Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Is it worth fixing or just junk it?

asked by on

My car been sitting in the driveway for over 3 years, originally because it was overheating and then the tags all expired so i just gave up on it. Now i wanna see if it's worth fixing or just get rid of it and go for a new car. It doesn't start up anymore even with a new battery so i need your professional advice, does it sound like I'll be spending too much just to fix it because it looks like it still has great potential, or just move on With life. Thank you. My friends tell me to try and fix it save the hassle of new monthly payments. What do you think?

My car has 71000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The sales tax alone on a $20,000 new car amounts to about $1,400. Inasmuch as $1,400 will buy a lot of repairs, you’ll obviously want to give serious consideration to fixing what you have. I would first check and make sure the engine turns freely, that is you want to be sure the rings in the cylinders didn’t rust to the cylinder wall. If the engine turns freely, you’ll simply want to get the no start condition diagnosed and repaired. The issue may be old fuel in the tank. If the fuel in the vehicle is more than a couple months old, that alone will keep it from starting. Fuel actually goes bad relatively quickly. If there is old fuel in the tank it will all HAVE to be removed and you might have to get a new fuel filter and have the fuel injectors cleaned, too. Then, once you get the engine running, obviously the overheating, which presumably will evidence itself on start up, has to be dealt with but who knows the overheating could have been due to a faulty $25 thermostat, a loose drive belt on the water pump or other reasonably circumscribed cause. If the overheating gets resolved (i.e., is not due to a leaking head gasket which would slightly complicate things), your final barrier will likely be the braking system. When brakes aren’t used, they tend to basically become "permanent brakes", that is the pads rust to the rotors and even if the car is not rendered "fixed in place", the brakes will probably not work that great. But, even if you have to buy all new rotors and loaded calipers (might be good idea but depends on results of inspection), your total repair bill could still be below the cost of just the sales tax on a new car. What I would suggest is get a no start diagnostic, get the engine running without any overheating and at that point get an estimate of the remaining repairs and refurbishment necessary to get it running. If you do all this methodically and carefully, you will end up with a running vehicle at the lowest possible cost.

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. Is it worth fixing or just junk it?

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: Starter fuse blowing

It is likely that your starter motor has failed. A fuse is meant to protect your vehicle's electrical system from drawing too much current, or electricity. If your starter motor shorts out that gives electricity a straight path to ground...

Q: Looking to buy this vehicle and they say it needs o2 sensor replaced

Hi there. Without a proper inspection being performed, there is really no way to determine the extent of the needed repairs. If there is a stored code that points to the O2 sensor, that does not mean that the sensor...

Q: How do I turn on the parking lights in a 2012 Dodge Ram?

Turning on the parking lights is easy. Simply find the headlight knob, which is located just to the left of your steering column. Turn the knob clockwise to the parking light icon, which is a picture of two lights facing...

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 Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.