/Car and Truck Recycling

5 Types of Metal Found in Cars

There is a lot of thought, science, design and planning that goes into developing a car. The different types of metal found in cars determine the design, durability and even speed sometimes. If the car is made from exotic metals, it will be perceived as having high-quality and aesthetic value. It will also be rather expensive to build and buy. Exotic metals have their own strengths and so, to meet the best of both worlds, cars are manufactured with a mix of metals.

Before you simply scrap your car or offer it up as part of the Cash for Clunkers program, you’ll want to know what metals are found in your car or even inside any average one. This way, you will know which parts to pull apart for scrap and which to recycle. Here are the types of metal found in cars, their benefits and what you can do with them when faced with an older car with a questionable value.  

Strong Steel Body

Almost all cars are made with predominantly steel in them. You will find steel in the doors, hoods, trunk and the car’s frame. Steel is a strong metal that is also versatile and easy to work with. Furthermore, it is also widely available. Not only is the body made from steel but this metal is also used to design and create parts of the roof, wheels, brakes and even the engine. It is affordable and often the type and grade of steel used for manufacturing cars depends on the design goals of the manufacturer.

Light Aluminum Construction

Second to steel, aluminum is used frequently in manufacturing cars as well. Aluminum is lighter than steel and is a stronger metal. However, many manufacturers shy away from using because it is an expensive metal to work with. Generally, the engine is made of aluminum because this metal can withstand high temperatures. You may also find this metal in the rims, doors, and the hoods of some cars.

Copper Wiring

As you may have guessed, you will find metal copper in the electronics and wiring of your car. These electronic wires run throughout the car connecting different systems to each other such as the safety, radio, charging points and others. There is copper also found in starters.

Lead for Balance

Lead is a heavy metal that is often found in the wheel weights of automobiles. The weight helps to balance the car. The rims on the wheels are made of aluminum and lead. Aluminum is a great metal to scrap for cash  but remember to strip the lead off the rims. Your car battery is also frequently made of lead so remember to remove it before scrapping your car.

Exotic Metal Platinum

Platinum may be rather more expensive than gold but you will find it in most cars. This metal is found in your catalytic converter as it helps restrict pollution release from the engine. Now, this metal is profoundly embedded within your converter so if you try to pull it apart yourself, you may not get it right. If you want to make more money at the scrap yard, then it only makes sense if you took the whole converter out for recycling.  

If you have a gas guzzler or an old junk car in your garage, then it’s time to get some use out of it. You’ve kept it with you forever and now it is time for you to decide. Don’t throw in the trash or dump it in a junk yard! Remember to separate the parts before you bring it to the scrap yard. If you are not sure of how to do it or may not have the right tools to take them apart from your old car, we recommend that you contact one of scrap yards near you

The Importance of the Cash for Clunkers Initiative

The Importance of the Cash for Clunkers Initiative

In 2009, the Cash for Clunkers initiative offered the perfect opportunity for car sellers to exchange their old cars for cash. This U.S. government-run program was specifically beneficial to those who couldn’t find buyers for their old cars. This was one juggernaut every developed country in the world was trying at the same time too. Although the program received much flack from the critics, it absolutely impacted the environment to some extent.


To prevent a recession in France, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy started this program in 2008. This was the original program where consumers were offered more than $1,000 in exchange for their decade-old cars. Germany followed suit. However, the country ran into deep water when over 50,000 old cars were stolen and re-purposed into third world countries. Either way, the program encouraged new car sales in all the countries taking part in this initiative.

It also had a ripple effect on employment rates. Car manufacturer needs increased with the high demand for new cars because the environment was free of old cars that required more gas compared to the fuel-efficient new cars! In effect, the U.S. cash for clunkers initiative helped the economy by improving the auto industry sales. This initiative came at the right time – the time of severe financial crisis and it helped the country come out of it.

The Billion-Dollar Program

As soon as the program hit, the treasury ran dry within the week. So the program had to put in more funds to encourage more sellers to trade in their gas guzzlers for cash. For a $3,500 rebate, sellers had to buy new cars that offered 22 miles per gallon (mpg) mileage. The old cars, on an average, gave just 15.8 mpg which translates to more than 60 percent of fuel efficiency by the new cars.


For sellers or consumers who could never sell their used cars, this program was a much-needed opportunity. The harmful vehicles were off the streets. There was reduced carbon emissions in the environment and more fuel-efficient cars on the streets.  

The idea was to decrease the dependency on foreign oil. With over 250,000 old cars traded in, the annual average number of gallons consumed decreased to 56 million from a whopping 138 billion total gas consumption. When you look at it this way, there is a small change in the gas consumption which is promptly proportionate to the total carbon emission in the environment. Less pollution is in the environment.


Although the program, in an economical way, removes old dingy gas guzzlers off the road and sends it to scrap, this activity has garnered much criticism. The critics point to the fact that many vintage cars are now destroyed because of this initiative. Consumers may be forced into buying new cars which they may not afford. There is the question of car insurance policies to consider as well.

Critics also explain that converting the cars into heaps of scrap metal takes up energy. So, all this makes it more expensive for the used car buyers as the cost of used cars go considerably higher with fewer models of the same vehicle on the road. Also, consumers without access to new credit for buying new vehicles are negatively affected by this initiative.


The new cash for clunker program should help consumers exchange their old, battered cars for safer, more fuel-efficient cars. The new initiative can be a problem for lower income buyers if this isn’t considered. If this program makes it expensive for used car owners, then the idea makes sense.

More consumers will be encouraged to embrace environmentally-friendly ideas such as carpooling or using public transportation instead. Making these choices and changes is unquestionably better for the environment. These changes translate to reduced traffic on the roads. It also helps more controlled pollution in the environment.

If you have an old car and would like more information about the cash for clunkers program, contact us. One of our scrap metal recycling centers in South Florida is ready to help.