Kelly Car Buyer, Auto Dealers  Used Cars, Frankfort, IL

What Happens to Cars at the Junkyard?

Is there an old and unusable car taking up the valuable parking space on the property? Consider selling it to a local junkyard. You can easily find several junk car buyers in and around the city who purchase such vehicles in exchange for some cash. Most of them offer pick-up services to haul away the car from home. For many people, the process ends there. However, several car owners wonder what happens to their automobile after it reaches the salvage yard.

Junk cars may be of no use for its owner, but it holds significant value for a junk car buyer. Vehicles consist of numerous recyclable parts, like tires, batteries, wheels, windshield glass, radiators, rubber hoses, car seats, mats, filters, and frames. Most components are recovered from the vehicle for use either in the new car manufacturing or to make things like countertops, tile flooring, and pavement bases. The car recycling industry is substantially big, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP.

Stacked cars in junk yard

Let us look at what happens to a car or what stages it undergoes after reaching the junkyard:


The first step is to inspect the car in detail to determine what is more valuable- repairing it for reselling or recycling it. If the vehicle is in a bad state or the repairs do not look profitable enough, the junkyard goes ahead with the next step. Approximately 90% of the cars that arrive in the salvage yard are recycled.

Fluid draining

The next step in the process includes draining the car of fluids, like washer liquid, engine oil, brake lubricants, gasoline, antifreeze, transmission fluids, engine coolant, power steering fluid, and hydraulics. The junkyard workers separate reusable and dangerous fluids from each other. Liquids like gas and oil are filtered for reuse, while hazardous fluids are treated and disposed of according to the regulations to prevent them from polluting the environment. These toxic fluids, when improperly handled, contaminate groundwater, poison the soil, and harm the wildlife.

Parts dismantling

Though a car may appear old or broken to you, there may be a few parts in it that are still in good condition. Junkyard workers remove and clean these parts, which can be recycled or sold to auto parts re-manufacturers as replacement parts for other cars. Some such components include battery, tires, brainbox, doors, hoods, and alternator.

Crushing and shredding

After the salvageable parts are stripped off from the vehicle, and only the car body remains, it is passed through a crusher for flattening. It is then run into a shredder, converting it into tiny metal pieces.

Sorting and recycling

The tiny crushed metal bits and pieces are at last sorted using a large magnetic crane. The ferrous and non-ferrous metals are separated and piled up with similarly shredded vehicles for further processing and recycling to be used as raw materials in different industries.

Now you know what exactly happens to cars at the junkyard. Most car components are either used as replacement parts for other vehicles or recycled for usage in new car manufacturing.

If your car is not usable anymore, find a local junkyard near you, ready to pay top cash for the junk car.

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