What Happens to Junk Cars?


What happens to your car after it stops running and becomes junk? Most people tend to think that they just sit around and rot somewhere in a junkyard. They collect rust, cats nest in them, and they’re the only things that remain after the collapse of society. Well, this is how it works in the movies, but not in real life. Your car goes on an incredible journey from the time it’s built to the time it ultimately ends up being used for many more products.

Junk cars aren’t just stacked somewhere and left to rust. There is a whole journey that they go on. Let’s take a look inside this journey so we can really see the many stops along the road that a junk car is going to take.

The Journey That Junkers Take

The Once-Over

The first step along the road is one that you will make happen, and that’s when you contact a reputable Pick-n-Pull location near you. They’re going to stop by and canvas your car to see what can be used. Maybe the muffler, manifold, interior, certain engine parts, etc.; there are likely many good parts that can be pulled out, and you get paid cash for them. Then, it’s very likely that your car is off to the junkyard.

The Junkyard

Once you contact a location and ensure that the good parts are taken from your car so that you make some cash, the junk cars then have a date with the junkyard. These cars might sit here only for a few days, or they might sit around for a few years. It really depends on the yard in question and the type of car. For instance, it’s very common for junkyards to keep certain makes and models around longer just in case people contact them wanting a frame for a certain year or brand, or perhaps a dashboard, seats, and other sorts of parts that the pullers didn’t pick out.

The Crusher

The car crushing process is very intense. Almost every vehicle that sits in a junkyard is eventually going to have a date with the crushing machine. It’s just inevitable. A lot of people may have seen these sorts of things on TV and movies, but the real process takes much longer and is a noisy and scary process. There is an incredible amount of weight used in a gigantic machine to turn an entire car into a square. Certain parts are removed, but the main frame and body all remain. Then it’s off to the next stop along the road.

The Recycling Plant

Once the car is crushed down into a small and neat (but incredibly heavy) cube, it gets loaded up onto a flatbed and is off to a recycling plant. The crushed car is basically just different types of metal at this point and other things that will just burn off into slag and be disposed of. So it’s a fairly simple process at this point to transform much of this cube into molten metal that can be used for all sorts of different purposes.

The New Lease on Life

After the car is crushed and sent off to be recycled, much of the material is then reused. It is estimated that around 85% of a car can be used and recycled into new things. Much of the car’s material will go to making other car parts. Metal, for instance, can be recycled for new metal objects like doors, fenders and bumpers. Other parts of the car might be recycled and end up somewhere as a lovely park bench that people sit on or even playground equipment. It really depends on the factory recycling the car.

As you can see, your junk car goes on quite the journey. It’s not as if it’s just going to sit around and rot forever. Although those sorts of places do exist, where a car might just sit indefinitely, today’s processes are more an assembly line for the entire life of the vehicle. There’s always a next step for the car, even if it is a junker. Just remember to go with a quality Pick ‘n Pull service to get some money for your car before it starts the rest of its journey.

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