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'94 corsica

I have a chevy corsica that is already due for about $500 worth of work and a month ago it was discovered that oil was leaking. Now today, I tried to turn on the car and the engine seems to start but won’t ‘click’ on. A bad battery or problematic starter have been ruled out. It was recommended to ‘flush’ it by starting it and holding the accelerator and that didn’t work. So now it may be the fuel pump, which is costly. Now I’m wondering should I a) have it towed to a mechanic to assess the problem and get a quote, b)try to sell it under the BB price or c)sell it for parts. I’m thinking the latter is the most profitable option but I don’t know how to go about it, what I could get for it, what happens to the title, etc.

Your first step should be to have it towed somewhere to find out exactly what is wrong with it. It might be quite minor. There isn’t a huge market for '94 Corsica parts. Besides, where would you park it while you parted it out that would not upset your neighbors? It’s VERY hard to sell a non-running car unless you sell it to a salvage yard.

I should have been more specific with the last option and that being to sell it to a salvage yard for parts vs. selling to a private buyer (mentioning the problems of course). I’ve been thinking more and more of having it towed to be looked at. Your reply has made my decision more concrete. Thanks!

If the car is in generally good shape and you were planning on driving it for a while, definitely do option a. Non running, this car is worth its scrap metal value (minus the cost to tow it to the crusher, which probably means the value is close to zero). It is definitely worth paying a mechanic to at least figure out what all needs doing and, even if the oil leak is going to be prohibitively expensive to fix, it’d still probably be worth it to have the car running when you go to dispose of it, especially if you’re hoping to squeeze some more miles out of it. Plus you could get lucky-- both the oil leak and the no-start could end up being very simple repairs.

My more overall piece of advice is chuck the blue book. This car frankly isn’t worth much even running, but it is a pretty dependable piece of transportation. So don’t worry if you’re spending more on the car than it’s worth-- even spending $1000 on fixing this car is likely going to result in a more reliable car than spending that same amount on a new car. Even if you could probably buy two Corsicas for that.