Scrap My Car

How It Works

Scrap car components

Catalytic converter

The catalytic converter on the your scrap vehicle is either made of ceramic or metallic, all catalytic converter remove harmful gases generated by the burning of fuel and provide a way of proving a cleaner environment , the catalytic converter is made up of specific metals which are normally recycled these are normally palladium and this metal has a high resale value which is why your scrap metal recycler will be keen to recycle this component of your vehicle.


Modern day engine either petrol or diesel are normally either entirely made of aluminum metal or are cast iron blocks with an aluminum head, it is very rare you will find an engine that is not manufactured in these two metals, engine are normally smelted down and the two metals separated for recycling, this process is very specialist and will normally be carried out away from an end of life vehicle centre. Engine metal processessors normally on deal in these metals.

Alternators and starter motors

The starter motor and alternator are key components on a scrap vehicle as they contain copper which is a metal that can be recycled, normally if the windings of a starter or alternator are defective then it is uneconomical to repair and the components will be recycled for their scrap metal value, It may be your starter motor is operating normally and when they are tested by your local recycling centre they will be refurbished by replacing the brushes and then resold.Alternators can also be refurbished and they normally have there diodes replaced to ensure they operate normally.

Brake Calipers

Brake calipers are an ll important factor on any vehicle and the operation of these is essential in the safety of any vehicle, normally they seize due to corrosion and have to be replaced if the corrosion is to bad, as they contain several moving parts namely a hydraulic piston they contain toxic liquids and have to be recycled professionally, They can be refurbished and this process involves in the cleaning and replacing of all the moving components and seals and is carried out by a specialist in brake refurbishment.


Gearboxes vary on many cars and can be either automation or manual in operation, they have various amounts of forwarding motion gears but only one gear for reverse, the typical automation gearbox works by centrifugal force and plates spin with a drum filled with oil to provide the forward or reverse motion, the early automatic gearboxes were very clunky in operation but with the introduction of new technology automatic gearboxes are now very smooth and seamless in operation.

Manual gearboxes differ and now provide as many as 8 forward gears in vehicles, the way they work is by a series of cogs that rotate around one main shaft that provides the drive , they are made up of several synchronized gears to provide a smooth operation and also fill with oil, both the manual and automatic gearbox has two main recycling components the oil and also the metal, which is mainly aluminium.

Headlights lighting and wiring

All vehicles have both front and rear lights these are normally made up of a reflection plate and either a bulb or led to illuminate a plastic or glass lens , bulbs are the integral part and come in the form of a standard glass and wire bulb a xenon gas filled bulb or a halogen bulb. In recycling these bulbs, it takes a very specialist company to extract the toxic materials. Wiring within a vehicle is made up of stranded copper wire terminated in a fuse board and at the component by way of soldered joints or push on clips, alot of copper wire is recovers from recycling these components and is a very valuable commodity to the scrap metal recycler.

Battery Recycling

The battery is always removed from a scrap vehicle and the battery contains some very toxic liquids namely sulphuric acid and lead, when recycling a car battery be sure not to damage the plastic casing as this will cause the acid to leak out which is very corrosive and toxic and can damage the surface of most materials as well as be very harmful to you health, only specialist recyclers should remove the acid and lead from batteries in a secure recycling environment. Be sure to makes sure your battery terminals are well insulated and do not come into contact with metal components as these can cause a fire.

Wheels and tyres

Wheels and tyres are both recycled from scrap or unwanted vehicles, as the wheels are either made of steel or alloy both have a value to the recycling centre, the tyres will be removed from the wheels and then the two different metals separated into either steel or aluminium, the tyre will either be resold if the tread on the tyre has sufficient life left in it and the tyre wall is not damaged or punctured in an way. If the tyre has no resale value, then they are sent to be shredded and the rubber recycled.

Vehicle chassis and body

When all the components from a scrap or recycled vehicle are removed there is only normally the chassis and body left , both these are made of metal and either cast steel or stainless steel and are separated as both has a different price , clean stainless steel and heavy cast iron are both recycled by melting them down into a liquid form, the slag is then removed and the steel poured into ingots that are then resold for remanufacture.

Vehicle plastics

Interior and exterior plastics are both recycled and include the front and rear plastic bumpers or fenders and all the interior components of the vehicle , dashboard and door cards are all made of recyclable plastics, these plastics are carefully removed from the vehicle by the recycler and sorted into different grades of plastic ready for recycling.

Scrap metal

The final part of the recycling process for any vehicle is the scrap metal removal, scrap metal is crushed by a crusher using hydraulic rams and preseed into a cube like shape, these cubes are then sent to a shredder which then shred the metal material into different piles for recycling, this scrap metal is then processed and reused.

We hope you find this guide into what happens to the components of your scrap vehicle helpful and informative ,

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