Auto Wreckers Conquer Clunkers

August 2, 2009 6:57:23 PM PDT
Auto wreckers can claim gas guzzlers and strip them down. Auto wreckers are looking to profit from clunker sales. However there is one big item salvage yards will not be able to profit from under the 'Cash for Clunkers' guidelines.

Engines, they make up more than half of all auto wreckers' sales, but the government has mandated all engines must be destroyed before they leave the dealer's lot.

The engine in this '94 Ford Expedition is toast. Before it was even towed from this dealership and sent to this wrecking yard sodium silicate was introduced into the engine, permanently disabling it.

Under the 'Cash for Clunkers' program auto wreckers can claim these gas guzzlers and strip them down.

"We'll sell it for scraps and make money that way," said Linda Pizana.

Pizana pays a few hundred dollars to a dealer to haul off each clunker to her scrap yard. Engines fetch the biggest buck but not this time.

Pizana: "This is a twist were the motor and transmission we can't sell but the body parts are clean."

Pizana plans to make up the loss with better quality inventory.

Once these clunkers hit the scrap yard everything inside this engine must be drained. And because there is a special silicone based solution used to kill the engine, that must be disposed of differently.

Pizana: We can't use our regular pumps that we normally use. We'll have to get different hose and drain it completely separate."

Pizana said she will spend most of Monday educating her staff about stripping these parts and carefully review all governmental guidelines before these clunkers are picked over in this auto graveyard.

Many auto wrecking companies in the area have contracts with dealerships to pick up clunkers. Pizana expects to have as many as 30 by Tuesday.

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