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Selling a beater car - advice?

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posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 09:22 PM
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My son's old 2004 car broke down, again. This time it needs $1500 of mechanical work and 2 tires. Stuff I know nothing about, like tie rods and stabilizers and so forth.

Car has 128,000 miles on it. The engine runs fine for now. Inside is pretty nasty dirty from my messy son.

I can't afford to fix it (would have to charge it and be in debt for it on my card). I'd have to give him my car so he could get to work (I would use another car I have leased).

I was going to call the local tow company that junks cars and maybe get $150 for it.

My son feels if the garage puts the spare on the bad tire that he could drive it back home and we should try to sell it on Craigslist for like $800 to someone who could fix it themselves for much cheaper than the garage.

I have no experience with this kind of thing. Neither does my son really.

So, folks who are beater car savvy - would anyone buy this clunker and fix it - you think? I would of course disclose all that is wrong with it.

Or should we not bother?

I really could use the cash right now.

Any helpful advice?

--Galadriel




posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 09:37 PM
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a reply to: Galadriel

I would definetly try craigslist first. Just because the car isn't appealing to you doesn't mean someone else wouldnt buy, fix and flip the car. There's a lot of gear head out there.
The 150 should be your last option.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 09:42 PM
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a reply to: Galadriel

You have too many unanswered aspects. Please give up the make and model of vehicle. This would be key info to whether it is worth salvaging or not or if ANYONE would want the car broken or repaired. 128K is not too bad in today's world. Tires are a small issue. Is the strict emission standards in your area. Did you get a second estimate. If you didn't, you should.

As you suspect, selling the car "as is" may be your best bet in the short run, but leasing is a debt that never gets paid off if you will always need a set of wheels.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 09:45 PM
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If he thinks it can drive. maybe just take it to the scrap yard yourself. They might give you more like 300-400, if you show up with your junk car and your title.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 09:52 PM
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a reply to: Aliensun

Dodge Stratus 2004 coupe is the make/model.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 09:54 PM
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a reply to: Galadriel

Buy your son a Chilton book for that year and model and let him have at it.


If he isn't careful he might actually learn something while he's fixing it . ( sneaky parenting )

edit on 22-6-2015 by Greathouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: Galadriel

Not sure where you hail, or that your car qualifies, there are exclusions… and some leeway…

Here we get a grand for them if they qualify…

But this is CA, maybe your state has a similar buy back program.


Buy back



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:00 PM
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originally posted by: Galadriel
a reply to: Aliensun

Dodge Stratus 2004 coupe is the make/model.


Go on line to see the value of the car, from what you said I assume that the whole car is not in good shape, so more than likely, it would be at the bottom of the value charts. Advertise the thing on Craig'sList once you gain some idea of its value and take cash, no "promise to pay the balance next pay day...."

Leasing may be the best option. I don't get the impression that your son is much help in this situation except you both seem to need a vehicle. You might want to examine that issue. You didn't say that you needed a car daily or not.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:09 PM
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Tie-rods (think they're called toe-links or lateral links on your car since I can't find tie-rods for the 2004 Dodge Stratus on rockauto) are less than $40/wheel

Stabilizers are less than $20/wheel

$1500 is crazy for that - must be some other issues as well...

Honestly, it wouldn't be a terribly difficult repair if you had some time & a good spot to do it...it's fairly straight forward.

ETA:
Just curious...What happened? Did he put it into a curb?
Should be able to get at least $1000 out of it these days...used cars are expensive right now, even beaters...
edit on 22-6-2015 by coldkidc because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:10 PM
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We have an old Pontiac Grand-Am, and we fixed the tie-rods in ours. It has rewarded us many times over. It has around 350,000 miles on it. Sometimes if the rest of the car is otherwise sound, an expensive repair can be worthwhile, especially if you've been keeping the other maintenance regular.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:14 PM
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originally posted by: Galadriel
My son's old 2004 car broke down, again. This time it needs $1500 of mechanical work and 2 tires. Stuff I know nothing about, like tie rods and stabilizers and so forth.

Car has 128,000 miles on it. The engine runs fine for now. Inside is pretty nasty dirty from my messy son.

I can't afford to fix it (would have to charge it and be in debt for it on my card). I'd have to give him my car so he could get to work (I would use another car I have leased).


Do a google search for: sell used car with your area code. There are companies who will talk to you on email then the phone, offer an amount, then come to your address and tow it away, and they'll give you cash.

For example, I sold a 2003 Ford Taurus V6 with a bad transmission and an electrical problem for $300 cash. It had about 200,000 miles. The amount they offer depends on if it starts, if it runs, if the tires aren't flat, they'll give you more.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: coldkidc

honestly, I have no idea what he's done to the car - I swear he must drive over stuff

he's not handy at all (nor am I) so he couldn't work on it himself - and we have no tools or anything

I need a car daily to get to work, etc. as does he.

thanks for your input, coldkidc, and to everyone else who's responded. You can tell I know nothing about cars.

I guess I may try Craigslist - I've never sold or bought anything that route before

If I had the cash, I'd probably fix it, but since it's more credit card debt, I hate to do it

I'm have a leased car (jointly leased by my other kid and me, but he can't drive it now due to health issues so I am driving it and paying for it) and my car that I'll likely end up letting him use (my car has about 3 more payments on the loan).

My younger son still lives at home and is only earning min wage, so doesn't have money for repairs either. Needs to get to work too, buses aren't an option where we live. I work 20 miles away, he works about 15 m

thank you all - gives me some ideas/options to ponder



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: Galadriel

Seriously ask your son if he wants to give it a try. Show a little confidence in him . With instructions ( Chilton Book) he might need a couple special tools to make it easier. That is what Harbor freight was made for the "home of the cheap disposable tools". Lol


If the parts price given in the thread are correct that's 120 bucks probably 50 and tools . And if you're doing it yourself you don't have to do it all at once . There is also nothing wrong with the used tire store just check the threads you'd be surprised what you can get for $25 apiece .


Then when he gets it done the first stop is to have the front end align they will tell you whether he did anything wrong .


Just my advice but I guarantee many of us on this thread learned the same way .



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: Galadriel

You know, my parents gave us an old beater Oldsmobile when we first got married. We did not have the money to repair anything on this car. My husband must have personally repaired just about every part on it that could be repaired by a person working in the lot of his college ghetto complex.

And he was not particularly handy and had never been under the hood of a car before in his life. He learned a lot though, and he gained a lot of confidence and self-worth in the doing.



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:43 PM
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Step 1. Find a mechanic who will visually inspect your car for free.

Step 2. Get a parts list and an estimate just in case he's willing to go ahead with step 3.

Step 3. This is where you are better off getting a second free inspection to contrast and compare any differences between mechanics. If you're comfortable with the first one, use his estimate.

Step 4. Find a mechanic that will install pre-purchased parts. He may try and inflate the labor, but that is when you compare you original estimate.

Step 4. Go to advanced auto and find each part required. Load them onto separate tabs in your browser.

Step 5. Go to www.retailmenot.com... for coupon codes.

Step 6. Here's were it get a little tricky. You want to thoroughly check the codes and find the best combination that will save you the most money. I regularly save HUNDREDS of dollars this way when I buy parts.

It helps to sometimes to break your order into two separate orders so you can take advantage of the best coupon codes. At times you may come up slightly short to qualify, which you then add cheap brake fluid, lubrication, air fresheners, etc.

Step 7. Purchase parts, bring to mechanic, PROFIT.

Well, not really profit....

More like,


You'll be better than MacGyver!



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 10:53 PM
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It's easy to change tie rod ends and stabalizer bars. He just has to make sure he counts the turns or measures the distance to get it close to in line. Then he can bring it into the shop to get an alignment for about eighty bucks. Two new tires only cost about two hundred installed. He has to learn to take care of his stuff, make him fix it.

Who knows what else he hasn't been doing. Has he done any maintenance at all?



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 11:13 PM
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YouTube is your friend on auto repair at times I find it helps with the tricky things but most things are straight forward



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 11:18 PM
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I don't mean to offend here, but no one will buy your car. A mint condition dodge stratus will barely bring home 2 grand. If it need Tie rod ends, stab links, tires, and who knows what else, I'd give you scrap value on it. In this case, it's well worth picking up a set of tools and learning to fix it!!! You have nothing to loose at this point!

For your tires, you should consider picking up a used set on steel rims, you can usually pick up a set of 4 used tires for under $100. No matter what, the used tires you buy will be better than the ones you have on!

Tie rod ends can be a pain, it's worth finding out if it's your inners or outers. If it's the outer tie rod ends, then the repair is pretty straight forward and you only need to worry about the alignment. However if it's the inners you'll need special tools.

Stabs and stab links are easier to change out than tires and is well worth your effort to fix. That being said, the stabilizer isn't a critical suspension component and you can get away with just removing it. It will offset the balance of the car, but unless you're racing it you probably wont notice the difference. It has very little impact on the safety of your car.

If you can throw down a list of everything that's wrong with it, we can all walk you through how to fix it. But by the sounds of it, you're in a bit of a pickle. IF you are going to sell it, advertise it as a parts car and not a beater that needs work, you'll get more money for it that way. When a buyer comes to it they'll know it's in rough shape and not haggle you over the fact that it needs so much work. As a parts car with a good engine, you should be able to get around $500 - $700 but that's assuming your transmission is strong and the basic maintenance has been done on the engine. (And of course, assuming someone needs an engine for a stratus!)

Not to mention, the Dodge stratus isn't the nicest car to work on! With no experience in repair you could end up over your head in a hurry.

Another option for you might be to price out used parts and then put an add in the paper or on craigslist looking for a mechanic for hire. Buy the parts on your own and see if you can farm out the labor. By the sounds of it, most of the work you need can be done on the floor. Most mechanics out there look for work on the side as it is so it might be worth investigating.

Hope it works out for you.
edit on 22-6-2015 by PollyPeptide because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-6-2015 by PollyPeptide because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-6-2015 by PollyPeptide because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2015 @ 11:23 PM
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I believe sometimes you can get a decent tax write off if you donate. Might crunch the numbers on that.

Good luck, sorry to hear about the troubles. You might try pricing the parts needed and throwing an add on Craigslist for a handyman type.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 01:15 AM
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Polypeptide Rickymouse and Eisegesis,
I'm with them on this!
What's the problem with prodding the son to learn a bit about cars and get down in the nitty gritty of minor repairs... in addition to learning something and possibly fixing the car, it'll probably lead to responsible car maintenence in the future.
Good advice, on this thread from those three



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