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Can I trade in my car this way?

I have a '99 toyota corolla. Last week I blew a rod and it put a hole in my engine. I asked a mechanic and he said that i would cost about $2500 to fix. That is way too much money to fix the car. Not to mention, I don’t have the money and I need a car to get around. I have decided that I would rather get a new car than pay so much to fix up my car. I already put so much money in it. I just put in a new starter, new tires, new battery, and had a tune up done. My question is, can I use my car as a trade in even with a broken engine? I have no money saved up and I need a car as soon as possible.

They’ll adjust the trade in offer relative to the repairs they need to make to sell it.

Ooh that doesn’t sound too good to me, considering the blue book value of my car is about $2000-3000. I think I’m in trouble. If they subtract the amount from that, I’ll probably get less than $500 for the car.

This is true. Even a working car of that age would yeild more in-pocket dollars if you sold it yourself. Dealers usualy don’t even trade, at all, for a car that age.

So I should try and sell it myself instead of trading it in? This is all really stressing me out.

You can trade it, but you won’t get much for it. Probably a few hundred dollars. You would probably do better selling it privately as a parts car or to someone who is willing to install an engine.

How many miles on this Corolla?

about 106,000 miles.

Like other have said, a 10-year-old car with a blown engine isn’t worth much. The money you put in was normal maintenance, don’t worry about it. The problem now is, if you can’t afford to fix it, you probably can’t afford a new car. Tough spot, for sure. Any way to get a $2500 loan? You’d be paying big money for a new car.

How is he proposing to fix it? You generally fix a rod through the block with a new engine. I presume the 2,500 is probably for a rebuild, but your car would be an excellent candidate for a used engine. Low-mileage used engines from Japanese cars can usually be found pretty cheaply because Japanese laws encourage early removal of cars from the road. I would guess you could get one installed for about half or at least two-thirds of what he’s quoting you.

As for trading it in, having the blown engine probably doesn’t make that much of a difference because the whole trade-in process at most car dealers is just a smoke screen-- they just use it as an extra variable to confuse you into thinking you’re getting a better deal on your new car. Most of the time they just end up auctioning the cars off so they don’t really get much for them anyways and since many of these cars end up getting sold for parts, the blown engine probably won’t affect their bottom line much, though they’ll surely make a whole song-and-dance about how they’re doing you such a favor taking it as a trade in.

Most dealers don’t want used cars beyond a certain age even if they are in good condition. The reason is that these cars don’t have loan value. In your case, I’m almost positive that the dealer doesn’t want your car. On two different occasions, I’ve had dealers give me a better price if I didn’t trade in my old car and these cars were in running condition. It’s simple-- when you trade in a car there are two transactions: 1) you buy a car from the dealer; and 2) he buys a car from you. The dealer really doesn’t want to buy your car.

I think your best way out is to find a used engine for the car you have. The Toyota Corolla is a popular car, so you may not lose too much by fixing what you have.

Depending on where you live, call around local salvage yards, find one willing to INSTALL a decent used engine. Some yards have a list of “shade-tree” mechanics who specialize in this kind of work. The Automotive Underground. Check it out. With any luck, you will be back on the road for less than $1000. Today, CASH is talking VERY loud.

I agree with Caddyman about finding a used engine from a yard that will install it for a nominal fee. That is the most economical option you have.
Right now you have a 10 year old car with 6-digit mileage and hole in the engine block. The car is worth a 100 bucks to someone who really wants it.

It’s possible a dealer could give you one of those shell game deals (500 for anything drug onto the lot) but in reality they’re not giving you 500 at all; it’s strictly a numbers on paper feel-good promotion.

Basically they will make your trade look like you got something but give you nothing for it. Your car is absolutely worthless to an auto dealer and nearly most people in this condition.