Since scrapped cars are all about metal and scrapping is all about crushing, you might think of your car as just going off to something like a wood chipper after it has reached the end of its life (only for steel and iron).
But the process is definitely more involved than this. After all, this isn't like getting rid of organic material that will be reclaimed by the Earth. If you're going to sell your car for scrap, we tell you more about what happens after you turn over the keys.
Freon, Tire, and Battery Removal
Scrapped cars typically start off by having the freon and battery removed. If the battery or tires can be resold, they will be. Junkyard and salvage yard owners are happy to give parts another life if their journey isn't complete. You'll see this theme repeated throughout the process.
Liquids Drained and Core Parts Removed
The junkyard will have to lift the car up to drain all the fluids from it, and they'll typically drill several holes to make it easier to get the oil, gas, brake fluid, etc. out. If the fluids can be reused, they will be. (Some fluids are reused as-is, while others can be mixed with other fluids to make alternative fuels.) Any usable wires are also removed and sorted through. Much of the real value of the junkyard though is to make sure that everything is properly disposed of.
If the scrapyard isn't going to resell a part though, that doesn't mean it doesn't have value beyond that of its weight. For instance, it's the catalytic converter that contains some of the more premium metals in the car, such as platinum. Used to lessen the emission volume of a vehicle, these rare metals can be used in everything from new car parts to electronics. A good technician will work to extract those metals so they can be resold. (It's something of a pain in the neck to do, but again, is worth the effort.)
Once the liquids are done, the next step is to remove the exhaust and the catalytic converter. The junkyard can sell these parts if they're in good shape. Once this is complete, this is generally where the engine gets ripped out of the car.
The Final Crush
Total destruction comes when all of the necessary parts are stripped down. For most scrapped cars, the windows are broken, the car is crushed into a rectangular heap by a baler, and then it's taken to a scrap metal facility and sold by weight. Every individual vehicle will undergo slightly different treatment, depending on anything from its size to condition, but the main process will be similar if you're selling the car for scrap.
Fun Facts About Scrapping Your Car
All right, you might not think of a scrap yard as particularly fun (same goes for these facts), but there are a few things you might want to know:
- Dead batteries can sometimes cause some static in the recycling process. That's because the lead needs to be removed and recycled before the casing can be repurposed.
- Those old, bald tires might be recycled into a welcome mat or they might go straight to a playground where they can protect small children from taking a tumble.
- The plastic components of many newer cars today can be turned into any number of items after it's been scrapped.
- Steel and iron typically account for more than 60% of cars. However, the proportions...they are a-changin. In addition to more plastic used, your car may have a lot more aluminum to make it a little speedier on the road. Most of that metal is put right back into new car parts after it's stripped.
- The standard steel and iron can go into anything from bridges to appliances to new road signs.
Recycling is big these days, not just because it's better for the environment, but because it's more efficient. Why go through the process of creating a new part when the old ones can be repurposed? The right car scrapper will ensure that everything is done responsibly, so you get the most cash as possible. (Oh, also that the Earth doesn't explode in 15 years from sheer exhaustion.)
Are All Scrapped Cars Worth the Same?
No. Some cars are inherently worth more based on their make and model, particularly when they house in-demand parts that command a high price in the market. What you get for your car comes down to the condition of many of these parts as well as the content of those parts.
With Junk Car Medics, you can rest assured that we know how to accurately assess vehicles and offer a fair price for them. While it takes a lot of effort to scrap a car on the technician's part (which ultimately does bring your offer down a little), our network is designed to be as efficient as possible. Between our reputable network of partners and fast service, we take the hassle out of selling your car without skimping on the cash that ends up in your pocket.