states that have “no disclosure” or “no consent” rules in place original equipment. Check your policy and know what rights you have regarding collision repair before beginning repairs on your vehicle.

By knowing what rights you possess during the collision repair process for your vehicle you can make certain your vehicle is repaired to its original condition at a fair cost to you and in a timely manner. Those rights will protect you from things like misleading estimates, substandard parts, or poor quality body work.





We’ve had two big storms recently hit the U.S. One was in Florida and the other was down in Texas. Here’s a little bit of advice if you’re looking to buying a used car in the next couple of months.

Avoid flood damaged cars.

Flood damaged cars have hidden damage from water infiltrating a lot of components. This is really true if they’ve sat in high water for days at a time. The water damage can damage electronics, fuel and lubrication systems, seep into a car’s engine, and cause corrosion to a car’s body.

Sometimes wholesalers will purchase flood damaged cars at auction, repair them, then take them to other parts of the country. These cars are then sold to buyers who would never suspect the damage that’s happened. It is very important for used car buyers across the United States to be on the lookout for any car that may have flood damage.

Many of these vehicles have a salvage title. This happens a lot on vehicles that have been flooded and repaired. A lot of these cars are written off as total losses by insurance adjusters.

Here’s what to look for when buying a vehicle you think has been flooded.

Check out the inside of the car for any damp smells. Look for water rings on the rugs and the upholstery, and check for signs of rust along the floorboards. Inspect for rust on unpainted screws underneath the car’s dashboard, inside of the trunk or underneath the hood. Also check for unusually new upholstery on an older model vehicle. A flooded car may also experience problems with its electrical systems, engine and fuel systems. These problems may not show up until you’ve owned the vehicle for a longer period of time.

We’d recommend getting a report of the vehicle’s history. This kind of report will let you know if the vehicle has been in any accidents. It’s also good to have an experienced mechanic take a look at the vehicle. They will uncover flood damage and any other issues that may affect its safety and performance.

Be vigilant if you’re going used car shopping in the next several months. There will be a lot of cars in the market that look like great deals upfront but won’t be worth the headache they will cause if they are purchased.



Are you considering getting rid of an older vehicle in your possession? Are you considering repairing a vehicle that’s been badly damaged in an accident? Sometimes those repairs, especially if it’s an older car that has multiple problems, end up costing more than what the vehicle is worth. If that’s the case then you may want to consider bringing your car or truck to a salvage yard. It’s a good option because it gets an unreliable vehicle off of your hands and puts some cash in your pocket. Here are a couple of steps you can take when preparing to sell your vehicle to a salvage yard. Of course, these rules vary from state to state but these are general steps that apply regardless of where you are in the country.


First off, look for a salvage yard in your area. Shop around to see what they will offer you for your vehicle. They will ask for the year, make, and model. They may also ask you additional questions about the condition of your vehicle. Describe the condition of the vehicle as accurately as you can to ensure you get the fairest price for your vehicle. Have the title and proof of registration ready to hand over to the salvage yard. Remove any personal belongings and accessories before handing the vehicle over.


When you arrive at the salvage yard, make the amount you agreed to is the same one offered over the phone. Some salvage yard owners will make an offer over the phone then low-ball you when you arrive with the vehicle. If so, stick to your guns and hold them accountable on the offer. If they offer you a hard to believe story on why they can’t do stick to the amount the offered you over the phone, don’t hesitate to walk away. Go with one of the other salvage yards you called earlier.


Towing is also a factor. Are you able to drive the vehicle to the salvage yard or will you need to have it towed? If you’ll need to have it towed, how much will it cost? Towing companies usually charge on a per mile basis. These costs will eat into the payout you will receive for your vehicle from the salvage yard. If so then you may need to consider a salvage yard that is closer to where you live. You may also want to ask if the salvage yard has towing options available, whether or not those options are free, and if there are any other fees involved such as fees to transfer your title.

Welcome to East Coast Auto Salvage!

This is your site for info on how to salvage your used car or truck. If you’ve got a vehicle that’s sitting idle in the driveway or you’ve got an older vehicle that’s costing you more to repair than what it’s worth then it may be time to consider taking it to your local salvage yard. If you can’t get your car there because it won’t start we’ll arrange to tow it there for you.

Vehicles that have experienced major flood damage or damage as a result of a collision are prime candidates for the salvage yard too.

Laws regarding what is and isn’t considered as salvage vary by state. We’ll give you information on where to look to make sure you’re on the right side of the law with your vehicle.

We’ll also give you information on what to do when you need vehicle repaired-what to do, what to avoid, and what your rights are (and the repair shop’s rights as well).

We look forward to your visit. Come on back and visit our blog soon!




East Coast Auto Salvage.