It’s finally happened.

The car you’ve poured time, love, and (most importantly) money into has finally bit the dust. It’s time to make that call to the mobile mortician and give your car the farewell funeral.

But wait. There are parts in and on the car you might want to keep before it’s gone forever. Can you remove them from your totaled vehicle?

In short? Yes. However, once you remove parts from a totaled vehicle, the total loss value will be reduced because they are missing. Exchanging the removed parts with a different type of component will result in the total loss value being adjusted to reflect the condition or type of part you are replacing.

Is It Even Worth It?

calculator with keys

Once the total loss valuation is assigned to your vehicle, it is only worth removing parts if the parts are worth significantly more than the valuation. Also, the benefit of having these parts in your possession should outweigh how much their removal would impact the valuation.

In order to mitigate or even completely negate the reduction in valuation completely, you can replace the removed part with a similar component. The replacement part, if it is in worse condition than the vehicle’s normal equipment or has less features, will lower the total loss valuation when the adjuster reruns it.

Removing an upgraded part and replacing it with the original part for that model will, however, not impact the valuation. You get to keep the more expensive part, but have to deal with the hassle of removing and replacing it.

Consider the steps necessary to remove your parts. If your vehicle is at a tow yard, total loss yard, or a body shop, whether or not you’re allowed to remove parts from the vehicle is at the total discretion of the property owner (who you will probably have to pay). On top of that, removal has to be conducted during work hours as most shops and storage locations are closed to customers after 5pm or on weekends.

Furthermore, some locations don’t allow parts removal at all and only allow you to remove your personal items under supervision.

Are Aftermarket Parts Fair Game For Removal?

As long as you replace the original model’s parts, you can remove aftermarket parts from your totaled car. If you fail to replace the aftermarket part, then your insurance adjuster can simply subtract its value from your claim.

removing parts from car

It’s critical that you alert your insurance adjuster that you’re removing aftermarket parts if they’ve already inspected it. If you fail to report it and the adjuster reviews the vehicle again, your vehicle’s value can be impacted.

Common Items For Removal

Speakers & Stereos

Removing the stereo from a total loss vehicle is worthwhile if you still have the original stereo to replace it, it is worth more than the reduction in the total loss value, and you are handy enough to do the replacement yourself. If you find yourself saying not checking off any of those aforementioned criteria, then it’s best to leave the stereo in and chalk that one up as a loss.


Batteries are some of the most common parts someone wants to remove from their total loss vehicle, the reason being that they had just recently purchased the battery prior to whatever event totaled their vehicle.

Removing the battery is worthwhile when you have another battery to replace it or the prior damage estimate for not replacing the battery is still low enough when compared to the price of the battery you’re removing.

It is not worth removing the battery when the hood of your vehicle has been jam shut or crushed. You should also forgo removing the battery if all you have to replace it with is an old battery.


Wheels can also be removed from a total loss vehicle as long as you have a replacement set. Otherwise, there will be a deduction on the value of your total loss.

Also, the replacement wheels must be in good condition and of a similar style. Should you replace the wheels with a set that differs significantly from the wheels being removed, you will see a reduction in the total loss vehicle’s value.

DamagedCars Is The Solution For You!

do it online

Parting out a totaled vehicle can be a labor intensive process, especially if your car expertise is that of the average person’s: next-to-none.

That’s where DamagedCars steps on stage. We remove the hassle associated with your totaled vehicle.

Need it towed? We handle that for free. We make it a breeze to deal with your totaled vehicle. It takes just three easy steps to get an offer. 

1. Describe your vehicle
2. Accept the quote
3. Wait for the pickup and payment! 
It couldn't be easier! Get an offer from DamagedCars today and sell your totaled vehicle in just 24-48 business hours!

Can I get money for my totaled car?

Yes, you can. If you don’t have collision coverage, you can still sell your car to a dealership or junkyard as a salvage vehicle. Granted, there can be costs that will cut into your profits, like the price of towing.

JunkCarMasters minimizes the costs and hassles so that you take home the biggest profit you can for your totaled vehicle.

What happens if I reject a settlement offer?

Once rejected, that offer is considered “dead,” where you cannot change your mind and accept it later. Your option at that point is to present a counteroffer, where you are now the party submitting the offer. The insurance company now has the option to accept or reject your offer.

Can you fight your car being totaled?

Should you think your totaled car is worth enough to justify repair, you can refute the insurance company’s choice to declare it a total loss. However, expect to have to provide evidence to support your car being worth undertaking a full repair.