Flutterby™! : Cash For Clunkers Oh My!

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Cash For Clunkers Oh My!

2009-07-29 22:08:22.203441+00 by ziffle 12 comments

Trade your old clunker in for Obama dollars!

Here are the dealership instructions to disable the vehicle (Page 126)

Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program

Moved to comments - (too many lines for the front upon review)

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Software Engineering Law Graphics Civil Liberties Machinery Currency Clothing ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-29 22:10:38.817528+00 by: ziffle


Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.

1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate (SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)

2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.

3. Install the oil drain plug.

4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the vehicle to the desired area for disablement.

5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which should be sufficient in most cases.

CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.

6. Replace the oil fill cap.

7. Start the engine.

8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)

9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.

10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully charged battery, attempt to start the engine.

11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.

12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no longer idle.

Where in the constitution does it say they can spend money to buy old cars and destroy them?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-29 22:26:35.452328+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ooooh! I need to go find this happening. Any parenthetical remark that says "(for safety reasons do not ..." needs whatever in that ellipsis done and videod as a warning to others!

I haven't been following Craigslist recently, but I'm wondering what this has done for the used car market, because $300 clunkers are now suddenly worth $4500, but the $700 foreign cars aren't...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-29 22:52:20.987058+00 by: JT

My 1995 Honda Passport gets better gas mileage than most new SUVs, so sadly, I don't qualify for it unless I get something too small for my family or so underpowered we can't make it up the mountain where we live.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 00:50:47.331385+00 by: ebradway

You have to have owned, registered and insured the "clunker" for at least a year to qualify.

And ziffle, it's that pesky "promote the general welfare" bit in the Consitution that seems to leave so much leeway. And since the Government is now a major shareholder in two of the auto makers, the Government is sort of hedging it's bet.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 02:56:51.693806+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Sigh. What a sad waste of our money. This has little real effect on pollution compared to what goes into making a new car. It's purely "go buy a new car" insanity. I'll bet it be less total effect to let the car die it's natural death, being that it's already built.

I'd consider buying a new car with no incentive other than the IRS not being on my case, and my not being worried about the future tax liabilities being dumped in my (and everyone elses) personal budget.

Note to Washington DC: If you get your grubby hands out of my pockets, I'd spend some money and boost the economy.

But my real problem: Both of my cars are low milage (20k and 45k) and if taken care of, should last 10+ years, and I don't see an "American Made" car that interests me: Fun to drive, good gas milage (40+ possible would be nice), that is quiet and rides nice.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 03:04:03.685203+00 by: Dan Lyke

Since the qualifications pretty much limit it to old GM products, it also gets old GM cars off the road so we forget how absolutely lousy their cars were for so many years.

That way when we bail them out and five years from now they're back begging at the public trough again, we'll forget that their management drove them into the current oblivion.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 10:15:24.23373+00 by: radix

It's already in trouble. You may have already missed your chance: AP sources: Govt to suspend 'cash for clunkers' Apparently everyone and their brother wanted in on this.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 11:43:41.292782+00 by: jeff

> Sigh. What a sad waste of our money. This has little real effect on pollution compared to what goes into making a new car. It's purely "go buy a new car" insanity. I'll bet it be less total effect to let the car die it's natural death, being that it's already built.

One has to look at the total energy inputs required to build a new car, as well as the pollution created with making the new car, and balance that with the energy inputs required and pollution released over the life of the new car versus the same metrics over an existing clunker. However, the existing clunker already has "sunk" energy and pollution manufacturing costs.

The global effect on local Earth entropy needs to be considered for both scenarios, too.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 14:26:35.991077+00 by: m

Complete energy and pollution audits are notoriously difficult. Even amongst those who have no axe to grind and are not fraudulently ignoring costs factors, different investigators have wildly diverging concepts of the costs of energy and more significantly pollution. Many times what seems immediately obvious is not the case.

Even audits done on the old paper/styrofoam coffee cup issue studies came up with widely varying results. Typical examples of fraud in this was ignoring the collection costs of litter -- greater for styrofoam than paper. Ignoring the environmental impact of methane produced by rotting paper cups. According to the EPA, equivalent amounts of methane have 20x the greenhouse effect of CO2.

Honest differences in projected costs can have even more impact on a study. The study I trusted most was done by and for the American Chemical Society, which has members economically biased towards both paper and styrofoam products. It concluded that the environmental costs of paper and styrofoam by weight was in favor of paper, but that the mass difference between styrofoam and paper for use in coffee cups made the selection indistinguishable within the error estimates of the audit.

I saw a similar study comparing ceramic vs paper cups as well. It claimed that the break even point was about 700 uses for the ceramic cup. How many coffee mugs get that much use? My regular breakfast cup does as I fixate on one until it breaks. But we have a couple of dozen in cabinets and boxes that may only get used once or twice a year. For the total, it might be more environmentally friendly to use paper or styrofoam.

How difficult is it to actually audit the thousands of parts that make up a car? I do not say that it is not worthwhile to try, but such estimates are likely to have little accuracy or even comparative value.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 14:51:52.675965+00 by: jeff

In a perfectly quantitative world, such audits would be very useful. But, as you point out, they're incredibly difficult to do in a consistently accurate fashion for complex (and even simple) products.

Political and economic forces to prop employment levels up will likely usurp any implicit energy and pollution costs of doing so.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-31 19:50:18.173065+00 by: meuon

Had lunch with my Dad at Stickey Fingers today.. He's looking at trading in an old jeep for a new one with a very high (artificial) trade in value. He can afford some payments for a new car. The 'staff' at stickers are friends, and we're talking: They can't afford to trade in their paid-for or almost paid for clunkers for a new car. Payments would still be too high.

New perspective: It's a tax refund for the middle and upper income levels.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-02 12:03:52.654869+00 by: warkitty

On the other hand, it does insert money to banks and the auto makers and dealerships that are struggling. Not everyone can afford to participate, but then not everyone can afford their rent or mortgage. Also, the way it comes across doesn't require you to trade in your high gas mileage vehicle for a LARGE vehicle. They could trade in their old 15mpg pickup for a Ford Fuckus... I mean Focus or similar small car that gets 30mpg and have pretty damn affordable payments.