In light of the recent Cash for Clunkers program that was organized by the U.S. government to boost automotive sales for dealerships and get inefficient vehicles off the road; a few facts have surfaced about the methods that dealerships were instructed to use, to insure the trade-in cars would never run again.
These drastic measures were designed after a few instances of clunker theft and resale were discovered. The Cash for Clunkers program was not built to resell any of the old traded vehicles, but rather to recycle their parts into other metal products. Therefore, certain methods are being used to destroy the clunker motors from the inside out.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Final Rule document that outlined four different ways to quickly destroy a modern engine. This included running the engine without oil, drilling a hole in the engine block, destroying the oil filter sealing land and finally, using a sodium silicate solution in place of the motor oil. According to test results, the sodium silicate solution was the fastest and most reliable action, yet it leaves some engine components (intake/exhaust manifold and fuel system) unharmed.
This is what dealerships have been doing with all of the cars and trucks from the clunker program. The oil is drained, a solution is added to the oil pan (40% sodium silicate, 60% water), and the engine is started and held at a constant rpm until all the internal pieces can no longer function. The sodium solution heats up, dehydrates and then becomes a strong abrasive on all of the engines moving parts.
Does this seem a little odd to anyone else?
There has to be a use for these clunker engines somewhere in the world. Rumors have spread that most of the clunker parts are shipped to Asian factories and melted down. Here's a better idea: take some of the old motors and build highly efficient go-karts with them for the public to use for various errands and commutes. Save money, petroleum and save the clunkers!