Are Steel And Aluminum The Only Valuable Materials On Your Junk Car?

Posted on: 7 January 2021

If you're junking an old, non-running vehicle, then most of the value for the junkyard will come in the form of scrap metal. Even the best cars eventually stop being valuable as forms of transportation, but metal may never go out of style. Most modern vehicles consist of aluminum and steel, but are these the only high-value metals in your old car?

As it turns out, the answer is an unequivocal "no." Any vehicle contains significant quantities of scrap materials more valuable on a per-pound basis than the body or frame. Here are some of the surprising areas where you can find precious junk metal on your car.

Copper Wiring

You may be surprised by the sheer amount of copper wiring required in modern vehicles. Wiring runs throughout your car to provide power and transmit data and instructions between components. Electronic "accessories" are no longer optional luxuries; these devices now play a critical role in even the cheapest automobiles' essential operation.

You can find the bulk of your vehicle's copper wiring in its harness, which is a set of cables and wires that runs throughout your entire car. The wiring harness links up sensors, electronic components, cabin accessories, and more. The wiring harness may weigh over 100 pounds in some vehicles, although not all of this weight will come from the copper wiring itself.

In addition to the harness, you'll find copper scattered around your vehicle in smaller wiring runs as well as on a variety of printed circuit boards. Since copper's value is drastically higher than steel or aluminum, these relatively small amounts can add up quickly.

Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium Emissions Equipment

Your car's catalytic converter uses a chemical reaction to break apart harmful exhaust gases into harmless constituent molecules. The catalytic converter's interior uses small amounts of extremely high-value metals, including platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Even though they may only contain a few grams of these materials, catalytic converters can be worth a significant amount of money in scrap.

Gold Electronics

Many circuit boards contain small amounts of gold, making them valuable even if the electronics they power are outdated or damaged. Although your car does not include massive quantities of this precious metal, scrap circuit boards still contain enough to have value. In addition to the scrap copper obtained from wiring, this is another significant source of money in any modern automobile.

The majority of your old junk car's value may lie in its bulk steel and aluminum, but many other valuable materials are lying just under the surface. These metals help ensure that even old, broken-down vehicles will continue to hold some value far into the future. Contact a company that can provide more information if you decide to junk your car.