Saw this in the November issue of Road & Track…
…the dealership was taking in a lot of trades on the Cash for Clunkers program — they’d sold 60 cars in four days! — but he also noted that, in one respect, it was kind of a shame.
“How so?” I asked.
“Well, when these cars come in, we’re required by law to destroy the engines so they can never run again. The mechanics have been draining the oil and the coolant out of them, and then giving them the old broomstick test, or putting a brick on the accelerator until the engine seizes.”
“Really…” I said, suddenly feeling a little lightheaded.
“We had a really clean older Chevy pickup come in on trade — no rust, 6-cylinder engine running perfectly — and we had to drain the oil and burn out the engine. We also had a nice Windstar minivan come in with about 100,000 miles on it. It ran fine, but we had to destroy it.”
“What happens to the rest of the car, once the engine is gone?”
“It has to be scrapped and parted out.”
Strangely, I hadn’t even asked myself — until that moment — what would happen to our Jeep if we traded it in. I guess I naively pictured it being given to a medical clinic in sub-Saharan Africa, or going to some happy hunting ground where Jeeps are young again, and free to perch on buttes in Monument Valley.
The very idea of intentionally ruining that trusty old 318 in our Jeep — a classic American V-8, and one of the best — made me suddenly queasy. But then maybe that’s just me.
You can read the rest here: Side Glances: Cash for Clunkers
I have to say, I agree with the author. It does seem like a waste to ruin good engines. I understand the motives, but I think it just shows how wasteful government programs are.