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When Is It Time to Junk a Car Versus Fixing It?

Having an older car that needs repairs doesn't necessarily mean you should give up on it, as you can often find affordable replacement parts at a salvage yard and rent needed tools to make a lot of fixes on your own. However, there are times when it may be good to just get rid of the car, and even consider having it picked up by a salvage yard rather than trying to resell it. Note a few factors to consider if you're trying to decide what to do with your old, broken-down vehicle:

Maintenance costs versus new car payments

You may assume that getting a new car, even a pre-owned model, will be more expensive than keeping the car you already have but consider the maintenance costs of your older car that needs repairs, and that will keep needing repairs in the future. This would include the cost of replacement parts and tool rentals if you decide to tackle those fixes on your own. If you also figure in the time you would spend to continuously make repairs, you might see that the cost of a replacement vehicle is not so different than the cost of your current, broken-down car.

Current and future value

Note the value of your car and if you could even ask any amount of money to sell it. If a vehicle needs repairs, this obviously lowers the value, and if parts are starting to reach the end of their expected lifespan, this can also mean that it has little resale value. Junking the car and buying one can be the better financial investment, and mean less hassle in trying to sell a car that won't fetch much money from a buyer now or in the future.


You may be able to still drive a car when it needs parts like a new oxygen sensor or fuel pump, but consider if certain parts that are in disrepair are compromising your safety. Bumpers that are coming loose at their connectors, seat belts that are frayed and worn and a windshield that has gaps around the frame are all safety hazards. Note, too, if any parts involved in your safety when driving are nearing the end of their lifespan. These are repairs you shouldn't put off, and which might also scare away potential car buyers. When these parts are failing, it may be a better idea to just junk the car rather than driving an unsafe vehicle or try to sell it to someone else.

Contact auto wreckers for more information and assistance.