The Afterlife of Car Parts: How to Give the Bodywork a Second Chance

  • Author: OPONEO.CO.UK

To say that some of us get attached to our cars is an understatement. As such, when a car comes to the end of its useful life, it’s difficult to say goodbye. The good news is that nearly every part of your car can live a second life. 

Recycling tyres, engine blocks, windshields, and any of the other 30,000 parts that make up an average car is a common practice and easier than you may imagine. Eco-car manufacturers have made it even simpler to ensure the process of recycling your car remains as environmentally friendly as possible.

 

used cars

With that in mind, rest assured that you have a number of recycling options that’ll make it easier to dispose of your car. Whether you opt to rely on the professionals or dig into your car yourself, here’s what to know. 

The used car graveyard

Let’s get started with some basic maths. There are roughly sixty million cars produced internationally over the course of a single year. According to energy legislation valid since 2015, 95% of the parts in a car need to be recycled at the end of that car’s life. 

There are various ways to see this done. Your car can either meet its fate in an industrialised grinder, then see its pieces used in other projects, or you can take the car apart piece by piece and decide for yourself how to divvy up the spares.

Industrial recycling

When you send your car to get recycled, it’s first taken to a scrap yard. Here your car will go through the process of depollution, dismantling, and eventual destruction that will allow it to be redistributed in the future as reusable material. 

On average, metal mills can consume a car in roughly fifteen seconds, with individual metals and materials being compartmentalised in the aftermath. That means the engine, interior, body – the whole nine yards. Your car, after all, is made up of more than just steel.

car dumping site

Plastic from your car’s body can go into anything from bottles to computer parts; the copper can be stripped in order to create improved cable wiring. This process may seem impersonal, but it is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to recycle your car if you’d rather not do it yourself.

Retiring your tyres

If you want to try your hand at recycling some parts yourself, it’s best to start with the tyres. Tyres are easy to remove from your car and place into tyre storage or an equivalent. 

However, there’s a high risk that, once placed into storage, a stockpiling of tyres can result in terrible fires and the releasing of hazardous toxins into the air. It’s proposed, as such, that more creative folks make use of tyres in DIY projects around your home. 

Tyre talk

Tyres make excellent bases for outdoor ponds or planters for your home gardens, so they’re great tools to use while attempting to landscape. If you’re looking to invest in something a little more fun, you can also turn your de-treaded tyres into tyre swings or tree horses that the kids can ride on at their leisure.

stock of tyres

Tackling a dead engine

That DIY mindset is all well and good, but what can happen to a dead engine once it’s been removed from a car? Engines, after all, are usually the last part of the car to give out, even after years spent driving on the road. Luckily, there are a number of options available to folks looking to dispose of or reuse an engine block. 

Franken-cars

Usually, engines only need a little bit of fine-tuning, once removed from their original car, to be considered compatible with another vehicle. Kit cars, for example, can make use of a recycled car’s old engine in order to get up and running. 

You can even take your engine block to an amiable mechanic to see if it can be made more environmentally friendly. Once it is, you can likely use it in your next car in order to save on petrol and maintenance in the future.

recycled tyres - garden decorations

Engine DIY

Want to impress guests with a unique wine holder? Make use of a thoroughly-cleaned engine block, and you’ll find that the bores that once helped your car move down the motorway can fit the average wine bottle rather well. This may take a bit of elbow grease to get up and running, but it’s one way to ensure that your car lives on long after it’s been taken off the street.

There’s no need to fret when your car wheezes its last, then. You can recycle the parts that make it up, either by seeking out professional assistance or by doing the work yourself. In both cases, cars offer a plethora of lifetime potential, whether they’re getting your from point A to point B or providing a green opportunity for your kids to play with.

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