Busted Lip, Fix Before I Sell?

Hello. I would like to sell my Lancer but I am concerned about being able to get a good price for it while the Front Passenger Side Lip is cracked in half. I have attached a picture so you can get an idea of the damage.

Mainly I would like to know:

  • Does the lip need to be repaired or can they be removed cleanly

  • Would I be better of leaving it broken and trying to sell to a dealership or used car lot

  • If it must be fixed, is it easy to do myself (basic tools, no bodywork experience)

  • If it must be fixed how much would it cost to take it to a shop/ what kind of shop

Bonus question: I have a set of wheels and tires for both summer and winter that I would like to sell with the car. If my best option is to sell to a dealership or lot, I’m assuming they would not take the tires or not give a good price for them. So then should I keep the Winter tires to sell separately?

Thanks for any advice!!!


I would not worry much about that crack on bumper cover: just use a piece of metal and a couple of self-tapping screws to squeeze it together and prevent crack from developing

sell wheels separately, craigslist or any local listing - you will get more than during trade

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That’s the air dam

It provides aerodynamics so the vehicle gets slightly better fuel economy than without one.

If you sell the vehicle to a dealer or used car lot, they’re gong to low-ball on price.

That’s the business they’re in. Buy low. Sell high.

You’d get more for the vehicle selling it to a private buyer.


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Depending on how old this car is and mileage, a dealer or used car lot may not even want it.

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it is from 2011 and has about 68,000 miles

It’s not even 10 years old, for Pete’s sake! Fix it the right way, or be prepared to be low-balled on price–no matter who you sell it to.

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Any body shop can easily repair or replace that part for you OP. That’s the method you should use if you want professional looking results. I expect you already know that.

I have very little experience in this sort of thing, but if I were diy’ering that job on the cheap I’d research what sort of glue to use, then drill two hole pairs on each side of the crack, temporarily insert 4 bolts/washers/nuts into the holes, and use clamps on the bolts to pull the crack together. If it was relatively easy to remove that entire piece I’d do the job on the bench, otherwise just leave it attached to the car. Once the glue set I’d fill in the bolt holes (using whatever product is correct for that material), sand, and apply paint. To minimize the painting expense I’d try to buff away as much of those black markings off the surface,and use touch up paint for the rest. I expect it would be 25/25 fix. Looks good at 25 mph from 25 feet away :wink:

As far as the extra set of tires, offer them as enticement to the buyer when the negotiating on price stalls. The tires can be just a little vigorish to seal the deal.

I wouldn’t fix it. Probably just touch up the area around it. Someone looking at buying an almost 10 year old Lancer isn’t looking for perfection. Additionally, it is a great time of year to sell your car. These next few weeks dealers go crazy for clean lower mileage inventory as the market is flooded with tax refund money. Private party sales will also be easier as people will have cash in hand from their refunds.

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Spending $600 to $800 on this repair won’t give much return on a vehicle with a trade in value of about $4000, I wouldn’t have it repaired.


Sure, you can take this advice and fix nothing. Then be prepared for people to beat you down on price–hard. You aren’t selling a 20-year old car with 200,000 miles, and an asking price of less than $2000, where (reasonable) people will expect significant wear and tear. You’re selling a late-model car with high enough value that people will use every defect as a point for negotiation–as they should in order to avoid overpaying.

To put this into perspective, I went to KBB and put in the known details of your car (year, mileage, color), and assumed the cheapest trim level and no extra-cost options. Based upon that, “fair” condition has a market range of $3521 to $5606 with a target selling price of $4500, while “excellent” condition has a market range of $4855 to $6924 with a target selling price of $5900.

Having this unrepaired damage will certainly turn an otherwise “excellent” condition car into “fair” condition to a prospective buyer. Sure, you can attempt to sell for “excellent” value less whatever you think the repair should cost, and maybe even say the price is “firm” in your ad to avoid haggling, but that’s not how used car pricing works. Then people will just click on your ad, laugh, and move on to someone else with a better grasp of how to price their used car properly for its condition.

BTW, “excellent” condition also means all required maintenance has been done. So if you’re selling a car with worn-out tires, or with age and mileage past the first timing belt replacement interval and no proof that it’s been changed, expect people to negotiate the price down for that reason.

I agree that spending a small amount of money to clean up a car and fix minor things is a good idea. If it can be fixed for $100 or less and the car is perfect otherwise, sure fix it. That said, it is almost never worth it to perform extensive repairs before selling a car. I can’t imagine a serious buyer walking away from or wanting a significant discount based on such a small defect.