10 Surprising Car Parts That Can Be Recycled or Reused

parts of a carAs a car owner today, there’s a bigger responsibility than ever to recycle the parts of a car. It’s not just about taking good care of your car, but also of the world around you when you and your car part ways.

Luckily for you, there’s also never been a better time than now for recyclable car parts and components.



With a good 90-95% chance that the parts on your car are actually salvageable, there’s no reason left not to be recycling your used car parts.

Join us, today, as we take a closer look at ten surprising car parts that can be recycled or reused.

1. Tires

One of the most commonly burnt out parts on any car is its tires.

These can be a huge hazard if they blow out while you’re in transit. Moreover, they result in air and soil pollution due to their toxic compositions. These tires create an oily runoff when left out in garbage piles to decompose. This runoff is flammable, making it even more dangerous.



Reputable tire dealers will take your worn out tires to for use, resale, and recycling. Old tires can be broken down and turned into rubberized asphalt, for use in highways.

2. Engine Oil

The first thing you’ll be happy to learn about recycling motor oil is that it never wears out. For standard oils, you’ll get a good three months’ worth of usage, on average. Synthetic oils tend to last a while longer. But when this period is over, they’ll just be dirtier than they had been.

It’s inevitable that, with use, these oils will get dirty. And as it becomes dirtier, it tends to perform less effectively. You’re going to want to change it but, if you can find a reputable dealership, you could also simply get your oil cleaned. This way, the oil itself is safe to be reused, and can even be resold in certain cases, if you still wish to change it out.

3. Batteries

Car batteries are another surprisingly easy car part to recycle. Simply look at the numbers. With 98 to 99 % of all batteries being recycled, the only things holding you back from recycling your battery are state regulations.

Keep in mind, state and regional laws exist to protect the earth from toxic chemicals. And, if that isn’t motivation enough, getting caught “misbehaving” can cost you a lot in fines.

4. Alternators and Starters

Alternators are one of those car parts that can wear out and, when it does, take the functionality of your entire car with it.

Luckily for you, it’s possible to remanufacture them, with the right contact and a little hard work. This is good news because they can be quite expensive to buy brand new. From a purely economic standpoint, it’s a part that makes much more sense to buy refurbished than new.

In a pinch, starters and alternators can be removed and sent off for remanufacturing, as well.

5. Oil Filters

Used oil filters are another part of your car that can be completely recycled. It’s with this in mind that most states have instituted strict disposal regulations for the oil filters on any car.

Oil recycling centers are available in most cities, and can safely remove, process, and dispose of your used car oil filter. If you don’t have access to one, you can opt to have your oil changed at an auto shop that simply recycles its oil filters.

6. Auto Glass

There are millions of windshield replacements carried out in the United States every year, minimum. In years gone past, you’d have a tough time removing a windshield and recycling it.

Now, with modern windshield unit designs, reusing and recycling auto glass has never been easier. The constituent parts are used to make everything from concrete apparatuses to glass bottles. This makes it a handy resource, and dealers who offer cash for cars now often buy auto glass, as well.

7. Engines and Transmissions

Recycling engines and transmissions are a great way to get better mileage out of your car’s most important parts. These parts are dismantled before being cleaned so that they can be reconditioned and, eventually, resold. These can be sold back to you, or sold onward to a new buyer, as a cheaper alternative to buying a new engine altogether.

What’s important to keep in mind is that many mechanics can rebuild a used automobile engine to its fullest performance abilities. These remanufactured engines can even be more efficient than they were when they were new, as the materials used to repair them are likely to be newer.

In a list of recyclable auto parts, engines and transmissions are the most valuable to both the owner and the recycler (not to mention the planet).

8. Scrap Metal

The biggest resource in car recycling is in scrap metal. Damaged vehicles that are past their recoup value can be broken down into scrap for melting, which can be used in all sorts of ways.

Everything from car rims to fenders and other scrap pieces can be sold at any decent scrap metal yard. These facilities process your car, turning it into automotive scrap for use in various other industries.

9. Belts

When it comes to what’s going on under the hood of your car, there’s nothing more important than your belts and chains. That said, these can be invaluable for recycling. Junked cars, by way of an example, are often decommissioned with a full set of working parts in some area or another. If yours has a set of belts that are in good shape, and don’t look like they’ll need replacing, you’ll be able to bring them in for reclamation.

10. Mats and Carpets

New car mats will usually feature a large amount of recycled rubber, with some polyester or other material to make them more comfortable. It’s the rubber that makes them one of the great unsung recycled products of the automotive industry. Bring your old carpets into your dealer or to a scrap yard, for more information on recycling and repurposing them.

Get More From The Parts of A Car, With Pro Recycling

The parts of a car are made to be sturdy. Steel bodies, reinforced glass, and high-density rubber make your car a machine you can rely on. They also linger around, long after your car’s gone to that great scrapyard in the sky.

Everything’s recyclable, though, or nearly everything, and it’s up to us to give back to the world around us by repurposing our car parts. Hopefully, with today’s tips in mind, you’ll be ready, the next time you change out your vehicle.

Looking for more tips on taking care of, repairing and using your car in better ways? Check out some of our other great blog posts, today, and be the best vehicle owner you can be.