Like so many other industries, the recycled-parts business is going through consolidation and modernization as regulations and competition forces changes. Gone are the days of wandering among acres of wrecked and rusted-out cars, looking for a straight control arm for a Pontiac J2000 that was the victim of a late-night off-road excursion. Nowadays, you walk up to the counter and enquire about the availability of a component, just like at the local parts store (and AutoZone now offers used parts). The larger yards often have online searchable databases, and of course there's sites such as Car-part.com that link together thousands of recycling yards. The upside of this is reduced hassle and a greatly-decreased chance of getting crushed by precariously-lifted cars; the downside is the loss of father-son time spent while looking for those last few parts for the latest project car.
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