Clunkers mean cash for recycling yards - East Valley Tribune: News

Clunkers mean cash for recycling yards

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Posted: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:26 pm | Updated: 2:54 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The federal government's "cash for clunkers" program figures to be lucrative for the East Valley's auto recycling yards, which will remove usable parts from the old vehicles, resell them and resell the rest for scrap.

'Cash for clunkers' shoppers flood car lots

The federal government's "cash for clunkers" program figures to be lucrative for the East Valley's auto recycling yards, which will remove usable parts from the old vehicles, resell them and resell the rest for scrap.

'Cash for clunkers' shoppers flood car lots

E.V. dealers resume 'cash for clunker' deals

 

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Motor Pro Auto Recycling at 117 E. Baseline Road in Gilbert received its first three vehicles under the program on Saturday, and owner Mark Buessing anticipates his yard will process 400 to 500 clunkers in the upcoming weeks.

"We're anticipating we could get 200 in one day, so we're ready," he said. "We've cleared out our lot."

Normally his center will process about 800 to 900 vehicles in an entire year, so the cash for clunkers program could bring a considerable increase in his parts inventory.

Once the cars are towed to the salvage yard from the dealership, the recycler has 180 days to drain fluids like oil and antifreeze and remove salvageable parts, including body panels, mirrors and tail lights.

Whatever is left is flattened in a crusher and sold to shredders, Buessing said,

The gas-guzzling motors, which normally would be the most valuable part, have to be crushed and destroyed under the rules of the program because federal authorities don't want them ending up back on the road.

Buessing anticipated a high percentage of the clunkers, maybe 80 percent, will have few or no useful parts because they are from models that are no longer in demand. But about 20 percent could be "home runs," yielding thousands of dollars worth of parts that can be sold to repair shops and the public, he said.

"Some of the SUVs and trucks have more valuable parts," he said. "We will do all right on them. But there will be a lot where we will just drain the fluids, remove the wheels and tires, and put them in the crusher. You have to take the bad with the good."

Buessing is paying between $100 and $300 for each car, with those containing more valuable parts getting the most money.

An example of the type of car he is receiving is a 1988 Mercury Cougar with just 71,000 miles.

"It's a shame to see it destroyed in this program," Buessing said. "But the owner obviously saw an opportunity to get $4,500 for a car that's worth about $2,000."

He said the Cougar should yield plenty of useful parts.

"The transmission is probably worth $300, which makes it worth going after," he said. "Somebody will get a good replacement part."

Allen Gilbert, owner of Apache Auto Wrecking in Apache Junction, said he isn't sure how many Cash for Clunker vehicles he will process, but he anticipates dealers in the east Mesa/Apache Junction area will want to supply cars. He received his first vehicle Monday.

"I anticipate there will be some (clunkers) out there," he said. "I have contacted six dealerships in the area and told them I would be interested in getting them."

Before the dealerships can supply the vehicles, however, they are required to disable the engine. That is accomplished by pouring sodium silicate, or liquid glass, into the engine, he said.

"The liquid glass just freezes the motor up," he said.

Fergie Ferguson, manager of Alma Imports Auto Recyclers in Mesa, said he will not participate in the program because the old clunkers don't have enough saleable parts to be worthwhile.

"They are scrap," he said. "They are not the cars I'm interested in. ... Most of them will go to the pick-a-part yards where you go in and pick your own parts."

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