The Ultimate Auto Junkyard Quiz

By: Staff

What does NMVTIS stand for?

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a U.S. government program from the Office of Justice that helps track vehicle sales and histories. Auto salvage dealers and consumers benefit from the protections of NMVTIS because it helps prevent theft and sales of defective vehicles.

Auto salvage and recycling companies need to detail their inventory to the U.S. government how often?

Junkyards and similar businesses should provide information on all the inventory they receive each month, including who they purchased vehicles from and what the intended use was (crushing, reselling, etc.).

Can you start a junkyard in your large backyard?

Some areas have zoning laws against having a junkyard in a residential area, but it varies by location so you should check with local authorities -- and probably with your neighbors, too.

What happened to cars traded in with the "cash for clunkers" program in the United States?

One of the goals of the clunkers program, officially called the Car Allowance Rebate System, was to put more efficient cars on America's roadways. Vehicles with fuel use of 18 miles per gallon or less were turned in for scrap, with the consumer getting cash to put toward another car with better fuel efficiency, as well as cash from the scrapped car.

Does a junkyard owner have to run a history on a car before buying it?

Running a history check is optional, although it is offered as a service of the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS).

Who was "meaner than a junkyard dog?"

Jeremiah was actually a bullfrog (not very scary), and Fred Sanford, though intimidating, was a junkyard owner. Bad, bad Leroy Brown was meaner than a junkyard dog.

About how long does it take to crush a car?

It can take as little as 45 seconds to crush an automobile, and some crushers can handle four or five cars at a time.

What might you have to do before driving off in a salvaged school bus?

While all three would be good, many states insist that school buses converted for personal use NOT be yellow. They need to be painted over.

What cartoon had an animated band that played in a Pennsylvania junkyard?

The Fat Albert cartoon featured low-income, multi-racial kids who played makeshift, salvaged instruments in a junkyard.

What is the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?

The Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch is the largest landfill in the world -- and yes, it's floating in the North Pacific. It's made up of 90 percent plastic, so it probably doesn't have steel car scrap.

What is an "instant title?"

Getting a car title as quickly as the same day is possible if you pay an extra fee at the DMV for an instant or fast title. These can be standard for those looking to buy and resell with a quick turnaround.

Where was the salvage shop of "Sanford and Son?"

Fred and Lamont Sanford bought and sold junk in the gritty Watts section of L.A.

What happens to junkyard cars before they get crushed?

Speed and cost factor in to whether a car gets crushed as is or is stripped of glass, tires, interior, etc., before it's crushed.

What is a good source for finding used car values, even for non-working vehicles?

The Kelley Blue Book (KBB) was first published in 1918 and continues to be the go-to source for determining car and truck values.

Which of these is a common rule at salvage yards?

While it's a good idea to watch children closely, they are welcome in many salvage yards, as are the tools needed to remove parts for purchase. Wearing flip-flops around metal scraps and jagged glass pieces, is often prohibited.

Where is the "highest junkyard in the world?"

Though not really a true junkyard, the World Heritage Fund reports that the base camp of Mt. Everest in Nepal has been nicknamed the "highest junkyard in the world" because of all of the medical waste and trash that's left behind by climbers and tourists.

What papers do you need in order to sell a car to a junkyard?

Proof of ownership is needed, though the "proof" part can be pretty fluid depending on the buyer and/or location. A deed of sale or signed receipt can be enough.

What is the so-called "outer space junkyard?"

There is a real ring of space junk circling the Earth, and it's made up of satellites and discarded parts of space exploration vehicles. There also was a fictitious outer space salvage yard in an episode of the Star Trek spinoff.

What's the difference between a "wrecking" yard and a "salvage" yard?

Same junk, different names.

How has New York City disposed of some of its out-of-service subway cars?

They dumped them into the Atlantic off of New Jersey in order to create manmade reefs and keep sea life in the area waters. This ecological reuse was stopped in 2009 after the subway cars were found to be coming apart underwater.

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About This Quiz

If you're in the auto resale or repair business or have scoured shops for project car parts, you probably already know that the junkyard of the 21st century can be a wired, high-tech and global operation. If it's been awhile, if ever, since you've roamed through aisles and piles of castoff cars and parts, maybe you'll find a surprise or two when you test your knowledge of salvage, wreckage and junk, online and in person.

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