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Curious if you can trade in a car with engine problems or one that doesn't run? Repairs are costly and might not boost trade-in value. Surprisingly, your non-running car, van, or SUV still holds value.

Discover who buys cars with blown engines. Will dealerships buy broken cars? Depends. Trade in your broken car for cash instead.

Click here to get an instant value calculation to see how much your car with blown or broken engine is worth.

Real Success Stories: Satisfied Customers Who Sold Their Cars with Blown Engines to CarBrain

Real Success Stories: Satisfied Customers Who Sold Their Cars with Blown Engines to CarBrain

"Great follow up after posting. Good offer for a car with a blown engine. Cash on the spot when pickup happened. Would use again."

★★★★★ Verified    Patti    Ridgefield, CT     Date: 09-22-2023

"The engine on my 2011 Toyota Camry was blown and I didn’t know what to is with the car. I reached out to Belkis at CarBrain and she walked me through the process. Great company, great experience. Collected a check for the exact amount that I was quoted."

★★★★★ Verified    Bob Cloutier    Easton, CT     Date: 09-07-2023

Maximize Your 2024 Returns: Get Top Value for Cars with Blown Engines - Use CarBrain's Advanced Value Tool

In 2024, dealing with engine problems in your car doesn't necessarily spell doom, but it could be a sign of an impending blown engine. Understanding these warning signs is key to avoiding complete engine failure, and knowing the value of your car in this condition is crucial.

Engine problems in your car don’t automatically mean you have a blown engine, but they are often signs of impending engine failure. If you neglect to address these signs of engine problems in your vehicle, it could likely lead to a blown engine.

Understanding Blown Engine Causes and Symptoms:

A blown engine is commonly caused by loss of fluids, either suddenly or via a gradual leak. Overheating is another major culprit. Recognizable symptoms include:

The most common cause of a blown engine is a loss of fluids, whether by a sudden loss or a gradual leak. However, anything that results in overheating in the engine could cause it to blow.

Signs of a blown engine include:

  • White smoke coming from the engine

  • Water or antifreeze in the oil chamber

  • Grinding or metallic noises when the engine turns

  • The engine refuses to turn

  • Extremely low compression in the cylinders

Engine Replacement Costs in 2024:

Replacing an engine in 2024 can range between $3,000 and $5,000 for most vehicles, with more complex engines potentially reaching $6,000. Four-cylinder vehicles may require around $4,000 for a total replacement. Given these costs, older vehicles, particularly those over 15 years, may not justify such an investment.

The fastest and easiest way to determine the trade in value for car with bad engine is to use our CarBrain value tool. Even if you’re not planning to sell it right away, we’ll give you a guaranteed, top-dollar offer in just 90 seconds on practically any vehicle.

It doesn’t matter whether your car is totaled, has a salvage title, or major damage, we’ll give you an instant online quote to set your baseline price.

We’re committed to making it as easy as possible to get rid of your old clunker and put cash in your pocket.

Can You Trade In a Car With a Blown Head Gasket?

Selling a car with a bad head gasket can be tough, especially through traditional trade-in routes. Many car dealerships and local traders prefer vehicles in full working order, often undervaluing cars with significant issues like a blown head gasket. While a non-running car still holds value, trading it in becomes harder due to necessary repair work. However, options exist for owners facing engine troubles. These choices include selling to car dealerships, finding individual buyers, or utilizing specialized services like CarBrain. They offer a streamlined process for selling cars with mechanical issues, providing free towing, guaranteed price quotes, and prompt payment upon vehicle collection. Concerned about 'How Much Does It Cost To Fix a Blown Head Gasket?' Find out more about the repair costs associated with this common issue.


Our expert evaluators can help you get an accurate estimate for your car's value, FAST!

Trade In Car With Bad Engine

Once you’ve got a baseline idea of what your car is worth from CarBrain, selling it becomes much easier. Most local dealers will give you very low trade-in values on a car with damage, and much lower if it isn't running.

Since used car dealers sell cars in pristine condition, they will have to sink large amounts of money in order to flip your car. As a result, they won't give you much value on a car trade-in.

And all those valuable parts and features we talked about before? They might try to tell you those parts are worthless since they’re just going to scrap your car anyway.

In reality, those parts are where many local junkyards make their biggest profits. Especially if they’re advertising themselves as “you-pick” junkyards. They’re almost certainly going to sell those parts for extra cash.

But if you’re in a hurry, and you decide to trade in a car that needs work to a local dealer, make sure they include towing.

Some junkyards try to charge for towing. But practically all of the cars they buy aren’t running, so they should be prepared to pick up your vehicle.

Who Buys Cars With Blown Engines?

When it comes down to selling your unwanted car with a blown engine, you have a few options. However, which option you choose depends on your needs:

  1. Junkyard/Scrap Yard: Faster sale. Lower payout.

    Junkyards and scrap yards specialize in taking in undesirable vehicles. You’ll likely get the vehicle’s weight in scrap metal as payment, because these yards make their money off buying low and then selling the individual components for more profit.

  2. Dealership: Faster sale. Lower payout.

    Dealerships will allow you to trade-in your car with its blown engine. They specialize in vehicles that are roadworthy and ready to be sold. An engineless car isn’t their first choice, so they are likely to give you an extremely low offer. Furthermore, the offer might be in the form of credit on a new vehicle from that exact dealership (as opposed to cash you can spend anywhere).

  3. Private Buyer: Slow sale. Potential for higher payout.

    Selling your car to a private individual is a great way to get more money for your engineless car. Sifting through prospects in order to find a serious buyer can be a long and frustrating process.

As a final option, there's us. CarBrain is one of the most trusted names in the industry, with a nationwide network of approved junk car buyers. We have a web-based pricing tool designed to get you the best possible offer on your car with mechanical issues within 90 seconds.

CarBrain offers:

  • FREE towing in 24-48 business hours
  • Quotes that are guaranteed for seven days
  • Top-quality customer service to help you through the process
  • On-the-spot payment when we pick up your vehicle!

Rather than calling every junkyard in town and haggling for the best price on your car, you can just sell your vehicle directly online. Reach out to us today! Employees

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We Make It Easy To Sell Your Car For $$$

Selling your car for parts with CarBrain couldn’t be easier — it takes just a few steps.

Easy Process Step 1

Enter Your Vehicle Information

Describe your vehicle as best as you can. We will need accurate information about the condition, location and mileage of your car. Most vehicles receive an instant offer in less than 90 seconds.

Easy Process Step 2

Accept Your Junk Cash Offer

As the vehicle owner, you will need to provide keys, a signed title and access to the car. If your title is held by a lien holder, we can help you get the title released.

Easy Process Step 3

Get Paid & Schedule Pick Up! works with a nationwide network of partners to pick up your vehicle. On average, we can have your vehicle picked up 24 to 48 hours after you accept our offer.


We know you don’t want to spend weeks negotiating with your local junkyards, and with our service, you don’t have to. Get your quote from CarBrain today to get started!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Trade In A Car With A Blown Engine?

If you have a non-running car, you are probably wondering, “Can you trade in a car with a bad engine?” The simple answer is yes, you can.

While a used car dealership will allow you to trade in your broken vehicle, you won’t be taking home a large check at all. Other options that might net a larger payout are selling your car to a junkyard or parting it out.

How Much Is A Car Worth With A Blown Engine?

You would be right if you thought that the trade in value of a car with a bad engine was worth less than one that worked just fine. But, it’s hard to determine the exact value without a professional evaluation. Often, a car with a blown engine is worth its weight in scrap metal, the price of which can vary based on location, time of year, and supply-and-demand.

Who Buys Cars With Blown Engines?

If you’re looking to sell your car with a blown engine, you’re in luck. Various companies and regular drivers are interested in cars that don’t work. Used car dealerships, salvage yards, and car hobbyists all find value in broken cars.

It’s important to note that many companies do not provide complimentary towing services. You may be taking a hit to your profit because of towing fees.

Can I Trade In A Financed Car With A Blown Engine?

Yes! However, the loan on your current vehicle does not go away because you’ve traded it in. You will still need to pay off the balance.

How Do You Know Your Engine Is Blown?

A faulty engine will display symptoms of its decline. Once several of these symptoms show themselves, you can assume your engine is on its last legs. These are the most common signs that your engine needs repair:

  • You hear knocking noises coming from the engine.
  • The engine behaves inconsistently when in use.
  • You can smell exhaust when you drive.
  • You’re burning through fuel faster.
  • There are oil puddles under your vehicle.
  • There is black, gray or even blue smoke coming out of the exhaust.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Engine?

Engine replacement costs can range between $3,000 and $5,000 on average. Depending on the complexity of the engine, the costs can increase to $6,000, but the average cost for engine replacement is around $4,000.
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