Letter to Automotive Salvage Yards in Colorado

Automotive Recycling in Colorado and The CAR Opportunity

By Ben Silver - March 16, 2017

The Community

The Automotive Salvage Industry is not becoming more forgiving and easier to operate in.  Every year seems to bring about another round of facility closures due to retirement, land sales, and just plain competition.  These members of our community are closing their doors, some willingly, but many due to constraints that have reduced the profitability of their business.  For many of us, this is a sign.  It’s a sign that constant improvement and evaluation of our operations will be necessary to continue down a path of profitability.  It’s also a sign that our community is growing smaller with every year, and it’s more important than ever to strengthen the bonds within our community. We must continue to work and stand together to project a loud voice in support of our industry and all the good that we do.  CAR is that voice.  It is your voice.  CAR is the culmination of our business community, legislative lobby, and administrative action that moves our industry in a positive direction.  And CAR is the only entity in the state of Colorado that works and will continue to work for the benefit of your business and all recyclers in this community.  Whether we’re fighting to eliminate a bill that will increase your costs, or working to improve communications and trade amongst our members, we’re doing it in your interest.  If you are a current member, thank you for standing with us and supporting your community.  If you are not a member, please consider joining the fight for this great industry.  With each closure, CAR loses a % of our revenue from dues.  In order for CAR to remain strong, we need as many salvage yards in Colorado to join our community as possible.  To reach its ultimate potential, CAR would need every salvage yard in the state to become a member and support our industry locally.  Make today the day that you join CAR and add your voice to the community in support of our association.



The State of Colorado is booming, and job growth in the last three years is at the highest rate in our state since the 90’s (1).  Our GDP, which is an indicator of our economy, grew at the 4th fastest rate in the nation in 2016, and it’s expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future (2).  While this growth has reduced unemployment in our state and created some challenges in hiring, it has also created many opportunities.  If you live in or near any city center in the state of Colorado, you know population growth is a very real thing in our great state.  In fact, Colorado is also the 4th fastest growing state by population migration %, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (3).  This influx of people and traffic, has created many additional collisions, vehicle repairs, and salvage vehicles.  So not only do we have increased demand for our product, but we should also be seeing more vehicles running through our auctions.  This supply increase can have positive effect on your business if you take advantage of the opportunities.  Some people may come to Colorado for the legal weed, but they stay for the sunshine, seasons, and unbelievable outdoor recreation, among other things.  The secret is out on our amazing state, and additional growth and migration are very likely going to be a continued trend.  CAR is there to work with salvage yards as they scale up their operations, get compliant with regulations, and build relationships within the association and industry.


Business is Social

At the heart of our businesses and industry, there are people and relationships.  Building bridges between our companies has never been more important.  When technology is advancing quickly and our economy is growing, it’s not too hard to fall behind.  The CAR community is an amazing place to forge business relationships that create synergy between our businesses and foster great ideas.  You can’t source information like this from the internet.  You gather it through working and conversing with companies that face the same challenges, constraints, and opportunities that you do.  CAR has hosted a number of social events and meetings that allow members to meet and exchange information on processes, vendors, and systems that have helped them grow and have increased their success.  In just the last two years, CAR has brought in nationally recognized motivational speakers, industry experts, and yard managers that have experienced explosive growth in revenue and profits to speak to our community.  Whether you are a member or not, you need to make it to these events to learn from these resources and engage with like-minded automotive salvage professionals.  The value in these meetings and relationships is difficult to quantify, but they most certainly can be beneficial if you’re willing to participate and are eager to learn.

 Let’s all work together to make this the most productive and rewarding year for our association, community, and businesses.  The opportunities are right in front of us, the community is there to support us, and we’re only limited by our willingness to take advantage of them.



Auto Salvage - What's in a Salvage Vehicle?

What is recyclable from salvage vehicle?

By Ben Silver - February 15, 2017

Many of my blogs are relative to the auto parts that we sell back to the general public.  Obviously, these parts get reused, which is the ultimate form of recycling.  These auto parts require little processing or “manufacturing” compared to new or aftermarket auto parts.  For this blog, I wanted to focus on the products, pieces, and parts that don’t make it directly back the end customer.  These auto parts and recyclable materials still get reused or recycled, but they’re not the “meat and potatoes” of processing auto salvage.  Here’s a breakdown of what else gets processed from auto salvage vehicles.


Everyone knows that there are many fluids that are necessary to make your vehicle go.  Engines require oil, gas, and anti-freeze.  Transmissions require a specialized oil to ensure that the gears are lubricated.  The list goes on and on.  Used gasoline is found in 90% of auto salvage.  At our facility, we reuse this gasoline in our delivery trucks and yard vehicles.  Our goal is to reuse all of the gasoline we produce at our salvage yard.  We’re able to accomplish this with ease.  Other facilities processing auto salvage may choose to resell there gasoline to companies that clean and reprocess it.  Engine and transmission oil is drained and captured from all of the auto salvage that we process.  This used oil is sold to companies to consolidate it and sell it to processors or refiners to recycle it.  Anti-freeze can be reused after it goes through a filtration process.  Some salvage yards choose to process anti-freeze on-site and sell it back to there customers.  Once we extract anti-freeze from our auto salvage cars and trucks we store it and sell it to a 3rd party processor.  All of these major fluids are recycled and reused for one thing or another.

Core Products for Remanufacture

Most auto salvage will have many “core parts”, which are parts that remanufacture’s rebuild and resell.  Some common “core parts” are starters, alternators, compressors, and power steering pumps.  You’ll see this products at new parts stores branded by the store itself.  Those products originally came out of auto salvage cars and trucks, were sold to rebuilder’s or remanufacturers and the bad components were replaced, they were cleaned up, and now are ready for your vehicle.

Catalytic Converters

Also called “cats”, these are the parts on your exhaust system that clean and scrub the exhaust from your vehicle before it leaves the vehicle and goes into our precious air.  They contain Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium, which are precious metals.  The “cats” are removed and resold to consolidators or “decanners” who remove the precious metals and resell it on the metals market for reuse.


After you process a salvage car or truck, remove the parts you need for resale, remove the fluids, then your left with the residual metal shell.  These shells are purchased by metal recycling companies, crushed down, shredded, and then separated into the different types of salvage metals for resale.  There is mostly steel and aluminum, but traces of iron, copper and other metals are found in auto salvage.

So, that’s the crash course on auto salvage by products and recyclable materials that are recycled and reused.  As you can see, auto salvage is a very environmentally friendly business that is properly disposing of and recycling wrecked cars and trucks.

Ben Silver is the CEO of Central Auto Parts and acting President of the Colorado Automotive Recyclers.  When he's not "auto blogging" or pushing Central Auto Parts to new heights, he's chasing his young daughter around the house or tying flies for the next great fishing adventure.


Colorado Automotive Recyclers Association - Annual Meeting and Events

CAR Annual Meeting

By Ben Silver - January 25, 2017

Salvage yards and used auto parts distributors from all across Colorado will gather this weekend for our Annual Meeting, January 27-28.  As the President of CAR, I wanted to post a blog with information about our association and meeting.

This year, we will hold our meeting at The Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.  We are hoping all the salvage yards that are CAR Member s will be in attendance.  Auto salvage yards from Denver and the surrounding metro area will travel south to converge the all the auto salvage businesses in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and the surrounding southern areas of Colorado.

There will be social events on both Friday and Saturday night so that salvage yard owners can network, share ideas, and create beneficial business relationships.  Owning and operating a used auto parts business is a different animal and these meetings and functions are an opportunity to learn industry specific systems of management and operations.  The meeting will be held Saturday from 8am - 5pm and will feature DJ Harrington.  DJ’s sessions are both informational and motivational and will help provide insights for CAR members to push forward with into the new year.  Used auto parts sales and automotive salvage can be challenging, but events like this can help you understand how to take your salvage yard to the next level.

The meeting will also feature a trade show with some of the best vendors in the country.  We were fortunate to have a great group of sponsors and vendors support the meeting this year.  Salvage yards utilize many different software systems, core auto parts purchasers, and equipment.  All of these industry vendors will be represented and salvage yard representatives are urged to network with vendors and find companies to help them thrive.

Salvage Yards, Used Auto Parts Distributors, New Auto Parts Sellers, Auto Salvage Companies, and even Junkyards are welcome to come and learn all they can at our annual meeting.  We hope to see you there and thank you from the Colorado Automotive Recyclers!

Ben Silver

Central Auto Parts - CEO/Owner

Colorado Automotive Recyclers - President


Minor Wreck? We Got The Auto Parts!

Save money with used auto parts after a winter collision.

By Ben Silver - January 18, 2017

It’s winter in Colorado and we’ve had a number of snowy days and hairy commutes.  Certainly we’ve all seen a car accident or two, and possibly were even involved in one.  Many of these accidents are minor and may not warrant an insurance claim.  If the damage isn’t too bad, used auto parts and a little elbow grease might be just what the doctor ordered to get your car back on the road.

To Claim or Not to Claim

Obviously, this is a question for you as individual.  Does the damage to the vehicle cost more than the deductible?  Do you want to make a claim and incur higher rates next year? Consider your options before making a decision a quick call to Central Auto Parts to find out the cost of the used parts, can help give you a barometer for taking some “DIY” action.

Evaluate the Repair

You should do a little research online to find out what the repair is going to take.  Replacing a headlight or fender can be far different from one vehicle to the next.  Getting an idea of the complexity of the repair based on your specific vehicle should be your first step.  If changing out the damaged part for a quality used part seems to difficult for your skill level, probably better to not pursue it unless you can get help from a skilled friend.  YouTube has amazing videos to guide you through a lot of the repairs you may encounter.  Dealerships may also have resources and documents to guide you.

Used Parts Availability

We have tons (literally) of parts available at our 6.5 acre facility.  Most off the collision parts that you may need for a “DIY” repair are as follows:

Car Doors

Front Fenders





Radiator Supports




Suspension Parts

Obviously, there are many used auto parts that you may seek after a collision.  Some may not be on this list, so just give us a call and one of our courteous and professional sales people would be happy to assist you.

Ben Silver is the CEO of Central Auto Parts and acting President of the Colorado Automotive Recyclers.  When he's not "auto blogging" or pushing Central Auto Parts to new heights, he's chasing his young daughter around the house or tying flies for the next great fishing adventure.


New Used Parts Web Store is Up!

Search Conveniently for Used Auto Parts Online!

By Ben Silver - January 11, 2017

Finding quality used auto parts online has never been easier! We just upgraded our online store to make it quick and easy to search and purchase used auto parts online.  We’re very excited to roll out the store and sales have already been coming in every day.  

Just select “SEARCH USED PARTS” from the home page or use this web address if you want to check it out…


Here’s some of the features…

Shopping Cart & Purchase Available

On the old website store, you couldn’t go all the way through the order process.  You would be submitting a request for the part and filling out a secure credit card form.  Then we would go through our system and put the auto parts you needed on an order and run the card.

Now, you simply select the parts you need, add them to cart, and complete the purchase process.  It’s easier for consumers and easier for us on the back end.

Payment Options

On the new store, we were able to add a “payment gateway” through Authorize.Net.  This allows us to take secure payments in real time.  So as soon as you order the auto parts you need from our online store, they’re paid for and the order can be processed.

We also added PayPal as an option for purchase through the website.  Many people use PayPal to make secure payments for all there online purchases.  Now, if you buy a used engine or transmission from us, you can have the same security and simplicity as you have come to expect when shopping online.

Shipping Times and Expectations

Let’s say your mechanic is in a hurry to get that transmission installed and his shop will have room in three days to get your vehicle serviced.  Now, when you’re searching the website store for the correct transmission, you can see how many days it will take to get it to your destination.  Now, to the right side of the screen where it shows all of the different auto parts options, it shows the expected shipping times.  This takes some of the guess work out of the time frame to get your used parts into the shop.

Getting the Correct Used Auto Part

One of the perceived caveats of ordering used auto parts online, is that you’ll order the wrong part on accident or the supplier will provide the wrong part.  Our new website store does it’s best  to guide consumers into selecting the correct part.  After you select the vehicle year, make, and model, then you can select the part you need.  From there, our website uses the most current used parts “interchange” data to ask you the right questions to find out the specifics of your part need.  You can’t proceed to the purchase step unless you answer these questions and select the correct auto part.

New Parts Available

Our new website is connected to a huge database of new aftermarket parts from top quality vendors in addition to our huge inventory of used auto parts.  Simply select “Aftermarket” from the drop down menu that says “Change Departments” to shop for aftermarket parts as well as used parts.

Thanks for taking the time to read up on our awesome new website.  I urge you to check out the new features the next time you’re in need of used auto parts.

Ben Silver is the CEO of Central Auto Parts and acting President of the Colorado Automotive Recyclers.  When he's not "auto blogging" or pushing Central Auto Parts to new heights, he's chasing his young daughter around the house or tying flies for the next great fishing adventure.