What happens when a car is scrapped?

Hundreds of cars are scrapped every day. Old cars that have reached the end of their useful life. Cars involved in accidents that can not be repaired… All of them are taken to a scrapyard to end their lives, but surely if you are a curious person you have ever wondered what happens when a car is takento the scrapyard... What treatment does it receive? What is the process a car goes through, until it is totally destroyed?

Well, we are going to satisfy that curiosity, and we are going to tell you what happens when we leave our old friend at the scrapyard.

The scrapyard removes the elements from the vehicle that can still be used in other vehicles: rearview mirrors, steering wheels, windshields, wheels, the engine if is in good condition...Even the seats can have a second life in another car. However, they must be in good condition.

Once these reusable parts have been removed, the scrapyard removes all hazardous and polluting materials. First, they remove the battery liquid, which is highly polluting, harmful to the environment and dangerous for human beings because it is a corrosive acid.

Then the tyres are dismantledand taken to a specialized tyre recycling facility. Tyres are a highly flammable material and should not be stored in large quantities, because if they catch fire they can burn for several days and generate a toxic cloud that is very harmful to anyone who breathes it. This is why they must be treated in a specialized way in anspecial facility.

After the tyres, the airbags and -in vehicles equipped for LPG- the LPG tank are removed. All these elements are at risk of exploding because of theirinternal pressure, and are therefore among the first to be dismantled to prevent any accidents.

The next step will be the car's fluids disposal. The engine oil, antifreeze and fuel, as these products can contaminate the ground, seep into the subsoil and affect groundwater which is last instancecould be drunk by people causing themsevere illnessor even dead. If the car has a catalytic converter, it should also be removed, as this part contains chemicals that are hazardous to the environment.

Once the car has been decontaminatedand only safe components remain, it is ready to be crushed. It is then put into a car'scrusher(a compactor machine) and crushed into a cube of scrap metals.

Of course, before you dispose of your old car, you should know that this process must be carried out by an ATF (AuthorisedTreatment Facility), the only entities legally authorisedto do so. If you don't take it to an ATF you can be fined. And of course you must not forget to notify the DVLA(Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), and make sure that after scrapping the car they will send you the certificate of destruction to make sure your old friend is definitelyoff the roadways.

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