The (supposed) destruction of an engine under "Cash for Clunkers"

CARS, commonly known as the "Cash for Clunkers" program sponsored by the U.S. government, is a hot topic this summer. This video supposedly demonstrates the methods that a "clunker" engine is disabled under the CARS program.

Gary Spencer
2 min read

I suppose many readers have wondered what exactly happens to a vehicle that is traded in under the CARS (aka "Cash for Clunkers") program that the U.S. government has endorsed in order to not just stimulate the economy by encouraging American consumers to trade in their older vehicles toward the purchase of a brand new car.

So what happens to your old hoopty once you trade it in for $4500 or less toward a new car? It is speculated that one of the first things an auto dealer or mechanic will do to your "clunker" is disable the engine. So how is this accomplished? One of the more common methods is by emptying the oil and replaced by a mixture of salt/water/silica into the engine. At this point, it's simply a matter of revving the engine until it freezes up and stops running. This video here is a supposed demonstration of how a vehicle is disabled and intended for destruction under the CARS program.

Many car lovers and environmentally-friendly types consider such destruction to be sacrilege, echoing sentiments that it not only wastes potentially usable vehicles, but that the destruction of the so-called "clunkers" is nearly as destructive to the environment as the supposed emissions expelled by these supposedly non-ecofriendly older vehicles if they were still in use. Other people are inclined to think that while the destruction of these cars may not be ideal, but that the hope of stimulating the auto industry and the economy in a way that American consumers can benefit is the greater good. Again, it is not for me to take a stance on whether this program and its procedures are right or wrong in this forum. But I have seen several videos of what allegedly takes place to the engines of these "clunkers" to disable them for further destruction, and the public deserves a right to view such footage in consideration of what they belive is right and/or wrong with the "Cash for Clunkers" concept.