When buying used car parts, you want to make sure you are getting them in the best condition possible. Just because you are buying second hand equipment doesn’t mean you deserve second hand quality. So visiting only a junkyard with a reputation for distributing quality inspected parts is your best course of action.
The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is your protection when purchasing parts from a junkyard or used car part distributor. Established in 1943, the ARA trade association not only protects consumers, implementing certain standards and requirements for used auto parts, it also oversees proper and safe disposal of scrap auto parts.
With about 3,000 member companies and junkyards across the country, the ARA standards are in place to make sure you aren’t scammed out of money with substandard auto parts. Substandard auto parts from non-certified scrapyards not only protect you as a consumer, but also protect your safety on the road.
Among the most important certifications is to that of used wheels. You literally have a lot riding on your wheels. They not only carry your 3,800lb automobile through town and on road trips, they carry the lives of you and your family. Ensuring they meet certain standards and criteria is crucial for your protection. Because of this, the ARA has put in place a series of tests. If the wheels don’t pass this series of tests, they cannot be sold as wheels and can only be sold as scrap metal. After visually inspected for cracks, bent rim flanges and distortions to determine if the wheel is at all worthy of putting in inventory they are given a grade.
The ARA wheel grading standards range from A to C based on their condition and subsequent usability. Grade A wheels have absolutely no blemish, grade B does have a blemish of one unit or less while grade C has a blemish of greater than one unit of damage. No hammering, straightening or reforming is allowed to improve grade ranking, just as corrosion and gouges cannot be corrected with sanding or polishing.
This is just one of the examples member businesses of the ARA practice to keep your used auto parts in top working order. If a member of the ARA does not follow the guidelines set forth by the Association, they can be barred, losing their certification. And if they are not an ARA member, you should not buy used auto parts from the establishment.