• Jul 26, 2009
According to Bloomberg, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration got wind that some cars being turned in under Germany's Cash-For-Clunkers program were being certified as destroyed, but actually being resold. To prevent that scenario from repeating itself in the U.S., land of Honest Abe, dealers have apparently been instructed to fill the engines of trade-ins with sodium silicate and run them for seven minutes in order to permanently disable them.

Early reports from around the country indicate that Cash-For-Clunkers is having the intended effect, and the authorities want to make sure no one takes undue advantage by making money on the turned-in vehicles. Normally sodium silicate, often referred to as "liquid glass," is used to seal leaks in things like head gaskets, but in this case, it's used to seize an engine that could be well worth reselling. Dealer records will be reviewed by federal agents, and if the dealer is found not to have complied, the dealer will have to pay $15,000 per infraction.

[Source: Bloomberg via Boston.com | Image – Dave7 under CC2.0]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is shocking how non-green this program is. Recycling or taking these cars to junkyards is far greener than scrapping them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how many YouTube videos we will now get of dealerships burning up clunkers with sodium silicate? I hope we get a few really smokey ones so environmental freaks like Nozferat can have another idiotic freak out.

      The only thing wrong with well maintained low mileage older cars are the freaks like Nozferat that we have to put up with.

      Look it up freaks. Man-made CO2 is not causing Global Warming or Climate Change. The world is getting cooler. Industry has done a commendable job of cleaning up the real environmental pollutants. Even the dingbat environmentalists have stopped whining about acid rain and ozone holes. The only thing left to do is get rid of the bans on drilling and nuclear energy, and get rid of all the CO2 cap and tax scams. Then we will be left with just a bunch of useless whining environmentalists, for which I propose a trade in program on a new car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have a theory: Once all of the supposed man-made detriments to the environment are fixed, the only pollution left will be the continued strident whining of the environmentalists. (They will have picked some new cause to get behind, because for them, the issue isn't the environment, it's the chance to interfere in other peoples' lives.)

        But since the environment will already be "ok" by then, the rest of us will have no use for the environmentalists and their indiscriminate waste of our oxygen and food.

        So I propose a government program where each environmentalist is paid $4,500 to either shut up permanently, or donate their living bodies to science for experimentation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      From the pic, I have to wonder about all those great old Poncho motors going to waste. What great motors they were and they're irreplaceable (realistically). Why couldn't they simply dismantle these into parts instead of simply destroying them?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Your government at work I,ll bet the dealers are happy no used car to sell means no profit
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ Nozferat & Nick

      I know you ain't supposed to feed the trolls, but I can't resist....

      Aside from the usual common-sense arguments about not encouraging people into debt, the amount of pollution created when you build one Prius (or any other new vehicle) vs the amount produced by any one car throughout its life on the road and the end-of-life issues presented by junking old vehicles that are not even approaching being 100% recyclable, Subaru SVX's are nice to look at, enjoyable to be in and make the world a more fun place for me to be.

      You, on the other hand, are both rude pains in the a$$.

      Hence, if the SVX chokes you both to death, I think I can live with that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        HAHAH !!!
        LMFAO!!!

        Baskingshark That was an awesome comeback :-D
      • 5 Years Ago
      By the way, tha SVX had a looks tha made everyone ask about it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a person who just traded a "clunker" for a different "clunker", I realize that not buying new cars may affect the economy, but DESTROYING perfectly good, running older cars doesn't help anyone. For the record, my 1990 Volvo 760 Turbo that I just traded for a 1988 Saab 900 Turbo SPG averaged 8mpg ABOVE the EPA rating of 17mpg combined. I typically got 25mpg combined driving, at 15 psi on a manual boost controller in the 760 wagon. It didn't pollute, it did a fine job of getting me from point A to point B, and did so even quickly. There was no reason for me to go into debt to get a new car that wasn't even as well built as my nearly 20 year old "tank", so I traded it for something that got even better mileage, and more smiles when going around corners.

      The Saab, also a turbo, yielded me 27mpg on my first tank of gas in it. According to the ratings, it should be doing 19mpg combined (at least when I checked last week). The reality is that this is going to do nothing but fill up scrap yards with perfectly good vehicles for absolutely no real benefit, which (by the way) increases pollution on a MUCH grander scale.

      Great job there, federal government! Increase pollution and consumer debt while reducing the number of older cars that those of us who prefer not to go into debt can purchase. Real winner there!
      • 5 Years Ago
      now if we could just fine people 15,000 for hiring illegals we might be able to get rid of the cash for a half a fence program.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is sheer idiocy. This is supposed to help the environment? It's got to take more energy to produce a new engine than it does for these to live out the use for which they were intended. If we want to help the auto industry fine, but stupid stuff like this to make a few greenies feel good about themselves is ridiculous.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @BoxerFanatic (aka Right wing fanatic; believes every crap on tv)

      Instead of spitting venom on a bill that will benefit everyone involved (auto industry, buyers, dealers, and the government itself (it quickly gets its $4500 back in sales tax, registration fees etc), you should see things realistically and stop being emotionally attached to clunkers.

      Your car is a POS, I'd send it to the crusher if I was you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nick,

        Of course Cash for Clunkers is a great idea. Americans are having no problems paying off their credit cards or making their house payments, so let's give them incentive to get even further in to debt!

        /sarcasm

        Hope one day you'll wake up and see what a fool you are.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My SVX got mid 20's in MPG and it was a heavy bastard, so I'm guessing that an SVX wouldn't even be elligible for CfC. Check that. I just checked on the government's website. I got a pretty hard LOL when I compared the 1987 Grand National, which I though about slitting the throat of anyone who crushed, and the SVX side by side. They have the same 'combined' mileage rating, which doesn't make a bit of sense as the Buick is rated at 17 and 25 mpg, and the Subie is rates at 15 and 22.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Acefighter,

        Yeah they can't pay off their debt because they go about and buy crap that's way over their heads...not something that's affordable and efficient.

        Too bad the douchebags in debt the ones driving around in 3 series Beemers, C class Benzes, $40K Infinitis, Lexuses, Land Rovers and so on. And then they blow another $300-500 month of fuel bills because they were too stupid to buy a car that gets 30MPG or more.

        Let's not even get into the housing market debacle.



      • 5 Years Ago
      Pfft, typical American cars. They can't even handle a little Sodium Silicate. That's why American autos are the fail.

      Pfft, typical japanese cars. They don't build 'em to the rigors of America. I bet a japanese truck couldn't even tow a tanker full of sodium silicate, let alone use it as oil.

      Pfft, typical euro trash. Too busy being socialist to actually design a car that can use sodium silicate in lieu of oil.

      Pfft, typical dealers. They always take ruin cars, owned by the hard working costumer.

      Pfft, typical government. Always trying to tell people what to do. We should let the market decide to do with these cars.

      Pfft, typical petrochemical industry. Trying to show its wares as a replacement for good old petrochemicals like oil.

      Pfft, typical liberal media. Always showin us what's going wrong.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Very Funny!

        Sounds like something I'd hear Homer Simpson muttering under his breathe...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Blanking diabolical.

      tax payer dollars to take good cars off the road, and ruin them on purpose. Just to get people into more consumer debt, buying new crap-boxes.

      Anyone who does this to a decent, or especially a collectible old car, like my SVX which was mere hours from the crusher when I bought it away from that fate...

      Those people have my ire and derision. The government already has it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @J-car

        No, not every car is collectible, and not every car has a lot of fans. Not every car is a flat-6 powered grand tourer with AWD and a boat-load of features for it's day, and reliable past 200,000 if maintained.

        In fact, I can only think of two cars that meet that description, and the other is from Germany, with a Porsche crest on it.

        I am not making the SVX into something it isn't. It is everything I describe. If you haven't experienced it, that is your issue. I have one, and I am VERY glad I do. It wasn't just me. Motor Trend did a 60+ page special glossy magazine on the car before it was introduced in 1992. Not every car gets such treatment. It was Subaru's tour-de-force, in it's day. This isn't some boring cavalier or k-car, it is something special, and most people who own them, agree with that.

        But money sways some people, and government is robbing peter to pay paul.

        But now, depending on condition, SVXs tend to be worth 2500-5500 in running to cherry condition. But why should my TAX dollars incentivize that car to be destroyed? Bottom line is that the government is SEIZING MY TAX MONEY, to incentivize cars to be destroyed before their useful lives are done, some of which are rare.

        You say that people should scrap cars worth less than 4500, and then in the next sentence, you say that there are people shouldn't, and will sell "unneeded second cars"... after you have said they can't get as much for them on the open market.

        Do you think this bubble of new car demand will help average used-car values? WRONG. this is going to tank used-car values even further, the minute they are sold off the new lot, this is going to make depreciation even WORSE on even recently new cars, and put downward price pressure on all used cars.

        The cash for clunkers law is not necessarily their last effort. It can be extended, or it could be replaced with something even more invasive.

        ["Whether or not the program is right or wrong, i couldn't care less. It's here, so if you want or need a new car, you might as well take advantage of it."]

        THAT IS THE CORE OF THE ISSUE. IT IS WRONG, AND IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE PASSED. It is not the constitutional purview of the government to pay people to change cars. The used car market and salvage parts market are the instruments for that, and they are being harmed by this. Clunkers are not elligible to be parted out for some of their more expensive parts, such as chassis, body, and powertrain.

        I am not going to sell the SVX. Probably EVER. It will probably go to parts before I am done, and that could be many years from now. If it goes to parts, it will probably go to parts for ANOTHER SVX in my possession by that point.

        Hardly anyone is building cars like that anymore, and nobody is with as much free thinking and passion for cars anymore, as that which was put into the SVX, or other cars of that era, whether they be worth more or less than 4500$

        The people who want to grenade engines with sodium silicate (those who WROTE the bill) are not going to stop with this program. They want cars off the road, they want people buying new cars that have higher government regulation, and aren't built to last as well as even a few years ago.

        The government decision makers want people buying cars that meet their dictates, not people's own free will to choose for themselves. That is the same reason the government was so eager to translate bail-out loans into bail-out equity and influence of GM and Chrysler.

        When the automotive industry lands hard at the end of it's current fall, not only will there be little left of the industry, there will be little left of the past, also.

        So whether or not the bill is right or wrong is of PRIMARY importance to me, and it should be to ANYONE who values their freedom.

        I remember talking cars, and helping my dad work on our family cars... Later helping him restore a car, and my brother restored one of his own... and it continues to be a thread in those ties that bind. If there are fewer classic cars in the future, because they are being discarded, crushed, and forgotten now... What does that hobby become in the future?

        Today it is cars, tomorrow it will be human beings, via health-care, and jobs via Card Check/Fast-track, Guns via HR45, Food via an enlarged and empowered FDA and EPA, It will affect your home via smart-grids and government access to your thermostats, water and gas supply valves, and anything else they can get ahold of by hook or by crook.

        If you don't see it happening, and you don't see the storm coming, that is not my problem. Prepare to reap the whirlwind, folks. It is coming, and your choice of car is just the start. If you don't stand now, you'll fall before you realize it's too late.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @leclerc

        This program is costing me. TAX DOLLARS. It is also destroying used car values, and the government will likely go well over the amount of money they have allocated for it, which means they will borrow the money they print for themselves. That depreciates the value of every dollar that EVERYONE has.

        This program is preventing good cars from being continued to be used, and it is destroying the salvage parts market for keeping other good cars on the road.

        I KNOW SVX is elligible. People are already talking about turning them in. Once they do, that car is lost to anyone who could get further use from it, regardless if the thing is perfectly driveable, and legal for the road. Just because the government is paying (my and your) cash on the barrel head, which is possibly a bit better than it would get on the used market, people are considering it, without considering the wider consequences.

        I KNOW what this legislation is about. I KNOW the implications, I know who it is pretending to benefit, who it is REALLY benefiting, and how the effects will implode.

        If you had been paying attention to the sub-prime housing lending mess, you've already seen how a bubble of artificial demand can cause economic problems. Again, caused by government thinking that it knows best.

        Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I am not the one around here in denial or blissful ignorance, where it seems like several others are.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just because YOU don't collect it, doesn't mean it isn't collectible to someone else.

        Ask the folks over at Subaru SVX world network forums if they think the car is unreliable.

        many of them reach very high 1xx,000, or over 200,000 miles.

        Mine has less than 110,000 miles, and aside from a 17 year old catalytic converter that didn't quite pass cold-idle testing, but passed everything else in the CA emissions test, and some faded paint from the CA sun, my car runs GREAT.

        But in CA, if it fails any part, it can't be registered or driven until it is fixed. Before July 1, California was still paying owners $1000 to crush their cars, rather than repairing them at cost to the owner. Cash for clunkers pays even more, for cars that potentially have less issues wrong with them.

        I bought the car ONE DAY before the previous owner was going to collect his government cash, for a car that in NO WAY was ready to be written off.

        Thankfully, the previous owner had enough sense to let ME pay him $1000 for the car instead, and bring the car to the midwest, where people still understand a little bit of value, and common sense, and we don't trash things that are not trash, at least a few of us left...

        I don't know your Mitsubishi Starion, particularly. So, that means that I don't make sweeping comments about that particular car's reliability or condition.

        Maybe you should similarly keep your comments to yourself, when you don't know what you are talking about with my car.

        BTW, until this crap started, and the government got into the business of paying people out of their cars, almost all of the remaining SVXs that haven't been in accidents, are still on the road somewhere.

        But now that number is dwindling. There were less than 15,000 originally built, and a lot of parts are unique to that car. There is nothing at all wrong with the engines to those cars, if the catalysts are replaced once age has worn them out.

        Subaru doesn't make another car like it, I can't buy a newer one, because they don't exist. RX7s and Supras don't either. BMW's 6-series cars just recently came back, as a very high-end car. Porsche 944s, and all sorts of other unique cars are at risk. Even if some aren't road-worthy, their parts can keep other cars road-worthy.

        Once those parts are crushed, they are gone, and won't be re-manufactured.

        So even if you don't like some of those 80's and 90's cars, some of us do. After the late 90's coupes and sporty cars took a dive due to SUVs being promoted by manufacturers, and incentivized by CAFE's double-standard for light trucks.

        Once the sport coupes are gone, there won't be much left. I don't particularly love '60s muscle. I wasn't even alive then. I don't identify with pre-war Ford hot-rods. My parents weren't even alive then.

        I grew up in the 80s and 90s. The cars I remember liking are from that time period. The cars I still like.

        And now I see them being bought up with TAX dollars, mandated for the crusher, and their engines purposefully seized.

        How can people come to this automotive enthusiast blog, and think that the destruction of other people's hobby and interests, even if it isn't your own, is a GOOD thing?

        How can some of you people consider yourselves car enthusiasts, and yet promote this destruction?

        What are you going to say when the much more serious issue of eugenics, and euthenasia for PEOPLE comes back... people that you don't know or care about, but people none-the-less. Why should your wastefull carelessness be any different for them, now that you have practice with inanimate objects?
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