Author Topic: When to sell a car?  (Read 838 times)

specialkayme

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When to sell a car?
« on: July 18, 2017, 02:17:18 PM »
Just wondering what the general consensus is on when to get rid of a car and make a modest upgrade.

I have a 2003 Ranger that I use in my business. I don't put many miles on it. But its at 176k miles and is RUSTED TO CRUD. Things are starting to go on it (shocks replaced, rotors replaced, exhaust rattles like a maraca, bed is patched with bondo), and it struggles to pull a trailer with 3k lbs on it, but engine/transmission is otherwise sound. I wobble between "drive it till it explodes" and "sell it for $2-3k and buy a late 90's-early 00's F150 with slightly less miles for $5k"

So when do you decide to let a car go? When it won't move anymore (and you have to scrap it)? Or when it makes more economic sense to sell it for something to use toward the purchase of a different car?

ketchup

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Re: When to sell a car?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 02:45:40 PM »
If you use it for business, it's "rusted to crud," and it struggles to pull a trailer (for said business?), I'd say it's time to replace it.  If those two descriptors are a bit exaggerated, probably wait a year or so, then replace it.

specialkayme

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Re: When to sell a car?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 02:59:23 PM »
If you use it for business, it's "rusted to crud," and it struggles to pull a trailer (for said business?), I'd say it's time to replace it.  If those two descriptors are a bit exaggerated, probably wait a year or so, then replace it.

On the "rusted to crud" part: - I was crunched for time so took it to get an oil change about 6 months back. They told me they had to be very careful replacing the oil, as there was "considerable rust" and they were afraid of breaking something on accident. I even had a sway bar link rust through and break (although fixed now).

On the trailer aspect - I only pull a trailer 3 times a year. The rest of the time I can get away with only using the bed. Although I get concerned about getting stranded on the side of a mountain in western NC (out of cell phone coverage) on those occasions that I do pull a trailer.

In my particular situation, on a "cents per mile" basis I'm coming up with it as about a wash:
Option 1 - drive my Ranger till it blows. With babying, I might be able to get another 24k miles out of it. When it blows, sell it for scrap ($100) and buy a $6k truck that I can get 50k miles out of.
Total miles driven - 74k; Total cost - $5,900 = 7.97 cents per mile

Option 2 - sell the Ranger now for maybe $2,000. Use it toward the purchase of a $6k truck that I can get 50k miles out of.
Total miles driven - 50k; Total cost - $4,000 = 8.00 cents per mile

If the Ranger dies before I can put another 24k miles on it, option 2 is better. But sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't, and there's no guarantee I can get 50k miles out of a new truck for $6k. But I have a tendency to analyze things to death.

daverobev

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Re: When to sell a car?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 06:22:32 AM »
Big difference between rust-covered fuel/brake lines and the frame being rusted out.

If the thing is unsafe, get rid of it. Take it to a mechanic and just say - is this thing likely to fail catastrophically at high speeds on the highway?

specialkayme

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Re: When to sell a car?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 07:07:25 AM »
If the thing is unsafe, get rid of it. Take it to a mechanic and just say - is this thing likely to fail catastrophically at high speeds on the highway?

Oh I know it isn't that unsafe. Yearly inspections go like this:
Mechanic: "You're good to go. You know there's alot of rust there, right?"
Me: "I know, but it isn't a problem right?"
Mechanic: "Naw, just wanted to make sure you knew. It passed inspection."

I was talking with another mechanic, about a year and a half ago when I was getting some of the shocks replaced, about how the rust is concerning me. He told me I could probably find a replacement bed cheap in a junk yard. I elected to go with a wire brush and some bondo instead :)