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Have to scrap... advice?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19 Dec 2016, 03:11 am
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Default Have to scrap... advice?

Hi all,

I posted a few months ago about a massive coolant problem (still unresolved) in my 2004 cruiser. Now, the transmission died about a week ago, and the costs are way too hard to justify, especially considering how unreliable the vehicle has been. I think I've been stranded and towed five times in the last four semesters... yikes. It has just over 184,000 miles and (as of August) a new thermostat, battery, alternator, and tie rod/undercarriage work.

It's so difficult to think about just scrapping it, especially because I really can't afford anything else, but I can't keep investing in this vehicle. Do you have any suggestions for selling/ scrapping/ getting the best value out of it? I'm a late-twenties graduate music student, so I really don't have any experience in this department. I'd hate to let it go for nothing (the junkyards here in central Illinois offer between $100-300), but I'm also not sure what really has value.

I appreciate any advice you can give me!
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Old 19 Dec 2016, 07:12 am
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Default Re: Have to scrap... advice?

Near on 200K car... is going to cost. Is going to be a hobby.

Whats the problem with the tranny?
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Old 19 Dec 2016, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Have to scrap... advice?

when scrap prices are high and you have good components to sell, it can be rewarding . if you can throw the engine on CL for 3-400, the trans for 200, the rims, radio, etc.. strip out the copper wiring, separate out all the aluminum, and then scrap all the metals, battery, starter, and alternator, and converter separately, you do pretty good scrapping a car.

unfortunately scrap prices are low, you have a motor that's been overheated over a long period of time, a bad trans, and scrapping a car is quite a bit of work. you're also going to have a lot of plastic crap to throw out, plus carpet, the headliner, the foam from the seats, etc.



if you do decide to cut the car up, i recommend the "milwaukee torch" brand sawzall blades. they are the best and longest lasting. we used them for this pic.

personally unless you're looking for something messy and destructive to do with a buddy, i'd take the 300 or stick it on CL for a bit more
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Old 19 Dec 2016, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Have to scrap... advice?

I have found myself in a similar situation to you with my PT Cruiser. I'm a 24-year old chemistry graduate student with an '01 LE Pt with 150k. I acquired a PT Cruiser for nothing from a family member who didn't want it anymore and it needed a ton of work, but I didn't have any money and my old car was just a complete piece of crap that needed thousands in work when we got rid of it so I took the PT Cruiser. I had a number of issues from the get go and really thought about getting something else but didn't have the money to. But when I think about it, the amount of money I have spent on repairs in 4 years (3-4K), is FAR less money than I would be paying if he had bought something else at the time. After those big initial repairs I got done, which I barely had the money to cover at the times, I really haven't had many problems, just normal maintenance. Have you had your transmission checked out to see if it really needs to be replaced? If not, I would make sure first.

As far as advice, I will tell you this. Sit down and think about all the money you have spent on repairs in the past year and divide it by 12. Compare that to the price of an expected car payment if you were to buy something else. If the two numbers are close, decide for yourself what you would like to do, keeping in mind that buying a cheap used car will most likely have some problems as well.

Also, being a graduate student I know all too well how hard it is living on such a small salary. When I thought about getting rid of my PT, I thought about the downsides of buying a used car in my low price range ($~5k). I decided to keep my PT because we knew its repair history very well, it didn't have any trade in value, and didn't want to buy a used car at that price and then have to do a number of repairs on it. How long have you had your PT? It might be worth it to save based on the well-known repair history.

I hope my response can provide some sort of advice to you in some way. Again, everyone may not think the same way as me and say otherwise. Heck, some people might think I'm downright crazy, but it's my 2 cents, lol.
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Old 19 Dec 2016, 03:21 pm
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Default Re: Have to scrap... advice?

Thanks for the interest and advice so far!

The transmission is definitely a goner -- I could tell it was going out, and the auto shop ran several checks to make sure that was really the problem.

I would probably pay to replace it if not for the coolant issue -- about every 200 miles, the coolant flushes from the radiator into the reservoir. Since I can now smell, feel, and hear when this is occurring, I usually add more before it tries to overheat, but as it is I can't make long trips without having to stop, wait for the car to cool down, and add more coolant. I also have a slow tire leak and a few other undercarriage issues that would need to be replaced in the next year.

I am definitely not interested in purchasing another used car at this time... as you said, JonN, I know this car's repair history. I'm considering leasing something for the peace of mind (not likely to break down, or at least under warranty). The amount I've spent on repairs this year alone (plus fixing the transmission) would amount to a monthly payment of over three hundred dollars.

Perhaps I will try listing on Craigslist... I don't think I have the skill/wherewithal to strip it apart myself, beyond a few of the basics.
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Old 19 Dec 2016, 04:06 pm
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Default Re: Have to scrap... advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cricket12 View Post
Thanks for the interest and advice so far!

The transmission is definitely a goner -- I could tell it was going out, and the auto shop ran several checks to make sure that was really the problem.

I would probably pay to replace it if not for the coolant issue -- about every 200 miles, the coolant flushes from the radiator into the reservoir. Since I can now smell, feel, and hear when this is occurring, I usually add more before it tries to overheat, but as it is I can't make long trips without having to stop, wait for the car to cool down, and add more coolant. I also have a slow tire leak and a few other undercarriage issues that would need to be replaced in the next year.

I am definitely not interested in purchasing another used car at this time... as you said, JonN, I know this car's repair history. I'm considering leasing something for the peace of mind (not likely to break down, or at least under warranty). The amount I've spent on repairs this year alone (plus fixing the transmission) would amount to a monthly payment of over three hundred dollars.

Perhaps I will try listing on Craigslist... I don't think I have the skill/wherewithal to strip it apart myself, beyond a few of the basics.
It seems my "take the repair bills and divide by 12" tactic has helped you put this into perspective a little better. In my opinion, it seems like it might be a better idea for you to put money on a down payment for a lease rather than fix the transmission and deal with the coolant/overheating issue. Especially being a grad student, I'm sure the last thing you want to be doing in your I'm guessing little free time is dealing with car issues. There comes a time in every car's life where it is time to go and it appears your PT has unfortunately gotten there. Good luck with everything.
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