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  1. #11  
    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    Why crush the "clunkers"? Affordable, low-cost housing! :D
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  2. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    I heard on the radio this morning that some salvage yards won't take them and there are dealerships that are having trouble getting rid of them.
    Wouldn't surprise me. There is limited space in junkyards, after all. It takes time to create space to store these cars.


    Jinx: strap on your tinfoil.
    Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
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  3. #13  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Wood View Post
    Wouldn't surprise me. There is limited space in junkyards, after all. It takes time to create space to store these cars.


    Jinx: strap on your tinfoil.
    They did not want them because the engines were full of crap!
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  4. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    They did not want them because the engines were full of crap!
    Sure, but the trick is that most of your bigger junkyards have boatloads of good engines. Most cars go to junkyards because they are totaled out by the insurance company after a wreck. In 99% of those cases, the engine is still servicible even if the body is trashed.

    So you've got 1000 junked cars on your lot, including 10 wrecked 1990 Caprices that were wrapped around a tree with 35,000 miles on the odo. Why not just drop one of those engines into another '90 caprice that has 163,000 on the clock, but a liquid glassed engine? Instant car!
    Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
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  5. #15  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    http://www.theindychannel.com/news/20268397/detail.html
    Junk Yard Owners Unhappy With 'Clunkers' Program
    Government Restricts What Parts Can Be Sold

    POSTED: 5:39 pm EDT August 3, 2009
    UPDATED: 7:29 pm EDT August 3, 2009

    INDIANAPOLIS -- While car shoppers are lining up to trade in their clunkers, and dealerships are reporting record sales, some business owners aren't as happy with the government's Cash for Clunkers program.

    Junk yard owners are dealing with an influx of older cars and new restrictions concerning what parts they can and cannot sell, 6News' Sarah Cornell reported.

    "There's a lot of things on cars that we are going to be able to sell, and a lot of things on cars that we're not going to be able to sell," said Jim Dill, who has been in the junk yard business

    for 53 years.


    The government won't let junk yards resell engines, emission systems or fuel pumps, as part of the effort to get older, less fuel-efficient vehicles off the roads. But those parts can equal big money at junk yards.

    "We usually sell an engine on the type that we'd be getting for $350 to $500," Dill said.

    Another obstacle junk yards are facing is inventory. Since most of the cars turned in are older, most of their parts aren't needed.

    And even while area dealerships are profiting from the program, they said the process can be tedious.

    Butler Kia has taken in hundreds of clunkers since the program began, but the paperwork for each vehicle can take up to eight hours.

    "It's kind of like shoving a basketball through a needle. It's almost impossible to get a deal through the government Web site right now," said owner Rob Butler. "You've probably got somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 car deals trying to be inputted by 20,000 people. The site just can't handle the volume."

    The U.S. Senate will vote Wednesday on whether or not to give car dealerships $2 billion in additional funding for the Cash for Clunkers program, money already approved by members of the House.

    If it does not pass, the program will be suspended.
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  6. #16  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    http://www.newgeography.com/content/...ard-efficiency
    Cash For Clunkers” Doesn’t Utilize Junkyard Efficiency
    by Andrea Gregovich 08/02/2009

    My father owned and operated a junkyard in Tucson for a number of years, and I learned a lot about the auto recycling industry helping around the office and as a delivery driver. So as a junkyard enthusiast, the “Cash For Clunkers” program naturally caught my interest lately. Though it looks to be the product of good intentions, I don’t think the legislation understands that junkyards already comprise an efficient, well developed recycling system for salvaging vehicles, with a beneficial result for the environment overall. I’m skeptical that quickly scrapping so many government-defined “clunkers” and replacing them with new, fuel-efficient models will have a substantial environmental benefit, because the plan has the potential to waste many useful materials in these cars.

    A junkyard may appear to be little more than a landfill for old cars if you’re just driving by, but in fact, to succeed, it must function as a highly efficient recycling operation. Junkyards sell parts to other junkyards, mechanics, and directly to consumers, and attempt to make as much of a profit as possible from each part on every car in their inventories.

    There is also a network of scavengers who travel around to junkyards gathering large core items, like alternators and starters, and a number of precious metals in small amounts that most don’t even recognize as in our cars. (Catalytic converters, for example, contain platinum and palladium, which are quite valuable when salvaged.) But a car needs to sit on the lot for a considerable period of time for this recycling process to work itself through. Parts from a car are usually sold one at a time over a period of months or even years; scavengers work on their own schedules. A scavenger may only come by a junkyard a few times a year to core out a particular metal or gather the useful components. Meanwhile, the junkyard needs to be selling parts off the car for it to be financially worth keeping in the inventory. A car is only sent off to be crushed for scrap metal when it no longer retains enough value to justify filling the space on the lot.

    If the Cash For Clunkers program is successful, it has the potential to throw a wrench into the system. The program’s rules require that the engine of a trade-in car be destroyed with an injection of sodium silicate so that the car won’t be resold and put back on the road. The rules seem to encourage the immediate crushing and shredding of the trade-in cars, but should they remain on junkyard lots, their inventory value would take an immediate hit with a non-functioning engine (the most valuable part of the car). To what degree the value decreases depends on the extent of the engine damage, the demand for the particular engine, and the age of the engine.

    A genuine old clunker would be likely to have a well used, and therefore less valuable engine, but then, the “clunker” program nickname (its official title is the “Car Allowance Rebate System”) is something of a misnomer. To be eligible for the program, cars must fall into certain categories of fuel inefficiency, be less than 25 years old, and worth less than $4500. This includes a number of models from the nineties. A working engine in many of the models targeted for the program is likely to have fewer miles on it, and therefore a higher inventory value, than a more traditionally defined clunker.

    But engine issues aside, if the program succeeds in taking a large number of particular models off the road, it could have an even more drastic effect on the junkyard value of those models, simply by lowering the demand for their parts. If there are only a few of a given model on the road, few consumers will buy parts for them from junkyards. Many junkyards are picky about which models they purchase for inventory, and won’t even bother with a model if there is little or no demand for its parts. So if Cash For Clunkers leaves some car models without junkyard value, those models would start going directly to the crusher, taking many of their valuable components with them. The scrap metal from crushed cars is used to make things like rebar and fence posts, so it isn’t as though the scrap winds up in the landfill. But it’s still a waste for precious metals and other valuable components to be crushed down with the low-end materials for low-end product.

    And even beyond the metals, something mundane like a plastic glove box has its own environmental impact. The overall junkyard process, where cars without “street” value become parts donors for cars still in use, prevents a great deal of after-market manufacturing of glove boxes and all the other parts that wear out or get damaged in cars on the road. If entire models are abruptly taken off the road, devalued at the junkyard, and crushed, it means that many new glove boxes must be manufactured – both for the new cars replacing the model, and for any other models and even makes still on the road for which that model of glove box, or stereo, or steering column fits (and many parts are surprisingly versatile this way). That could mean a boost in manufacturing, sure – but it also means an environmental impact that offsets some of the gains from the new fuel-efficient car that replaces the clunker.

    Cash For Clunkers is scheduled to end November 1, so it’s unlikely to have a long-term effect on the auto recycling industry beyond burdening it with a glut of devalued inventory. But so far the program is popular, and may be expanded or set a precedent for future programs. If this happens it could take a toll on the junkyards and their ability to recycle effectively. If there are suddenly millions of brand new car models on the road, there would be a period of hardship for the auto recycling industry, as the new cars would be running well, with any repairs done mostly under warranty at the dealerships with new parts. This whole scenario could also, by extension, tax the junkyard consumer base of low income, self-sufficient individuals whose cars are older, skillfully maintained, and perhaps most importantly, paid off.

    It’s beyond my pay rate to comprehensively evaluate the net difference in environmental impact between manufacturing and selling new, fuel-efficient cars for these quick “clunker” trade-ins and letting the older models stay on the road. But a legitimate evaluation would clearly involve more complex factors than a simple comparison of fuel efficiencies. Yet it’s clear that the program doesn’t appear to insert any innovative solutions into an already dynamic and effective recycling system. Even if it has some positive outcomes, it doesn’t look like Cash For Clunkers will utilize the industry’s full potential for environmental benefit.

    Perhaps its primary motive lies elsewhere, in its attempt to jump-start the auto industry with a “green” marketing gimmick. But in the process we may have reaped some unintended damage on a sometimes unsightly but remarkably environmentally resourceful industry.
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