8 Most Popular Items on a Junk Car That Can Be Recycled

Automobile recycling is a huge industry accounting for over 12 million recycled vehicles, 25 million tons of reconstituted scrap metal, a savings of 85 million barrels of crude oil, and $25 billion added into the U.S. economy annually. A lot of that money comes from items that can be recycled or reused by the owner of a vehicle before they dispose of their clunkers or sell their junk cars for cash. Knowing that information can help you stretch the value of your vehicle. But what are the most popular items that can be recycled on a junk car?


A used battery may only be worth $10-$20 if it’s sold to a scrap yard or private buyer. But recycling your car’s battery keeps harmful chemicals out of the environment. A used battery can also often be reconstituted with a combination of Epson salt and distilled water, extending the life up to five years.

Catalytic Converters

If your junk car is old enough to contain a catalytic converter, you could be in luck. Well-maintained catalytic converters are the most valuable scrap items in a vehicle due to the metals in the honeycomb: palladium and platinum. A single catalytic converter can potentially be worth between $5 and $200 to the right buyer.

GPS System

If you’re like most people and use your smartphone or portable system for GPS needs, you might overlook removing a built-in GPS system. But that can be an expensive mistake. GPS systems are coveted by many used part buyers and the right system can make you a couple hundred bucks richer.


Hubcaps can provide the finishing touches to auto buffs, similar to commodities like designer sneakers or collector’s items. Hubcaps aren’t going to increase the value of your junk car scrap, but they may be valuable to the right buyer–especially if they match or just look cool. So reclaim or resell and pad your wallet.

Oil and Filters

Scrap dealers and junkyards don’t reuse oil and gas. They drain it and dispose of it before crushing the vehicle. But that can lead to a waste of precious fuel. Oil gets dirty, but it doesn’t wear out. Draining it and bringing it to an authorized garage or recycling station can ensure it continues being used. Filters can also be washed, recycled, and reused.

Stereo Equipment

Many people pay out the ear to ensure they have a great stereo in their car, only to leave it there once they sell their junk car for cash. Stereo components can usually be easily removed and either replaced in another vehicle or sold for extra income. So why leave it behind?


Almost 300 million tires are disposed of annually in America, and many of those end up in landfills. Tires never break down completely on their own, so they act as a breeding ground for pests and various diseases. But 80% of tires can be recycled or repurposed. If your tires have decent tread, they can be sold easily to a secondhand buyer and provide some easy pocket change on your end while saving the environment.


Check the transmissions before selling your junk cars for cash. A transmission may have enough life in to either be sold to a prospective buyer for a good price or act as a perfect solution for those looking to save a mint while rebuilding their dream car. These items won’t be saved at the scrap yard, so why not remove them and add to the value of your vehicle while getting cash on the spot for your junk car?