• Jul 30th 2009 at 6:28PM
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Cash for Clunkers can be a bit complicated, what with last minute rule changes and the multitudes of stipulations ingrained into the program. However, one aspect of C4C that leaves little to the imagination is what happens when a vehicle is turned in under the program: The engine is permanently wrecked, and the vehicle is destroyed.

The official process for killing the condemned engine sounds as simple to perform as it is deadly. A deadly cocktail of Sodium silicate, or liquid glass, is used to render the engine inoperable. Dealers are instructed to replace the car's oil with the solution, then run the engine at 2,000 rpm until the engine stops working. The process supposedly takes three to seven minutes, after which, the dealer is supposed to start up the vehicle again. If the clunker starts up, the process must be repeated until it's confirmed dead.

Once the engine takes a dirt nap, the dealer must add a sticker that reads: "This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil." The vehicle is then sent to a disposal facility that crushes or shreds the vehicle. Gruesome and kinda sad...

[Source: Car and Driver | Image Source: Theo Heimann/Getty]

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