Should I Fix My Car or Sell It As Is?

should-i-fix-my-car-before-selling-it

Car problems have few things in common: they will cost you money and they are very disruptive causing you unnecessary aggravation. Whether these issues occurred from lack of maintenance, an accident, a manufacturer's defect, or just plain bad luck it is important to be well informed and make the smart decision.


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Should I fix my car or Sell it As Is

Is It Worth Fixing My Car? 

Before you embark on the journey of spending your hard earned money you should know answers to the following questions:

In this article, we will go over all these questions and more.

Did you know?

Some car repairs can exceed the car's overall value. In labor alone, you could spend thousands of dollars depending on what's wrong with the car. When car repairs get too expensive, it's best to know the current value of your damaged vehicle. Selling your car AS IS can turn out to be a smart financial decision.

Already got a repair estimate? Check out the value of your car and see if it's worth the repair.

When Is It Not Worth Repairing a Car?

What car issues are not worth fixingMany factors must be taken into consideration to determine if a car is worthy of repairs. You must look at the cost of labor and parts. If the total cost of the repair surpasses your vehicle's value then right away you know it's not worth the repairs. It is also important to understand that specific issues can trigger a chain of events and can cause other damages down the road.

What car issues are not worth fixing

Issues That May Lead To A Blown Motor

There're few signs to look out for that hint an engine is going bad. They typically start small and don't appear to cause any immediate damage, but if left unattended it could have severe consequences. Ultimately you could even end up with a blown engine that will cost you an arm and a leg to fix.

What are signs of severe engine issues?

  • Warning lights (Low oil pressure, Low oil level, Check engine)

  • Engine jerking while driving

  • Any knocking, tapping, clanking sounds

  • Noticeable smells (Gasoline, diesel. Oil)

  • Smoke from exhaust pipes

Warning lights: Does your vehicle's instrument cluster look like a Christmas tree? All lit up! If the car has warning lights such as low oil pressure or low oil level it could be the sign of a bad engine. Either a piston ring is fried, and your car is consuming oil in the combustion chamber with the gas, or you are leaking oil somewhere.

Engine Jerking while driving: A miss-fire causes jerking motion on the car. This is typically an issue with the vehicle fuel system. Either the spark plugs are bad, there is clogged fuel line, or perhaps a bad fuel pump. In other words, the vehicle is not getting enough fuel to function properly. These issues can cause a loss of power and if not fixed in time it could cause the engine to stop working and could cause internal engine damage.

Engine knocking sounds: Does your engine knocking sound like its beatboxing? Any clacking, knocking, or tapping sounds from the engine is not a good sign. This typically means that your engine is combusting the fuel prematurely and it could cause damage to your pistons. Another issue that can cause your engine to knock and make sounds is a bad Timing Belt or Chain. If this is left unattended your engine could spontaneously lose its timing and all the mechanical components in your engine will warp and bend out of place causing you to blow the engine.

Noticeable smells / Smoking exhaust: Although cars emit fumes while running they are not supposed to release any noticeable smell or visible smoke. These are signs that the vehicle is having engine issues. If you see white smoke that meant that water and antifreeze could be leaking into your engine and getting mixed in with the fuel. This could be a bad head gasket and If left unattended it could overheat and blow your motor.

Dark smoke is oil and a noticeable smell means that there is oil mixing with your fuel. This could mean your drive belts and other components under the hood are damaged, worn down or loose.

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Should I Sell My Car with a Bad Engine?

These are all signs of a bad engine and If these issues are not attended to immediately the problem will get much worse and it will eventually lead to a blown motor. To fix these issues the engine must be taken out and examined from the inside. At times these issues cannot be fixed internally and the engine must be replaced. The cost of an engine replacement can vary depending on which car you have but on average expect anywhere from $1500 to $5000 but it can go well over that amount depending on what car you own. Often the best thing to do is to sell your blown engine car and put that towards a new vehicle.

Issues that could lead to a blown transmission

Is the transmission acting up? Before a transmission goes bad there are a few symptoms to look for to determine if your transmission is about to blow. These small issues will gradually get worse until the point where the transmission will stop working.

What are signs of a bad transmission

  • Slipping transmission (Delay in movement)

  • Strange smells

  • Warning lights

  • Grinding or odd sounds

Slipping Transmission: Your transmission whether it's automatic or manual has a clutch system designed to separate and engage new gears. After a certain time, this system will wear down and cause your transmission system to literally slip when changing into the next gear. Another cause of a slipping transmission is a low fluid pressure which is caused by low level of fluid, clogged filters or a bad pump. These issues will get worse over time to the point where the transmission seized and will not engage. You can expect a decent cost for transmission repair or replacement.

Strange Smells: Transmissions have their own designated fluid to lubricate and make sure all the gears are spinning smoothly and in sync. When a vehicle starts to reach high mileage this fluid can either start to leak out or burn inside the transmission. If you see any RED fluid leaking from under your car or smell any unusual smell from under your car, then your transmission is in need of fluid service. Failure to either change the transmission fluid or rebuild it can lead to it locking up.

Warning lights: The majority of new cars today have sensors and modules everywhere to make sure you don't harm the car. Keep an eye out for any check engine lights that turn on as it could be that your transmission fluid is either running low or its burnt out causing the temperature in your transmission to rise exponentially. This will lead to it either seizing up or blowing.

Grinding or odd sounds: Automatic and manual transmission both make unique sounds when they are starting to go bad. With an automatic transmission, you may hear humming, whining or a buzzing sound. You'll also feel as if every gear is wobbling into place. With a manual transmission, you will hear and feel it grind into every gear. Whether you have an auto or manual transmission, hearing these sounds is not a good sign and will require immediate attention if you do not want your car to stop driving.

Transmission issues are no joke and if not repaired on time can cause devastating damage to the point where your vehicle will not be driveable. There is no “Quick Fix” for these issues and they will require either replacement or a full disassembly and internal rebuild. For a common car, you can expect the cost to replace a transmission to reach up to $3500 and $2000 if you plan to disassemble it and repair.

Frame Damage

Picture a tin can then crush it and stretch it back out. The can might have the same the shape as before but now it's not much easier to crush again. The same logic applies to your vehicle.

If the car was involved in an accident where the damage was heavy enough to reach the frame, then the repair will not be worth it. These damages will never be repaired back to their original state and the vehicle will no longer be safe to drive on the streets if it were ever in another accident.

Most cars on the street excluding pickup trucks have a unibody frame that wraps around the entire car. Its designed to hold the vehicle together in case of an accident. If the structural frame of the car is bent or damaged the repair cost for this can reach the skies and can very well go over the vehicle overall value.

There is not exact cost of repair when it comes down to a vehicle's frame. It requires industrial machines that clamp onto your car and stretch it back to its original shape. Professional repairs like these can reach over $8k to $10k.

Deployed Airbags

Deployed airbags are very expensive to replace and require a professional. Most airbags kits with a new sensor can cost over thousand dollars plus labor for each set. Put it this way most insurance companies will typically declare a car a total loss and salvage it just because the airbags have deployed.

The cost to fix a deployed airbag can vary depending on how many bags were set off. On average the cost to fix airbags is about $1000+ per bag.

Hybrid car battery

The fuel smart and fuel-efficient hybrids pack a punch when it comes down to repairing their most important component.

The hybrid battery alone can cost you more than what the vehicle is worth at times. On average these batteries are supposed to last 10 years or around 140k miles. After these batteries give out the car may not start nor function properly. At this point, a repair may not be the best option since the battery alone CAN COST UP TO $6000!

Is your car not worth repairing? Good news is your car could still worth some money

What's My Car Worth?

CarBrain has a dedicated team of buyers ready to help you! We will make you a fast and fair cash value offer. it’s quick and easy! simply submit your vehicle through our interactive step-by-step process and in just 90 seconds you could know what your car is worth. Click here

Should I Fix My Car Before Selling It? What's worth fixing?

What issues are worth fixingNot every car issue is devastating. Some are easy to fix and won't cost you much money. These usually require small maintenance or a “quick fix” to get it done. You could even do some of these yourself and won't require a professional's assistance.

Bad head or tail light

One of the most common issues on any car is a bad head or tail light. Typically it's bad light bulb. For most cars, this is a very simple issue to fix and you can find a replacement at your local auto shop for less than a hundred bucks! Some high-end vehicle will have special bulbs that you won't find at a local auto shop but you can always order them from the manufacture and they can cost anywhere from $100 to $300.

Besides the light bulbs, you can also damage the headlight or taillight assembly. Either from an accident or the sun dried out and cracked the plastic. These assemblies are relatively cheap for common cars and you could always find cheaper aftermarket replacements for it online. On a normal car, you could expect the replacement of a light assembly to cost from $200 to $500 or more for the high-end luxury cars.

Dead Battery

Every battery at one point will drain and it won't recharge. The first giveaway sign of a bad battery is if your car doesn't start or crank when you turn the ignition. You must test the battery to truly know if it's bad. If you do not have the testing unit, then most local auto shops will have one and it's typically a free service.

To replace the battery is fairly easy for most cars and it usually only two screws! The cost of a battery can vary as there are different tiers of quality. A common battery can cost you between $50 to $150 depending on the size for your car. Premium batteries can run from $100 to $250 depending on what size your vehicle takes.

Bad Alternator

An alternator is what generates electric power for your car and it charges your battery. If your car isn't starting, interior lights not working, and you’ve replaced the battery then most likely the alternator gave out. This is not a difficult repair as most alternators are clearly visible and require very little tools to remove. Most local auto shops will have this piece in stock and can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 for a common car.

Squeaky or loud brakes

When your brakes start to squeal or make grinding noise don’t be scared. This is just regular maintenance for your car. Brakes have two components that will always wear down from driving. The rotor and pad are designed to make that annoying squeaking noise as a sign that they need replacement.

For a normal car, the cost of replacing all four brake kits can cost you up to $600.00. For high-end vehicles with performance brakes, the cost of replacement can reach up to $1200.00 or more.

Loud Squealing belts

Your car has a series of rubber belts that help move the pulley systems in the car. Not counting the timing belt/chain this issue relatively easy to fix and easy to spot. If you turn on your car and hear a loud squealing sound every couple of seconds then you have a bad belt. Either it was stretched out from wear and tear or it's cracked.

When the belt isn't cracked you can tighten the tensioner on the belt this is a quick fix that will temporarily stop the squealing and give you time to fix the issue. The most common belt that needs replacement will the serpentine belt which can cost you from $160- $200 dollars in repairs.

When Should I Sell My Car Instead of Fixing It?

Should I sell my car instead of fixing itThe first step is to determine whether the issues are severe or not. If they are simple and have a quick fix then, by all means, go ahead and get that car fixed.

Now if your car has major issues and it's gonna cost you thousands of dollars to get that thing back on the road, then it's best you sell that car right away to get as much money possible out of it.

Where Should I Sell My Car As-Is?

One great option to sell your is to CarBrain! We’re the smart way to sell your car and proud of it. Most makes and models will get an online offer in just 90 seconds! If you agree to our offer then we’ll deliver the payment straight to your hands and tow the car at no cost to you! All this in just 24 to 48 hours.

The process is quick and easy simply click here and get started today!

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