Vehicle not worth repairing: suggestions for disposition appreciated

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dheat, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty certain our '96 Dodge Caravan will very soon be diagnosed with an expensive transmission problem. It's 10 year's old and has 150,000 miles on it. I've recently put about $1,200 into it in parts and labor and am really hesitant to put in more than a couple $100 to keep it going.

    Assuming I decide not to repair it, what do I do with it? Who would want it and could I get anything for it? What do "mechanic specials" go for?

    Suggestions and prayers for wisdom appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Doug
     
  2. Pizza Guy

    Pizza Guy Well-Known Member

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    Here in central California, an auto recycler would give you about $500 for it including a free tow to their yard.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Just place a sales ad in the local paper, there are always people looking for a project vehicle, or offer to trade it for something you want, such as a boat, snowmobile, ect.
     
  4. lvshrs

    lvshrs Well-Known Member

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    You can always try ebay-look up your vehicle and see if there are any others up for auction first and see what they are selling for-the listing costs about $50.00 last I checked...

    Also see if you have a local craigslist...I think that it is free to list...

    http://www.craigslist.org/about/cities.html
     
  5. Lynne

    Lynne Well-Known Member

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    Part it out and advertise in the local pennysaver. You'll probaly make more money, just research the part prices before you sell them.
     
  6. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I sold my Suburban that was on its 3rd transmission, And had 250K on it and IMO was not worth putting a 4th one in as the motor had not been touched yet so that would have been the next thing to go..and I did an ad on line a free ad, Which basically was for my State or at least the Upper Midwest anyways.,,,,and a guy came with a Car Hauler and a wench. Paid me what I wanted IN CASH. and wenched it on the hauler and it was gone. And I had my money to buy my fall hay supply Cool~!!! Now because I had taken lots of things off already and used it other vehicles took off the fancy wheels and put them on my pick up etc. I was only asking 200 bucks and got it in Cash~!!! He ran the motor for at least 10 minutes to make sure that ran OK and I sold it just like that~!
     
  7. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Contact your local fire brigade! They often use donated old vehicles for practice and teaching drills, putting out fires, rescue etc. That's what I did with one car of mine. They came and collected it themselves and they were very grateful for it.
     
  8. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    I sold an old ford car Id bought for $100 cash and drove for over a year til I hit a dear. the engine and trans still worked fine offered in on a radio sale for $200 for the motor and trans or $150 for the whole car.
    I personally would say part it out on ebay
    thats what weare doing with our 69 satelite got more for the taillights than we gave for the car.
     
  9. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sell the engine for a couple hundred and keep the body as a covered trailer, storage unit or food dehydrator if your area doesnt have ordinances against inoperable vehicles.
     
  10. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Where I live assignment of title to another must be made in order to get it off of the property tax rolls. Even switching to a salvage title won't do it. I just went through this last week. BUMMER!!!!!!

    As it is I have a 29 year old vehicle titled non-highway and still have to pay taxes on it. In my opinion Kansas tax laws stink when it comes to vehicles.
     
  11. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    that sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

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    Could you take out the engine and take off the tires and bury it for a root celler? :shrug:
     
  13. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all. Some good suggestions.

    I just got off the phone with the transmission shop. They want $300 for an internal inspection to form a precise diagnosis the cost of which will be applied to repairs (should I choose to go that route) estimated between $900 and $1,500.

    $1,500 in repairs now or a couple $100 each month for a couple years for a replacement vehicle? That's the agonizing question.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.
     
  14. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Go for it Doug. You already know what you have. If you get something else, you don't know what you'll have. You still have alot of miles left in it. The cost for repairing the transmission sounds about right. Make sure the repair is from a reputable person who will stand behind the work.

    Car repairs are hard for me to swallow. Interest payments gag me.

    Good luck.
     
  15. Oggie

    Oggie Waste of bandwidth Supporter

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    Here in central Oklahoma, there's no need to dispose of cars. We just leave them in our front yards until we decide what to do. Who knows? eventually you might have two of the same model with different problems. Then, you can put together one sort-of-good car. Until then, it gives the kids something to play on.

    And, while you're deciding what to do, they're slowly breaking down -- adding valuable iron nutrients to the soil.

    On the other hand, you did write THE transmission shop. Is there another one you could also call to get a quote? Or perhaps there's a high school, vo-tech or trade school that might take your car on as a project. Or a non-transmission mechanic who might try putting in a salvage transmission. True, there are risks and it could take some time. It might not be an option if this is your primary transportation.
     
  16. ecbreed

    ecbreed Well-Known Member

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    Donate it to American cancer Soc. Cars for a cure. You can write it off on your taxes!!
     
  17. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    Chances are with a '96 Caravan the transmission is not going-- it probably needs a tranny filter and fluid change. Many garages will not tell you that at about 140,000 miles they usually just need a filter, but I have seen many with 'shot' transmissions be fixed by changing the fluid (worked at a garage for a few years). You could probably do that yourself-- it's fairly simple-- not much harder than changing your oil.
     
  18. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    Wait until you sell the grill!! I'd advertise the Satellite as parts for a Road Runner-- they are basically the same car and Road Runners are definately worth more (many of the parts will work on any Dodge/Plymouth B-body) you'll get even more money for them! Where are you located-- I'd buy a Satellite and DH could make me a Road Runner! It would fit in nicely with my Chargers...
     
  19. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I'm with Bret. If you have the $ to pay for the trans now, go for it. The cheapest car you'll ever have is the one you own free and clear.

    I had a Caravan, and the trans was a problem. Fortunately, I had a friend who worked for Dodge at the time, and I was able to get the trans replaced under warranty.

    Before you spend the big bucks, you could try Mwhit's suggestion and do a trans flush and replace the filter. If nothing else, it could buy you some time.

    Good luck whatever your decision!

    Pony!
     
  20. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    Why not donate it to your local National Public Radio station? You'll get the tax deduction for the full value of the car (not what they turn around and sell it for) and it keeps great programs like "Prarie Home Companion" on the air! Look for the local station's website. They'll have instructions on what to do.

    BW