When to Sell Your Old Car

There are several perks to owning an old, reliable car. If you’ve had your car for a long time you’re probably not making any payments on it, giving you a little extra cash each month. Older vehicles can also carry significant memories; first time driving by yourself, first dates, first road trip. You and your old car have been through a lot together. However, when your old car starts becoming unreliable and the expenses to fix it start really adding up, is it time to part ways? You may think your old car just needs a few repairs, but sometimes car problems can mean your vehicle isn’t safe to drive. If your car is giving you a few of these problems, you could be at risk and it’s time to sell.

Severe rust

We're not talking about a few ugly rust spots on body panels. If rust has invaded the floor plan, engine cradle or shock towers, the car might not protect you in an accident. It may be time to consider selling your old car to Pull-A-Part. Call us now to find out what your car is worth because it's probably not worth fixing.

Steering wheel vibration at certain speeds

If your steering wheel vibrates at certain speeds, you might need to get your tires balanced. The problem could also indicate a bubble in the tire, which means you are likely to get a flat tire. If this happens at highway speeds, you could lose control of the car and cause an accident. Another (more expensive cause) is bad ball joints, which can lead to the wheel falling off.

Steering wheel vibration when you brake

The most likely cause is warped brake rotors or drums. You might be able to resurface them (fairly cheap) or replace them (probably around $250). The longer the vibration, the more likely it is a safety issue. Your car won't be able to stop as quickly with warped brakes.

Clunking noise under the car on acceleration

It's possible your shock absorbers are bad or the shock mounts are broken. This is a safety hazard because your car will not handle bumps properly, especially around a corner. You could lose control of the vehicle and have an accident.

Cracked windshield

This one is right in front of your face. If you can't see the road clearly, you can't drive safely. The police could write you a $190 ticket for "obstructing driver's view windshield."

Leaking exhaust

It's not a good sign if you smell exhaust inside your car. The fumes are highly toxic, and they could be making you and your passengers sick, especially children. Also, a noisy muffler is a cop magnet. Police can issue an expensive ticket, so don't give them a reason to pull you over.

Anti-freeze odor

Does your old car pass this sniff test? If your car interior smells like maple syrup and the kids haven't been eating pancakes in the backseat, you might be smelling toxic antifreeze / engine coolant. You could have a leak in the cooling system, possibly from the heater core or a hose somewhere along the line. Inhaling antifreeze causes breathing difficulties, headaches, drowsiness, blurred vision, irregular eye movements, nausea and vomiting. It's very toxic to your pets, which are attracted by the sweet scent and taste. If coolant is dripping on the floor of your garage or driveway, pets could drink it and be poisoned.

Headlight, tail lights, brake lights out

If a bulb is burned out, fix it fast. It's about the cheapest thing on this list and it should be a DIY job. Remember, at night other drivers will be disoriented if your car has one headlight out, and if your brake lights are out they are much more likely to rear-end you. Also, it's one of the most likely reasons for the police to pull you over and write a ticket. One light isn’t a big issue, but if you have multiple lights out constantly due to the short-circuiting that comes with an old car, it’s probably time to sell.

Bent frame

This is a big one often caused by a severe accident. Most often an insurance company will declare the vehicle totaled. Some things to look for are visible frame damage, if you can't align the car properly or if the car 'crab-walks' down the road. If the rear tires don't look like they're following the front tires, you should definitely consider selling your old car to Pull-A-Part.

The loose nut behind the wheel

Ok, we're just kidding on this one. When you're driving, think safety first, especially if your car is older and might not stop, turn or accelerate as quickly as newer cars on the road.

One or two of these problems doesn't mean your car is a junk car, but if you need a lot of expensive repairs or you already have repair bills piling up, it might be time to just cut your losses and junk your car for cash to a Pull-A-Part near you for fast cash. We will quickly tell you over the phone or via our website how much cash you can get for your junk car. And if you do decide to sell your junk car to Pull-A-Part, we will come pick it up and tow it away for free (and give you cash on the spot). Please contact us when you are ready to sell your old car.

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Is this car complete?

For a car to be complete, the following criteria must be met:

  • No major mechanical components are missing, including the catalytic converter, engine or transmission
  • All wheels are included
  • All major body parts are intact, including all doors, hood and trunk