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.

A: The sales tax alone on a $20,000 new car am...

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

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: Wont stay running, drains new battery

Hello. Thank you for writing in. The vehicle primarily runs off of the alternator when running. Generally the battery is utilized for starting purposes and completing the charging circuit. You will want to have yours tested, as this would cause...

Q: Van engine dies while driving.

Hi there. Check the fuel pump relay to the van. Make sure that the relay is working. There should be fuel pressure on the fuel rail of at least 35 psi. If the pressure is not there, then the fuel...

Q: car jerks sometimes but this last time it jerked and stopped

Hi there: At first when I read the question, I immediately thought you might have a fuel delivery or engine ignition issue. However, when you indicated you added 3 quarts to the transmission, it's pretty evident that you've got a...

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 Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...