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Fix up to sell? Or just sell?

My wife and I just completed a cross-country move from Arizona to Boston. We both had cars, but now we really only need one, and can really only AFFORD to keep one. My wife loves her car, so my 2006 Mazda 5 (the mini-Minivan) is on the block.

I drove it cross-country to start the moving process, and it was loaded with a LOT of stuff. The rear end rode noticeably lower for the drive. And I hit some nasty potholes along the way. Now I think the shocks are blown…the car bounces up and down at the rear quite a lot even over smooth pavement.

To make matters worse, as part of the moving process, the Mazda was parked for 10 days. When I came back, there was a lot of brake noise from the back. A little driving, and braking, reduced the noise a lot - so probably just some rust buildup. But there’s still a recurring sound that speeds up/slows down in time with the speed of the car. Actual braking power seems unaffected…I’ve gone on quiet roads and slammed on the brakes to make sure.

The car now has 85k miles. I had it checked out by a mechanic that I trust before I did the cross-country drive, so other than the shocks, and maybe the brakes, it’s in good shape. Kelly Blue Book says it’s worth $8775 in “good” condition, and $7750 in “fair” condition. (trade-in values) I owe $8000 to the bank on this beast, so I’d prefer not to do a private sale due to the hassle involved. But I also don’t want to sell it and OWE money on the darn thing.

Should I take it to a Monro or something and get the shocks replaced and the brakes looked at? Or just eat the loss of it being in “fair” condition and get rid of it?

If the noise is evident to those taking the car for a test drive you ought to take care of that. Have someone evaluate the shocks and struts. I’d likely leave them be, but if the ride is bouncy you can show receipts for the recent work and a buyer will appreciate that. That test drive is important if you want to sell the car for more than you owe on it.