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Assuming a car has been left in a field, avoiding any kind of damage bar the elements, how long would it last before it completely disappears?

In case is some kind of difference between the longevital capabilities of modern vs older style cars, let's say that the car has been made within the last ten years.

If possible, describe the various processes would be appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ Not a duplicate. Other questions seem to only answer when the car is no longer usable. I want to know how long until the car is completely gone, usability is not the issue. $\endgroup$ – Recelica May 26 '17 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Recelica You're probably going to have to flesh the question out a bit. Since the answer could depend on the environment its sitting in. A car sitting in a field near the coast is going to get more rain and salt damage, where's one in a dryer area, lets say the middle of Texas, would probably last longer. $\endgroup$ – Warm Shadow May 26 '17 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure which forum would be better suited for this question, maybe an environmental one? Does your car, weather and so on have any special features? What are your world-building elements? What kind of field? What do you mean by gone? Is buried under dirt after a couple of centuries also "gone"? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 May 26 '17 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 Just ordinary weather. I'm thinking something along the lines of Planet of the Apes. I'm curious as to how long the remnants of todays society would last. $\endgroup$ – Recelica May 26 '17 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ If it is just one car then it is not a world-changing information. Edit made it a non-duplicate, that's true, but also made it unanswerable - archaeology teaches us that anything has a chance to never be "completely gone". $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 26 '17 at 12:55
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If left "in a field", a car will likely be buried under a soil sediment with 100 years. By that time, it will be rusted through, but still very recognizable as a car. After being buried, its decomposition will slow. In 1000 years, most metals, plastics and rubber will be gone, but glass is still going to be mostly unaffected. If excavated at that time, it would be more like car-shaped imprint in the ground. For glass to decompose completely, it could take as long as a million years.

But maybe you don't want your car to get buried. What if we stipulate that the car must remain in the open? In that case, answer is very much dependent on the activity of the elements around it. In a wet stormy place like Carribbean, I presume the car would be broken apart and washed away within a couple of decades. In a dry desert cave, on the other hand, a car can last for thousands years.

New cars use more plastic parts and are better weather sealed than old cars. That would make most difference in the first decades of decomposition.

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The car will never be gone. There are car parts that are stainless/rustproof or simply made from plastics and other long decomposition time materials. For example tires, wind blades, rubber hoses, if it's a diesel than some part covered in oil, glass parts.

also if it's a Trabant then the whole body will be intact.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe OP meant it more like "How long would a car be noticeably visible in a field from 10 meters away?" Many of the pieces would stay intact in the earth, but if grass grew around it, a car could be easily completely hidden within 30 years. $\endgroup$ – Neil May 26 '17 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, but OP would need to specify the place. If a car sit in for example Egypt he could be covered in sand in one year. There are yunkyards where cars sits for 50 years and they just have a little rust while other have vines hiding the automobiles within 3 to 4 years. $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY May 26 '17 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ "Never" is a great word. Eventually all materials will revert to their natural state, becoming the ores from which they were smelted. Rubber and plastics will revert to hydrocarbons in no more than a few centuries. Metals will revert to oxides in a handful of millenia. The glass parts will resist longer, with pieces of glass recognizable for up to a million years, becuase glass is already a mixture of oxides. But eventually it will be all gone, unless it is an exceptionally lucky car and some parts of it will fossilize. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 26 '17 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ Never as in "it will last longer resembling a car then there will be people able to recognize the car" $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY May 26 '17 at 13:12

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