The function of an auto wrecker is to dismantle an old or damaged car. From this car, the usable parts are removed and the rest of the metallic body is sold as scrap. Hence, we see that an auto wrecker serves the purpose of recycling a car.
Recycling is a complex process because it entails recycling of functional parts, removal of hazardous material, etc.
Steps involved in this process are:
1. Taking an inventory of the parts.
2. Removal of wheels, tires, battery and catalytic converter.
3. Removal of fluids such as engine coolant, oil transmission fluid, air conditioning refrigerant, gasoline, etc.
4. Parts such as electronic modules, alternators, starter motors, etc. are sold in as-is condition to users if the condition is good. Else they are restored and sold.
5. Hazardous material such as mercury and sodium azide are removed.
6. After removal of all the parts and products, the remaining shell of the vehicle is crushed into a cube or a flat piece.
7. It is then transported to a shredder where it is reduced in size.
8. After removing the glass, plastic, and rubber the metal mass is sold to steel mills for recycling.
Some auto parts that are being extensively recycled are:
• Car fluids
Car part stores and dealerships accept old fluids for recycling.
They can be resold to the facility from where the new battery is being purchased.
• Wheels and Tires
Tires are broken down and refashioned into a variety of products. Wheels are melted as scrap.
• Plastic parts
Parts such as dashboards, lights, bumpers, gas tanks are melted and reformed into new parts.
• Mercury Switches
Older cars have mercury switches. Mercury impacts the environment negatively. Hence these switches should be removed before crushing the car.
Since the whole purpose of wrecking is recycling auto parts, an auto wrecker helps in the conservation of the environment.
Benefits of car wrecking to the environment:
• The steel scrap that is recycled is of a large quantity. This greatly reduces the burden on the environment of producing new steel.
• The mercury and other hazardous material are also recycled. This prevents them from polluting the earth.
• Various fluids used in the car are reused which is also beneficial as these oils do not pollute the environment.
• Various parts are detached and sold in the market. This reduces the number of new parts that need to be manufactured. This helps in conserving our natural resources.
Therefore, we see that the best way we can dispose of an end-of-life car is by selling it to an auto wrecker. Here, most of the parts are salvaged and reused.