Should You Junk A Car With Transmission Issues?


Letting go is never easy to do, especially when it comes to a car that you need to take you to work every day. Unfortunately, some car problems are so expensive that paying for repairs simply doesn't make financial sense. While internal engine damage may be the costliest repair most car owners will face, transmission problems are a close second.

If your car's transmission is acting up, then it may be time to consider moving on. These three questions will help you to determine if it's time to hand your keys over to your local scrapper and get yourself into a nicer, newer ride.

1. How Old Is Your Car?

Most cars lose the majority of their value within the first ten years of their lifetime. After this point, mileage and condition begin to factor into the cost of a vehicle more than age. If your car is at least ten years old, then it's likely already at the bottom of its depreciation curve. Unless you drive a particularly rare or desirable automobile, then its value may be relatively low.

With transmission repair sometimes stretching into the four-figure range, this can potentially put a transmission job close to or above your car's total worth. As with any significant financial decision, always research your local market to determine your car's likely value. If the cost of a repair is close to or above your car's value, it's time to junk it.

2. Are There Other Significant Issues?

Even on an older car, the expense of a transmission repair can sometimes be worth it. If your vehicle has been well-maintained and is in otherwise excellent condition, then extending its life might be cheaper over the long run. On the other hand, a car with existing issues or a poor maintenance history likely doesn't deserve your hard-earned money.

When asking yourself this question, be honest about your car's condition. Are there other, expensive problems that you've been putting off? Have you deferred critical maintenance such as oil changes or brake jobs that may lead to costly failures in the future? If so, cutting the cord now may save you a good chunk of change in the future.

3. Will It Be Difficult to Sell?

Finally, ask yourself whether you're likely to get a good dollar value for your car on the used market. Transmission issues are a hard sell for most buyers, especially if the car is otherwise not worth much. Trying to sell a vehicle that's not running or that is shifting poorly can be a long, drawn-out process. You may even find yourself accepting less than the car's scrap value.

Ultimately, choosing to part with an old car is a difficult decision. If your transmission is failing, then making this challenging choice now has the potential to save you pain and financial heartache in the future.

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12 May 2020

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