Have you ever scrapped a car? What finally killed it?

I’m told that Toyota and Honda vehicles survive on the road longer than the domestics out beyond 10 years. I’m wondering why.

Have you scrapped a car? If so, what make/model/year and what finally killed if off? Rust? Engine? Transmission? Suspension? Electrical?

For my example, I had a '96 Jaguar XJ6 that I donated for scrap rather than spend $6000+ to fix a wiring harness problem. The root cause was corrosion in the wiring … somewhere…

Inquiring minds want to know.

Scrapped a 1971 Datsun (Nissan) 510 sedan in 1981. scrapped for rust.

I replaced a transmission since the old one locked up solid likely from a failed bearing. The used tranny lasted until I had it towed away.

The engine was still in good shape.

Sold a 72 510 in 1983 on which I had fixed a lot of the rust and repainted it but it ran well. But not too many years more, or so I heard.

Sold a 1971 Saab 99E in a basket for parts in 1984 because the trans locked up internally and the engine needed a complete rebuild. The car had 129,000 miles and wasn’t worth the repair.

Scrapped/parted out a 1975 Olds Starfire (nee Monza) with 120,000 miles that I’d made into a race car since old race cars aren’t worth much.

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Those 510s were very cool and worth a few coins today. This one sold recently for $36,000!!

But 510’s pretty much dissolved if driven in the rust belt. They had virtually no rust protection. But then neither did a Pinto or Vega.

I’ve only scrapped work vehicles- often times to my own bewilderment. The higher ups often times determine when a vehicle is too old to repair, even if in complete working order.

Too expensive to repair for age of vehicle (blown engine.)

On a personal level, I’ve only ever sold or traded in my vehicles, and always because I needed an upgrade in space or capabilities.

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I scrapped a 26 year old F-150 when the transmission went out the repair was estimated at $2,000+ and another F-150 that was stolen and driven until it overheated and stalled on the road. There was virtually ZERO compression on all cylinders and the transmission only had reverse and 3d gear.

In the repair business I have had customers abandon cars with me when the estimate for a repair seemed to exceed the value of the vehicle. I had a nice looking Firebird totaled by the insurance company due to wiring damage from installing a battery incorrectly and several cars were abandoned and I eventually repaired them and sold them, usually at a profit but not always. When a car owner faces a week or more without their car added to paying for a repair that exceeds the down payment on a desirable car most just walk away headed for the bank and car lot.

I’ve scrapped several cars, one because of accident damage, the rest because of extensive rust in the frame, or in the case of a 64 Chevy pickup, the cab came loose from the frame because the floor was rusted completely around, at the base of the sides. I went around a curve and everything shifted.

My wife had a 1981 Datsun 510 with the Naps-Z engine. That was only quick little car. Dual ignition (8 sparkplugs). The other plugs would start firing after 2500rpms.

Only problem with that vehicle (and most Japanese vehicles of that era) was Rust. Lots of Rust.

Any general insight as to whether Ford vehicles fall into this category more often than Toyotas? Any common factors in the high repair bills?

1979 Toyota 4X4 pickup. Frame rust - it broke just behind the cab when being hoisted to rotate the tires, the front and back end drooping. I had done other extensive frame rust repair over the years, but that was curtains for this vehicle.

Yes, the first one was our 1965 Dodge Dart which was rusted out and became unsafe. Car was 13 years old and had 154,00 miles on it in he Great Lakes Rust Belt.
The next one was a 1976 Dodge (Mitsubishi) Colt, with only 94,000 miles on it but parts became unavailable as Chrysler cut its ties with Mitsubishi.

One other, a Chevelle Malibu with 98,000 miles on it met its early demise in a snowstorm crash. The car was flawless and I shed a tear.

Collision, every one of them except the Bluebird SSS I had in Japan. I has to scrap it because it was more than 4 years old so had to be scrapped.

Ford trucks and Toyota trucks have both been somewhat comparable in reliability even as the miles piled on. There have been exceptions for both brands of course. In family sedans I would say Toyotas have outlasted Fords for several decades with the exception of the Crown Vics.

Looking back over the years I recall the nightmares of Quad-4 GM engines, early production 3.0L Toyota V-6 engines, early Ford automatic overdrive transmissions, Toyota pickup frames that folded up and a few lesser catastrophes that afflicted various makes and models. Every brand has had some problems to deal with and when someone becomes aware of those they can avoid them and with a little effort find a relatively reliable model from every manufacturer but sooner or later all things mechanical come to the point where they aren’t worth keeping. My best effort was a Ford E-150 that I drove 400,000 miles and sold it with the original engine still running great.

Are you wanting information related to modern cars? Are you trying to decide between makes? None of the above really applies…

Full disclosure. I work for a major domestic OEM and we recently saw a report showing that some Japanese cars had a significantly higher “on the road” percentage than our products after 15 years. Well, these cars were built a very long time ago and we don’t have good information on them outside the warranty period. So I’m looking to the forums for some insight as to why, for example, a Toyota pickup truck would live significantly longer than a Ford. So far, the feedback isn’t very clear and implies that the “rust monster” gets them all in the end, particularly in the Northern states.

Forums can only give you anecdotal evidence - but sometimes this is still very helpful.

Thanks for your feedback!

89 Ford Tempo floor pan rusted so badly that my front seats rocked back and forth. The only thing holding the seats was the carpet.Had to let it go because of rust issue after 14 years.My Corolla is holding on pretty good after 19 years of Canadian weather. Krown rustproofing treatment every 2 years helps because they put a lot of salt on the roads, no mechanical issues.

I think a major company would have access to actual surveys and not need to rely on unverifiable forum posts.

Other than a Mazda in the early 70’s we haven’t had a rust problem with our cars here in the Northwest.

We scrapped a 1988 Grand Voyager with 144,000 miles on it in 2012 only because my dad didn’t want anyone to try to depend on it for transportation. Would have done cash for clunkers in 2009 but we picked up our new car when it was suspended.

Our '78 Vw diesel rabbit was parted out in 1990 after we spent $200 on a fix that worked for one week.

Yup, my 1979 Toyota pickup. The frame rotted out on booth sides after 11 years of abuse,.

The truck started to feel funny gong over bumps, and I was hearing a knocking noise. I pulled into a parking lot, got out, and pushed up and down on the front of the bed. The top edge of the bed was banging against the back of the cab. I thought sure my bed mounts were rotted out. I looked under the truck and discovered that the only thing holding the cab and bed together was that the first two bed mounts were spanning the rotted out frame.

I called a tow truck and had it towed to my local junkyard. The owner, who I knew (we were all neighbors) bolted a few 2Xs4 between the cab and the bed and used it for a yard truck. The drivetrain and suspension were still good,

I wish you were right. It is not easy getting information on 15-year-old vehicles that are out of warranty and have changed hands. There are fleet users, but their usage profile can be very different from a normal customer.

Forum feedback is very helpful for seeing general trends, albeit unverifiable. You are a gold mine of untapped knowledge. This will be one of many sources of information to fully understand the issue.