Hitting the Web: Videos of Car Deaths

Fellow blogger jgoods has provided some great coverage of the Cash for Clunkers program… from the on-again off-again drama at the end of last week to keeping us up to date on the program’s ever-changing rules in the days before it was implemented.

Well, it appears that folks are jumping all over the opportunity to get a $4,500 credit on a new car, and are happily bringing their “clunkers” into dealers to be destroyed. The thing is, many of these so-called clunkers aren’t clunkers at all. Thanks to the rules that state the clunker must not be any older than a 1984 model, most of these vehicles are perfectly road-worthy.

Now videos are hitting YouTube of perfectly fine cars meeting untimely deaths. It honestly makes me a little sad to see these engines seize up after a fatal dose of a silicone silicate solution. It’s like mass lethal injections, all caught on tape.

For those who want to watch, check out these videos. First is a Volvo that simply refuses to die… chugging, straining, wheezing, and steaming through each painful revolution before finally taking its last gasp of air and dying. It was a nice car, and obviously would have provided many more years of faithful service.

Here we have a Jeep Cherokee meeting the same fate, though with much less protest:

I guess if we learn anything from these videos, we should look at how long it took each car to die. That Volvo pushed on for about 4 minutes, while the Jeep lasted maybe 20 seconds.

Based on these videos, which car’s engine was better built to last, the Volvo’s or the Jeep’s?

-tgriffith

1 Comment

  1. Since the solution attacks the bearings primarily, you can make some basic assumptions: The more cylinders an engine has, the more bearings, and the faster the engine should seize. Also, larger bearings with tighter clearances should also seize faster, such as big V8’s versus lower horsepower 6 and 4 cylinders. Finally, older engines with higher mileage will likely have more bearing wear and bigger clearances, slowing the seizing process. So which engine was “built to last” based on these observations?? The question is one that would be asked by someone who doesn’t know anything about engines.

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