Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How should I get rid of my junk car?

asked by on

I want to get rid of my 2000 Saturn SL, but it's all rusted out underneath. It still runs, but currently needs a new battery. A mechanic did some welding underneath the car to fix a hole in the exhaust pipe and some other issues as a stop-gap, but it's on its last legs. I would like to get rid of it and get some cash. Would you recommend I sell or for scrap? Attempt to sell it to a privater buyer? Donate it? What would you recommend?

My car has 95000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

It depends on where the rust is. There is cosmetic rust which is meaningless and then there is rust on critical safety components, such as steel brake and fuel lines, or structural features like the sub-frame, engine cradle, springs, and suspension components. If the rust is enough to create a safety hazard (not an unusual circumstance so do be careful), basically if you sell to a private party, you have to clearly tell the buyer that the car is potentially dangerous simply because you don’t want anything bad to happen and have it on your conscience. But, then even if you tell people, sometimes they’ll still drive it as is, that is act heedlessly. The thing is cars can be re-built, so if you do a private party sale to a person who will make the vehicle usable and safe, that would be a good outcome. Just price it accordingly. Scrap prices for steel are very low now, maybe a couple cents per pound, so you might get $60 from a scrapyard. In comparison, as long as the frame is not damaged, if you sold it to someone who was able and willing to rebuild it, you might get anywhere from $250 to $1,200 depending on just how bad it is. IF the frame is not damaged, you should be able to get a minimum of $250. However, if the frame is damaged (too corroded), the car is worth $60 (unless you want to part it out and sell individual parts on Ebay, which is not a bad option). Keep in mind, if the frame is not damaged, it is usually more economical, and also more interesting, to keep your existing car and simply repair or restore it. Frame damage though is usually the end unless you are really determined and have a friend who is willing to do a lot of welding for you. If we can assist you further, by all means let us know.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How should I get rid of my junk car?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Won't shift won't drive past 30mhp once it reaches that point it start to grind also a loud humming sound

You have bad transmission internal bearings and broken gears. You need to have a transmission mechanic check the transmission to see if it can be rebuilt or needs to be replaced.

Q: RPM running high in neutral

High idle can be caused from several things. Your Saturn's extremely high idle is likely being caused by air leaking into the intake manifold. It's called a vacuum leak. This can be caused by a hose that has fallen off...

Q: Delay in shifting gears

A professional with Saturn experience should use a scan tool to check for diagnostic trouble codes in your transmission control module. Some repairs can be made without a complete disassembly of the transmission. This will help him or her make...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...