Snobby Mommy Visits a Junkyard

“Do I look like the kind of woman who wants to go to a junkyard??”

Those were the snobbish words I used to reply to the Jiffy Lube technician when he suggested I scour a junkyard in order to find a replacement housing for my Chevy’s taillight.  The light bulb had burnt and melted away into the housing, and a repair was out of the question.  Working taillights are essential; I needed to find a new part and quick.

“Indeed!,” I thought haughtily.  The idea of a pile of rubbish appalled me. Aren’t junkyards dirty, unorganized, with little critters running about, ready to pop out as you inspected the decrepit automobiles?  My dad took my brother to junkyards to scout for missing parts, but that was them.  Definitely not to this Snobby Mommy’s liking.

My arrogant Snobby Mommy attitude appears from time to time and I’ve always regretted it; but it was time I learned another lesson.


Beware the junkyard dog.

Two separate visits to auto parts stores made me re-think strategy.  They wanted $80 for a new housing. Certainly I could find something cheaper than that.  Repeating the words of the Jiffy lube tech, the store clerk let me in on a secret: “Check out a junkyard,” he suggested.

I Relented…

We took his advice and headed over to LKQ A-Reliable, a used auto parts dealer located in Blue Island. I was still skeptical, but I’m willing to go out of my way for a price cut.

And there we were blown away with superior service at LKQ’s. They greeted us at the door with a smile and we entered an immaculate storefront. The representative immediately checked the computer for a 2005 Chevy Cobalt rear taillight housing. Bingo. Found. “That will be $27.00. Please proceed into the next room and pick up your part. And have a wonderful day.”

Lesson learned: my aloof self is holding me back.

LKQ is amazing in its professionalism, organization and cleanliness. The storeroom was spotless and the staff presented me with the exact part I needed – and I saved over $50 to boot.

final-junkyardMy husband Dave was excited to see the shop and talk with all the fellas in the parts room. We learned that recycled parts are one way of being environmentally friendly.  LKQ takes its work seriously and is doing its part to be cognizant of its ecological footprint.  There was some serious discussion between Dave and the associate about tires, proper alignments, oil grades and other car-talk.  I stood there calmly — as long as I could before I wanted to fall down from boredom.

Finally we left with my husband hanging out the window, waving and calling to the serviceman, “You’re a good guy, buddy!” (Poor husband-o’-mine.  He needs some serious guy time.)

We took off, package in hand, on a beautiful sunny day, knowing that junkyards are our new best friend.

So the next time you’re in need of an auto part, try your local junkyard first.  Pick up a taillight housing, a used transmission, or if you’re feeling especially lucky, possibly a flux capacitor.  You’ll save money and help keep our Earth green.

Filed under: Chicago at Its Finest

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