What Happens to Junk Cars After They’re Sold?

Did you just ? Well, congrats! That’s great news. And, if you’re getting ready to sell your junk car but haven’t actually gone through with it yet, congratulations are still in order. Finally being rid of a troublesome junk car is a great feeling!

If you’re the curious type, though, you might be wondering: what exactly happens to my junk car after I sell it? Where does it go? If you’ve ever visited a junkyard (or even just driven past one at some point in your life), you probably have a vague image in your mind of a huge junk car lot, piled high with rusting out vehicles. While this image is legitimate to some degree, the reality is that the vast majority of junk cars don’t end up sitting derelict in a scrap yard forever.

On the contrary, about 90% of all cars are ultimately recycled. How does that process work, though? What exactly happens to your junk car after it’s sold? Keep reading for more information.

1) Pull Out High Value Parts

Before anything else can be done, a junkyard will first go over your car with a fine-tooth comb to determine which of its component parts can be removed and sold individually. This can involve taking out things like the catalytic converter, battery, alternator, or even the engine.

2) Drain Fluids

Next, all of your vehicle’s fluids have to be drained. This includes not just the gas, but also the oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and more. Anything liquid in your car has to be removed before the next step can occur.


A huge machine will then take your vehicle and crush it flat. We’re talking super flat here: a fraction of the previous height of your vehicle. Once all of your car’s metal has been compressed into a flat block, it can proceed to the next stage of processing.


Next, your flattened vehicle is passed through a huge industrial shredder. This massive machine rips your junk car into tiny pieces of scrap metal for further sorting.

5) Sorting and Recycling

The tiny pieces of what was once your car are sorted into constituent metal types. These are then shipped off to various plants to be melted down and recycled into new goods. In fact, many of them will end up in new cars!

What do you think?

Written by Marcus

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