By on July 24, 2009

Three days before launch, the Department of Transportation has finally released the rules [PDF] for car dealers participating in the federal Cash for Clunkers program. Dealers must disable the trade-in’s engine [official powerplant-killing technique after the jump] and then send the clunker to an approved salvage auction or an authorized disposal company, which will kill, crush and destroy (not to mention recycle) the remaining bits. The doc also contains a word to the wise: “The CARS Act specifies that while many parts of the trade-in vehicle are permitted to be removed and sold, in the end the residual vehicle, including the engine block, must be crushed or shredded. Therefore, the trade-in value of the vehicle is not likely to exceed its scrap value. Purchasers should not expect to receive the same trade-in value as they might if the vehicle were to remain on the road.” I wonder how many consumers will make that calculation, or how many dealers will help them in that regard.

Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program

THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT TO BE USED BY THE VEHICLE OWNER

Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.

1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate (SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)
2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.
3. Install the oil drain plug.
4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the vehicle to the desired area for disablement.
5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which should be sufficient in most cases.

CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.

6. Replace the oil fill cap.
7. Start the engine.
8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)
9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.
10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully
charged battery, attempt to start the engine.
11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.
12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no
longer idle.
13. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following:

This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil.

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85 Comments on “Cash For Clunkers: Trade-Ins Get Lethal Injection...”


  • avatar

    Automotive Perversion. We’re gonna destroy perfectly good cars that someone else could use (battered women’s shelters, people in third world countries, etc) with tax dollars?

    I guess it sounds worse now that we actually know how this sausage is made.

  • avatar
    1169hp

    It’s like lethal injection for your car.

    I couldn’t watch it happen…to my 1996 Mustang GT.

    No deal.

  • avatar
    lahru

    What I am seeing coming in on trade for the Clunker Cash is very unroadworthy vehicles that have been so savaged by all of the salt the State of New York uses on the roads in the winter, (Adirondacks) that the drivetrains are their only redeemable parts. I agree that they should of compiled a database if the VIN’s and made them unregisterable and unexportable.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I doubt dealers are going to go to the trouble of following the engine killing procedure for every car that gets traded in. What a waste of time when the engine and the whole car could potentially be re-used if it’s in good enough condition. Stupid government programs… I guess cars could always be shipped to a central location where someone gets paid to disable engines all day, but I still don’t see it happening with every car that gets a rebate handed out.

  • avatar
    George B

    Sad waste of potentially good engines. Since the typical CARS vehicle would be a worn out Ford Explorer, I was looking forward to an abundant supply of 5.0 V8s with the stronger truck block and GT40P heads for drag racing on a budget. Abusing a CARS salvage engine with nitrous oxide a quarter mile at a time would be a better way to get the engine off the street than destroying it with a sodium silicate solution.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I assume I’m not the only one who gets a little misty eyed when my trusted steed needs to be taken out behind the barn?

    When my Passat died, I bought a new one and the old one was sitting in the dealer garage as we moved all my stuff from the old Passat to the new one…. it seemed to say “Please don’t leave me…”

    Sniff sniff – if I knew they were going to poor some chemical into it I think I’d have to rent a storage locker for it.

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    The instructions are like a page out of The Anarchists’s Cookbook.

  • avatar
    70 Chevelle SS454

    Next up: Details on the new anti-inflation program at Department of Treasury, where they issue higher interest Treasury bonds to existing bondholders in exchange for the low interest rate bonds they are already holding. Treasury then ships the “old,” low rate bonds to a central location, where the bonds are burned, according to a detailed procedure.

    Hope and Change!

  • avatar
    friedclams

    I agree with Puthuff, this makes my head spin. The official approved government instructions on how to kill a car! Surreal.

    I wonder, when they melt the block down what happens to the glass? Does it separate out cleanly? Or is this a recycling headache?

  • avatar
    silicate

    You can get the silicate from a company called PQ. 800 944 7411. They sell it all over the country.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    The glass pretty much drains out. The procedure is basically “Replace lubrication with antilubrcation, run until engine grenades itself”

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    Well, we all knew that “scrapping” was part of the program, but it is kind of creepy having to read about it being done. Kinda like ordering steak in a restaurant and having the waiter bring you a live cow and a shotgun….

    In truth, though, all these cars have VALUE, even if just parted out. And you know what that means – where there’s money there’s people who’ll go after that money. I predict fake “death certificates” will abound and many dealers themselves will devote a service bay or 2 to parting out cars and selling the stuff on ebay.

  • avatar
    stevenm

    Lets destroy something of value, and pay for it with debt! What a simply stellar idea. Where do I sign?

    Morons. Every last one of them.

  • avatar
    njoneer

    After reading that, I feel sick.

    How could this value-destroying bill possibly help the economy? Or the environment?

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    If the goal is to get gas hogs off the road; how about crushing the drive train and scavaging everything else (reuse hoses, suspension parts, tires, etc)?

    Anybody here done a cash for clunkers deal? Doesn’t it go live today?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I wish I didn’t read this post.

  • avatar
    Corvair

    One wonders how much money taken from us taxpayers goes to pay the high salaries and benefits for the federal employees who put together such drivel.

    And then the program will need coordinators, compliance monitors, outreach communicators and a gaggle of other non-productive types, all being paid on our dime.

    I’ll echo earlier comments: Where is the value?

  • avatar
    autoarcheologist

    REad it again, it does say that parts can be removed, so the car can be sent to a scrapyard and have some good parts removed, then the engine is grenaded.

    The procedure does make me queasy though, I guess my gearhead runs deeper than my greenie. And I know it would be better for the environment overall to keep reusing these cars rather than building new ones.

  • avatar
    NickR

    This is certainly bad news for all the muscle car, bracket race, and hot rod fans. Most of them don’t want to invest in an aftermarket block, so junkyard scrounging is the way to go. Hot tank, degrease, deck them, install new bearings and you are set. They are great sources of blocks, heads, and (sometimes)intakes.

  • avatar
    h82w8

    The price of junk yard Ford 5.0L V8s and GM 3800 V6s just went through the sun roof.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    I love old cars as much as anyone (’82 toyota SR5 4×4, ’76 BMW 2002)But I can’t help but think that most of the cars that end up in this crusher program deserve it. There are alot of older Oldsmobuicks, Taruses, Chrysler Minivans, etc that need to be off the road period, not donated or left to the less fortunate. Offering an incentive to the owners to do it can’t hurt. Cars keep getting better and there will always be cheap cars out there

  • avatar
    wsn

    werewolf34 :
    July 24th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    If the goal is to get gas hogs off the road; how about crushing the drive train and scavaging everything else (reuse hoses, suspension parts, tires, etc)?
    ——————————————-

    How about tax gasoline to the point that the US is oil self-sufficient and debt-free (due to the increased tax revenue)?

    I am sure by that time gas hogs will not exist on the road.

  • avatar
    wsn

    dswilly :
    July 24th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Offering an incentive to the owners to do it can’t hurt.

    ————————————————

    It can.

    If Chairman Obama choose to give $1M cash for each car crushed, people would turn in brand new Porsche 911′s for a profit. How that can’t hurt?

    So, it can have a negative impact if the incentive is too high.

    Currently at about $4k, the incentive is too high. Many $2k~3k old cars are in good clean condition.

    The program would have made more sense if the incentive is at $1k. Then, real junks will be crashed.

  • avatar
    jmo

    And I know it would be better for the environment overall to keep reusing these cars rather than building new ones.

    As I understand it a new car requires 27 brl or 1142 gallons of oil to produce. A kid trading in a beater pickup for a new civic could save 1142 gallons of gas in about two years.

    So, depending on the trade it does make sense to melt that used F150 down and send the metal to Ohio to be made into a new Civic.

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    “As I understand it a new car requires 27 brl or 1142 gallons of oil to produce”

    I’d be interested to see where that figure comes from. I would think it’s missing a couple of zeros.
    Hell, it probably takes 50 gallons of diesel just to transport a car from factory to dealer on a truck.

  • avatar
    dean

    stevenm: Lets destroy something of value, and pay for it with debt!

    Very succinctly put!

    I agree with wsn’s comment that the rebate value is too high. You will be destroying far too many vehicles that are still worth money to someone.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Hell, it probably takes 50 gallons of diesel just to transport a car from factory to dealer on a truck.

    It’s 778 miles from Marysville Ohio to Boston your average tractor trailer gets about 6mpg. So that’s 129 gallons per trip. Say 10 civics per truck that’s 12.9 gallons/Civic.

    According to UNESCO making and building a car requires 20,000 MJ of energy. A gallon of gas contains 131.76 MJ of energy, so building a car requires 151 gallons of gas.

    http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/file_download.php/a01355752c9e869a63cc5651084cfa30Cars+and+energy.pdf

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    UNESCO’s 20,000-MJ figure seems very much too low to take full account of the energy and resources required to build a new vehicle.

    “How much oil does it take to make a car?” is a tough one to nail down definitively, though it’s easy to answer for those whose agenda is supported by any particular figure. What constitutes “making” a car? How far back in the process do we start? Do we count only the material and energy used within the factory grounds? Or do we go a step upstream and count the material and energy used to make those materials used at the factory, and the energy required to transport them thereto? We can keep taking steps further and further back until we get to the energy required to extract crude oil and mineral ores from the earth, and if we’re looking for the real total energy that goes into a new car, we probably should.

  • avatar
    kowsnofskia

    Such a waste. Let’s destroy decent running cars just to help buoy up some automakers that should have been allowed to take a dirt nap in the first place.

    BTW, how much energy is going to be wasted in crushing and recycling these cars? Could it be more than the amount saved by enticing people to buy more fuel efficient cars (horrors!)?

  • avatar
    jmo

    BTW, how much energy is going to be wasted in crushing and recycling these cars?

    “To produce a ton of steel in an electric arc furnace requires approximately 400 kilowatt-hours per short ton of electricity.”

    One barrel of oil contains 1700 kilowatt-hours worth of energy.

    RetardedSparks – I think you think it takes far more energy to make something than it actually does.

  • avatar
    windswords

    dswilly:

    I agree with you. I love old cars as much as anyone (’82 Ford F150 4×4, ‘76 Firebird Formula WS6) But I can’t help but think that most of the cars that end up in this crusher program deserve it. There are alot of older Isuzus, Accords, Toyota Previa Minivans, etc that need to be off the road period, not donated or left to the less fortunate.

    Robert:
    You missed a good Lost in Space reference if you had used “CRUSH, KILL, DESTROY!” in your post.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    I suggest all who think these engines are valuable go to a large wrecker and look at the engine pile waiting to be shipped out and melted.
    Most are the same as the clunker trade ins only they blew a trans or something. The rebuilders seem to have plenty of cores.
    I do think this disabling is a waste of time. there is no shortage of used engines.

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    Wow, that was seriously f–king creepy. Like reading a veterinarian’s textbook tell you how to put down a golden retriever.

    Bleh.

  • avatar

    HOLY HIPPIE CRAP!?!?! I can’t believe they would do this! I mean.. hasn’t some stupid hippie done a study to see how much extra fuel is burnt for the 3-7 min of all these “gas guzzlers”. I mean granted its not very long, but it seems like the type of thing they would whine about.
    I know there are a few people who just are hold outs, but don’t most people who drive 20 year old trucks 1: not trade in for eco boxes or 2: have really cruddy credit

  • avatar
    jmo

    but don’t most people who drive 20 year old trucks 1: not trade in for eco boxes or 2: have really cruddy credit

    I assume that’s what the free $4500 from the gov’t is for. I’m sure Hyundia Motor Credit will be more than happy to finance anyone who has a job and a $4500 downpayment.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    HOLY HIPPIE CRAP!?!?! I can’t believe they would do this! I mean.. hasn’t some stupid hippie done a study to see how much extra fuel is burnt for the 3-7 min of all these “gas guzzlers”. I mean granted its not very long, but it seems like the type of thing they would whine about.

    This has nothing to do with the green movement and everything to do with providing artificial stimulus to a depressed market.

    If you look at, say, the result of the abwrackprämie it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t stimulate the market. It also earns the ire of the green movement, which should tell you something.

  • avatar
    fiasco

    How much pollution does it make deliberately grenading an engine?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWi0owY1mkU&feature=related

    Give people jobs pulling drivetrains and rebuilding them instead of simply turning them to scrap to make more Kias!

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    If you have to add an abrasive solution to the engine to nuke it, then the car’s not a clunker. What does this do to the old POS cars on the road spewing blue or white smoke from the tailpipe that should be the target of the CARS program? It may very well take some of those cars off the streets, but it also takes outstill decent cars that could be replacing the absolute junkers. And the age restriction is a crock of shit as well. Someone please tell me why it’s a good idea to remove a perfectly good 1998 LeSabre simply based on fuel mileage, but leave a 1979 Volare on the road with worn rings and a rear main seal that’s blown all to hell. On the surface it seems “environmentally friendly” to remove “gas guzzlers” from the road, but for anyone actually paying attention, It’s a giant load from the back end of a horse. I just hope we don’t lose too many Fox Mustangs and F-Bodies.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I’d love it if some hardy engine survived many hours of this awful torture. Any ideas on the toughest?

    I suggest a Slant-6, but most of them don’t qualify under CFC.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Most of those 79 Volares have already taken themselves off the roads and the ones that are still running are a tiny percentage of the “problem”.

    This still just sounds like murder. It creeped me out.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    It seems to be having the desired effect.
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/07/24/hyundai-cars-cash-for-clunkers-will-improve-fuel-economy-by-6/
    Do Fox Mustang GTs even qualify?
    edit
    Yea, Looked it up, (Fords site is nice) it does.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    The real genius of this plan is… Who’s going to get the $4,500?? I’m willing to bet that over 80% of those American tax dollars will be going to NON American auto companies.

    F$%^ing Brilliant!

  • avatar
    davejay

    So, if I had a car that qualified from the west coast (with no rust, but a crap drivetrain) and you had a car that qualified from the midwest (rusted-out but a good drivetrain) I could pay you to let me swap engines and transmissions and whatnot to my car, leaving you with a rusted-out AND barely-running car that you could trade in?

    Not a lot of people will do that, obviously, but the opportunity certainly exists.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    Yep, I know of people trading in otherwise running cars (some of which are even Low Emissions Vehicles) for the CARS rebate.

  • avatar
    YotaCarFan

    This appears to be just a politically motivated effort to reduce the number of SUVs on the road. I think this because many other kinds fuel-inefficient vehicles are excluded from the program:

    * Vehicles with MSRP over $45K don’t qualify;so, RVs, ancient busses, & large trucks (incl 18-wheeler tractors) which pollute a lot are excluded

    * Vehicles over 25 years old; therefore, old passenger cars which lack catalytic converters, burn oil, etc., are excluded

    * Cars with fuel efficiency over 18 mpg don’t qualify; therefore, most passenger cars will probably be excluded

    * Destroying the engine of and crushing the old car prevents those parts from being used in equivalent vehicles still being driven by other owners. This may result in some of those other vehicles running less efficiently and burning more gas or polluting more, since those owners will not be able to get replacement (used) parts.

    * Destroying the old cars will prevent those cars from being used in countries where people are too poor to buy a modern “clean” car, are currently driving even older / worse maintained cars that pollute more, and would be able to afford buying one of the clunkers as a replacement to their older car.

    * The program only considers the vehicle’s when-new EPA mileage rating (must be under 18 mpg). It doesn’t consider the vehicle’s current mpg (which could be lower due to damage, poor maintenance, etc.). Thus, a car that got 19 mpg when new but only gets 10 mpg now due to defects will not qualify, but a well maintained SUV that got 18 mpg when new and gets 18 mpg today will qualify for destruction.

    * The program does not allow destruction of vehicles that pollute more than a certain amount. They could have, for example, written the policy to accept vehicles that get a sufficiently low score on a smog test. That would truly help reduce pollution.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bamster someday decides to make the program *mandatory*. That is, everyone who owns a car getting less than 18 mpg will be required by law to have it destroyed.

    The thing that really irks me is that the $4.5K rebates will be paid for by us, the taxpayers. If the Bamster was fiscally responsible, then he would not destroy the cars, but would instead have them parted out or resold in poor countries, and use the financial proceeds to offset the $4.5K rebate costs to the taxpayer.

    Here’s an interesting question: Are illegal aliens owning clunkers allowed to participate in the program? That is, can an illegal collect $4.5K worth of tax dollars paid by a citizen?

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Sad to see this, really. Think of how many people who could use an old car who can’t afford one. How about using some of the newer ones at trade schools? A lot of 5.0′s are going to get destroyed for nothing. What a waste. If they run clean, they should be spared.

  • avatar
    chris8017

    This was truly disturbing to read as a person who enjoys working on cars. It’s a shame when politics overrun common sense.

    GM & Chrysler should have been left to fail. This program is about inflating car sales including their newly owned GM & Chrysler.

    The real shame is that Ford will end up hurt by GM and Chrysler’s involvement with the Govt. Ford received no bailouts, yet the government will be able to give GM and Chrysler unfair advantages…there seems to be a common trend of rewarding irresponsible companies and hurting the responsible ones as a result.

    Say goodbye to the free market and hello to government cartels…

  • avatar
    kowsnofskia

    “To produce a ton of steel in an electric arc furnace requires approximately 400 kilowatt-hours per short ton of electricity.”

    Yes, but that’s if you’re making pure steel from purified input products. Recycling cars is a much messier process; after the cars get crushed and torn into small pieces, metals have to be separated from non-metals, the metals have to be sorted by type, etc.

    I would bet that this entire process is far more energy-intensive then it’s worth.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    jmo : “To produce a ton of steel in an electric arc furnace requires approximately 400 kilowatt-hours per short ton of electricity.”

    One barrel of oil contains 1700 kilowatt-hours worth of energy.

    RetardedSparks – I think you think it takes far more energy to make something than it actually does.

    I think you think it takes far less energy to make something than it actually does. What about the rest of the mining or recycling operation expenses? What about the buildings, maintenance, and equipment? What about the marketing department? What about the transportation? What about the employee/contractor expenses and any lifestyle excesses paid for by their salary? What about the private jet for the executives and owners? . . .

    In the end, manufacturing and selling a $20,000 car uses a total of $20,000 worth of resources. You’d have to ignore a lot of indirect inputs to think building a Civic only consumes the equivalent of 1142 gallons of oil.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Yota – The 45K limit is for the new car purchase, not the trade in. The original MSRP of the trade in is irrelevant, the customer just can’t use it towards a car that stickers for more than 45K.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Why, oh why, couldn’t they have just made this a $2k incentive to buy a vehicle that gets over 30mpg? That way, if you have a truck that you occasionally need, you can use the incentive to get a truly fuel efficient commuter instead of trading your inefficient truck for a slightly less inefficient truck… because, afterall, you still need a truck. My parents are in this exact situation. They NEED an AWD vehicle to get to work when the snow comes down about 3 weeks per year. Otherwise, a Prius or similar is fine. Under this plan, they’d have to buy another AWD vehicle (which all seem to get 25mpg combined, at best) in order to fit their needs instead of a FWD fuel sipper. A high fuel economy straight incentive does get SUVs off the road… most of the time. It allows people to replace their inefficient vehicles 90% of the time w/ a much more fuel efficient vehicle.

    What an idiotic program!

  • avatar
    tdoyle

    Like someone else posted… I wish I hadn’t read this. But now that I have, I am keeping what I got for a little while longer.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    It might be just me, but I find those car crushers/shredders absolutely fascinating/brutal machines.

    Think, kitten in front of a washing machine.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I’m not bothered by what’s taken off the road.

    I’m bothered by the debt.

    This is simply another reason to keep your money in non-US dollars however possible.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Recycling cars is a much messier process; after the cars get crushed and torn into small pieces, metals have to be separated from non-metals, the metals have to be sorted by type, etc.

    I would bet that this entire process is far more energy-intensive then it’s worth.

    Well, no, actually.

    Recycled aluminum saves 95 percent energy versus virgin aluminum, recycled glass saves 50 percent energy versus virgin glass.

    Worldwide steel production is VERY competitive, but even so generally quoted figures are along the lines of;

    For one tonne of steel recycled results in savings ~1.5 tonnes of iron ore, ~0.5 tonnes of coal, ~40% of the water required in production and ~75% of the energy needed to make steel from virgin material.

    Separation is certainly a long solved and fairly minor problem.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Creepy? Yes. One might call the stipulated disabling procedure “powerplant abortion” (we could say “salting out” except dealers will be using a different kind of sodium compound), and the disablers “automotive vivisectionists.” Die, engine, die!

    Kind of like when the New Deal had millions of little pigs exterminated for the Greater Good (pork was selling too cheap, the government thought).

    And the best part is the whole billion dollars (including the $50 million for bureaucracy) was free! That is, it just went on Uncle Sam’s credit card.

  • avatar
    gzuckier

    because just draining the oil and running it until it won’t run anymore wouldn’t deactivate the engine enough?

  • avatar
    ExtraO

    If this article is true, then this federal “program” is MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE wanton destructiveness of valuable resources, and anybody who participates in it will be making themselves a partner in the crime.

    Way to go Uncle Sam, you’ve just proven beyond a doubt that you don’t even have the morals of a gutter rat.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “Recycling cars is a much messier process; after the cars get crushed and torn into small pieces, metals have to be separated from non-metals, the metals have to be sorted by type, etc.

    I would bet that this entire process is far more energy-intensive then it’s worth.”

    You would loose that bet. About half of the steel made in the US these days starts as scrap, and the biggest source of that scrap is retired cars and trucks. This is being done by the free markets as the cheapest way to produce new steel. The aluminum and copper recovered from scrapped vehicles is much more valuable than the steel. I don’t think you have a concept of how much energy is required to turn iron ore into steel, or the even more massively energy intensive process of turning bauxite ore into aluminum. About 40% of the aluminum produced in the US comes from scrap, with automotive scrap again being the biggest source material.

    Aluminum smelting primer: http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/library_docs/manuals/primmetals/chapter4.htm

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    The people I know do not have the money for a monthly payment, even with the money they might get from this program. This is why they keep their old vehicles and get friends to buy salvaged parts and repair them.

  • avatar
    HarveyBirdman

    RF, perhaps a picture of a poacher clubbing a baby harp seal to death would have been more appropriate for this post, and actually less traumatic than reading the clinical methodology for grenading an engine.

    Yep, no peaceful sleep for me tonight.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Euthanasia for otherwise serviceable engines. Adolf Eichmann would have been proud.

  • avatar
    jmo

    In the end, manufacturing and selling a $20,000 car uses a total of $20,000 worth of resources.

    Ok, out of the $20,000 in resources how much of that is energy? 5k, 10k?

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    50Merc: you get it. I just read that bit about the pigs in one of the books I have been reading on the Great Depression.

    To do that to a piece of machinery makes my chest hurt. I don’t care how humble the engine, it’s just reprehensible to me.

    My mechanical skills are of the “remove and replace” level, but I appreciate the beauty of the engineering, human capital and the physical parts that go into the building of these incredible tools.

    A symbolic win for Luddites everywhere.

  • avatar
    windswords

    50merc:

    “Creepy? Yes. One might call the stipulated disabling procedure “powerplant abortion” (we could say “salting out” except dealers will be using a different kind of sodium compound), and the disablers “automotive vivisectionists.” Die, engine, die!

    Kind of like when the New Deal had millions of little pigs exterminated for the Greater Good (pork was selling too cheap, the government thought).”

    I wonder what will happen when the Government decides that there are too many old people and not enough resources (SS and healthcare) for them?

    HarveyBirdman:

    “RF, perhaps a picture of a poacher clubbing a baby harp seal to death would have been more appropriate for this post, and actually less traumatic than reading the clinical methodology for grenading an engine.”

    Better a picture of an abortion women’s health clinic. I mean they look so nice and mundane on the outside. Like the salvage yard, why think about what goes on inside?

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Of course, after reading through the engine disablement procudure, one can’t help but to shed a tear for those poor Chevy 305′s that will meet their end. Oh the inhumanity of destroying that 3800 with the perpetually bad intake manifold gaskets. The brutality of the merciless destruction of those Chrysler 3.3 engines.

    Won’t somebody save the Chevy 4.3 from exinction”?

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine (New Jersey Version 1.1).

    1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate (SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)
    2. Store solution in an appropriately conspicuous location to fool any DOT inspectors.
    3. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.
    4. Install the oil drain plug.
    5. Fill with new oil.
    6. Get new VIN number from your cousin Sal’s secret book and engrave it on the engine.
    7. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following (don’t forget the f#@!ing asterisks):

    ***This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil***.

    8. Ship engine to Sal’s shop in Bayonne (by the pier).

  • avatar
    lightnig

    PeteMoran :

    It might be just me, but I find those car crushers/shredders absolutely fascinating/brutal machines.

    Think, kitten in front of a washing machine.

    I’m thinking more like a kitten and a tree chipper/shredder…

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @gslippy:
    I suggest a Slant-6, but most of them don’t qualify under CFC.

    Last year for the slant-6 in U.S. applications was ’87 (fair number of Dodge trucks and vans, and perhaps a very few ’84 Diplomat and Gran Fury cheap fleet specials.)

    And while a pre-’81 unit (w/solid lifters) might be somewhat more robust in the top end, yeah, I think if any engine had a shot at surviving this gruesome crapola, it’d be a slant-6!

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ lightnig

    Another Colbert fan!

  • avatar
    cnyguy

    Some of you guys need to get a hold of your emotions. We’re talking about an engine- a collection of parts designed and built to the lowest cost, not some priceless artifact.
    I mean really, do you get all teary-eyed when your toaster oven craps out, remembering all the hot, delicious late-night snacks it provided you? When your cordless electric drill needed new a battery, does it bother you that the old recycled battery pack will be cracked open like a walnut, the innards removed and separated into various barrels of gooey chemicals and metal scraps?
    Of course not.
    As Juniper noted, salvage yards have piles of popular engines waiting for their turn in the Circle of Metal Life- a more than adequate supply to satisfy the (very small) replacement market.
    Destroying the engine of a clunker pretty much foils any attempt to resell, re-register, or otherwise return the car to market to be traded in again. For once, somebody thought ahead.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    When your cordless electric drill needed new a battery, does it bother you that the old recycled battery pack will be cracked open like a walnut, the innards removed and separated into various barrels of gooey chemicals and metal scraps?…

    Actually, it does bother me. I do get attached to my tools. I have replaced cordless tool batteries even when it would be cheaper in the long run to replace the tool itself. It really irks me to throw away things that still have life left in them. I guess that’s due to my parents. Despite being raised in an affluent household, being responsible was drilled into us.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    cnyguy: “I mean really, do you get all teary-eyed when your toaster oven craps out, remembering all the hot, delicious late-night snacks it provided you?”A low-value home appliance that has become completely useless through normal usage, and a vehicle engine that may still have serviceable life and significant value but is willfully being made inoperative, is a rather specious and far-fetched comparison.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @cnguy:

    If I cared as much about toasters and drill batteries as I do about cars, then yes.

    However, even beyond automobiles, I think purposely grenading anything in working condition is a major waste.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Despite attempts to fine-tune this program, it is still stupidly crude.

    For instance, the entire mileage issue could be dealt with using taxes on gas. Barcode gas fillers and boost the taxes for cars that use more gas. The market will take care of the rest.

    Where I live, cars have to pass emissions testing. If we can do it, so can everyone else. Scrap the cars that fail, and tighten up the scores gradually. Simple.

    Cars could be considered for eligibility on the basis of their condition, mileage and pollution. Cars with excellent bodies etc. but nasty engines could be retrofitted with modern clean units. Thus providing jobs and preserving the embedded energy. Cars in generally good condition but pre-modern mileage and pollution scores could be shifted to people who drive very little and/or have even worse cars. Thus raising the fleet quality at minimal cost plus preserving the embedded energy.

    Why should our 1990 sedan that breezes through emissions testing and gets 40mpg on the highway and is in fine shape, be at risk to this sort of thing? Why should my father, who drives 2000km per year, be incented to scrap his 1995 Cougar XR7 and have a new car manufactured for him?

    These cash for clunker programs exist to pander to the automobile lobby, but otherwise look like someone trying to improve their life while staggering drunk. The doo-doo we’re in is too deep to afford clumsy “solutions” like this and ethanol.

  • avatar
    cnyguy

    @golden2husky:

    I do get attached to my tools

    A)Don’t love something that can’t love you back.

    B)By the time the batteries in even the best cordless tools give out, the rest of the tool usually has enough wear (and technology has advanced enough) to make replacement the responsible decision. I bought my first cordless drill in the early 1980’s and have since replaced it three times. Each succeeding generation has been better in every way.

    @rudiger:

    A low-value home appliance that has become completely useless through normal usage, and a vehicle engine that may still have serviceable life and significant value but is willfully being made inoperative, is a rather specious and far-fetched comparison.

    For most engines, their service life is the same as the vehicle they are in. Modern salvage yards only keep a vehicle for X number of days and when times up, the whole thing goes into the crusher/shredder. Unless there is a heavy demand for the engine, it goes too. As far as significant value, there are two pick-and-pull yards near me selling used engines for $50. Which is less than a new toaster oven costs and not what I would call significant value.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Automotive Perversion. We’re gonna destroy perfectly good cars that someone else could use (battered women’s shelters, people in third world countries, etc) with tax dollars?

    Oh well, these program cannot benefit the underdogs!

    They’re no difference than anybody else, u wanna wheels u need to work our Arschloch off baby.

    In reality all these rules & laws do prevent any of the underdogs group to get ahead at all, and we do need these petty bougeois to keep riding the People Ezpress aka the Bus. Or else the Transit Toms will be out of werk too.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Heard in Europe or Germany some dealers do bring these de-commissioned wheels to sell in underdog countries.

    Mind u if they allow these old cars to be on the road, Mr. Tata’s mobile wont be selling like hot cakes.

  • avatar
    ACjeepmon

    I just traded my 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee (171,000 miles) in for a 2009 Corolla. Went from 16mpg to 31mpg. I found out that my old cherokee would be completely scrapped including the engine. I wish that I would have taken the newly serviced transmission out first. The gubment gave me what it was worth to me.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Jack Kevorkian approves.

  • avatar
    Accords

    Hmm…
    Going from a 99 G.C into a Corolla…

    Maybe ya shoulda bought the Corolla in the first place.

    As far as trade ins of various shit vehicles..
    Im down with every SUV / CUV pulled out from every rock under the sun.. dragged in and shredded.. and everyone gets a Fit / Corolla / Vibe..

  • avatar
    Appalled

    Guess how most used car dealers/lots get there cars?
    FROM NEW CAR DEALERS.
    New car dealers sell their 5 year old and older cars to small family owned used car dealers.
    They have just made it so that if you have less then $5,000 it will be hard to find a car.

    So if you can’t afford a new car, you just got hosed!

    Oh & so did the car donation charities!

  • avatar
    pajamas

    engine destruction is for people who want $4500, not for people who want a 96 mustang GT. if you have a p.o.s. buick you’d probably be happy to see it put to sleep for $4500.

    but honestly it is heart wrenching to hear how they kill the engines. it is like a recipe for euthanasia, or reading the vet’s instruction manual for putting dogs to sleep. just awful.

    but i hope the average fuel economy in the usa improves, and not too many people end up in new cars they can’t afford.

  • avatar
    Vinniestaples

    This Is a disgrace its watefull I went by my local dealership and saw a perfectly good gmc z71 extended cab pickup with a new sticker being destroyed I assaulted the tech performing this I am a mechanic run a shop and see people driving unsafe vehicals everyday that will NEVER take a LEGAL sticker I wanted to purchase this truck for my mother in law I have one identical that gets 24 mpg the reason most people dont get good mileage with thier vehicals is not the vehicals fault but more so operator error excessive speed impudent driving waiting till your 10 feet from a red light to stop from 75 ect. I will never drive a compact or sub compact again I had a civic and corolla and got what my full size z71 gets not what everyone else gets what i get. i get customers come in my shop complaing shakes over 80 the speed limit is only 65…. I think they are making vehicals and laws more to accomodate bad and even less competent drivers and It makes me sick to see nice vehicales destroyed when there are many on welfare getting state aide to keep some toilet running that WILL NEVER PASS A STATE INSPECTION. Im really disgusted with whats being done with my tax dollars


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