VIDEO: How To Disable A Cash For Clunkers Car

Illustration for article titled VIDEO: How To Disable A Cash For Clunkers Car

The Cash For Clunkers law requires dealers to destroy the engines of the trade-in vehicle or face a $15,000 penalty. The government's step-by-step instructions as well as graphic video of a Volvo in seemingly great condition being destroyed below.


There were numerous suggestions given to the Department of Transportation for how to destroy a car turned in so the engine never pollutes again. Our favorite was "drilling a hole in the engine block" with, we're guessing, a giant diamond-tipped drill. As lovers of cars, the method they decided on feels far more cruel but is probably just as effective.

The prescribed and approved method of disabling a car according to law involves replacing the engine's oil with sodium silicate, more commonly known as liquid glass. When the car is run with a mixture of water and sodium silicate the liquid quickly evaporates and the solids are left behind, causing most of the oiled surfaces to seize and break.

As you can see in the video above, the results are fairly horrific. You can actually hear this car scream. In fact, if you watch all the way, you'll see it spout up its last bit of oil before it breathes its last breath. WARNING: this is only to be instructive and educational, do not try and do this before you turn in your car.

Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program

Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.

1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate
(SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)
2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.
3. Install the oil drain plug.
4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the
vehicle to the desired area for disablement.
5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate
the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which
should be sufficient in most cases.
CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be
worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.
6. Replace the oil fill cap.
7. Start the engine.
8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high
rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As
the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more
throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)
9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.
10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully
charged battery, attempt to start the engine.
11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.
12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no
longer idle.
13. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following:

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.



While this process is indeed abhorrent, think of this:

Somewhere, there is a dude whose company produces the death juice. This guy just got a HUGE government-sponsored payout in the War Against Cars. Said dude, if he isn't already, is about to choke on his good fortune to the tune of a heart attack or gout. Not that I wish that on anyone.

However, the death juice dude also most likely has a wife. After his passing, she will begin to hear the tapping of the bearings and screaming of seizing turbos her husband enabled. Slowly, she will be driven mad by the ghosts of engines past until, in a fever dream, she is told by the spirit of a slain Chevy LT1 from a Roadmaster wagon that the only way to silence the engines is to start construction on a giant garage. "Build me the grandest garage in all the land," specified the LT1. "As long as construction is in progress, you shall be safe."

She, in her madness, will indeed hire an army of builders who will build a visual cacophony of a garage with features such as hundreds of overhead doors, many leading nowhere, and other oddities like four-post lifts bolted to the ceiling.

Construction will continue until her death, many years hence, but the screaming of the engines will never be silenced.