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Making the Grade

When it comes to quality, recycled auto parts are top notch.

Recycled auto parts are a great way to save money, help the environment and breathe new life into a vehicle. And with strict protocols in place for automotive recyclers, you can feel confident that the parts you purchase will be reliable. Contrary to popular belief, recycled auto parts aren’t simply removed from a vehicle and sold immediately. Each part is thoroughly inspected before being declared suitable for sale. Each part is also graded according to the Automotive Recyclers Association standards and codes guidelines. Parts are graded as follows:

A = The highest quality part with a minimal amount of damage
B = A second-level quality part with a moderate amount of damage
C = A third-level quality part that, although still usable, exceeds a moderate amount of damage

Auto body parts such as bumpers and doors are graded based on the necessary repair time needed to make the part “clean and undamaged.” For example, a grade “A” part could be a front door with a small ding. A roof with hail damage would get a “B” grade, and a bent tailgate would be considered “C” grade. mechanical parts such as engines, carburetors and transmissions are graded based on mileage per year. For example, an engine with 80,000 kilometres would be considered a grade “A” part, a transmission with 145,000 kilometres would be a “B” grade part, and an engine with 400,000 kilometres would be considered a “C” grade part.

The grading system is reflected in the price of each part. if you have a vehicle thatyou only plan to drive for the next year, a grade “c” part may be a good option as you could be saving upwards of 80% of the original equipment manufacturer’s price. On the other hand, if you have a vehicle that you plan to drive for a few more years, you may want to choose a higher-grade part that you know will last longer. Either way,buying recycled parts will definitely save you money.

And just like when buying new parts, recycled auto parts also come with warranties. “The average industry warranty is about 120 days and is creeping up over time. Plus, over half of our members offer extended warranties of some kind on each part sold,” says Steve Fletcher, Executive Director of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association. “They’re recognizing that just because you make a sale and the person’s out the door, you still have an obligation to stand behind the part you sell.”

To find an automotive recycling centre near you or to search the online inventory for a specific part, visit

— CAA Magazine