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Low mile car value?

Found an 04 intrepid w/36k miles. Bad motor. Seller wants 750. A good 04 w/150k miles is worth $2k? I can get a used motor for 600-800 but than I am getting close to $2k all in. Is the fixed car with used motor but low odometer worth the same as another car with 150k miles? Seems to me the value is the same. Mostly due to fact intrepids have very low market value. Kind of like Taurus’s.

If I needed low cost transportation, I might go for the replacement engine provided the body and chassis aren’t rusted and in good shape. You will have low miles on the transmission and the rest of the running gear. Two thousand dollars does not buy much in transportation these days. If you can get a good, used engine, it might be worth it.
If you are fixing up the Intrepid for resale, I would forget it.

Which engine is in the Intrepid?

Yeah, lower miles raises the value. KBB.com or Edmunds can show you how much. That said, it is unlikely this will net you any profit if it is a flip car. If it become your cheap transportation, go for it if the car is in nice shape otherwise.

Low miles raises the value, but it is mostly be caused of decreased wear on the engine and transmission. You can get an estimate at a web site like kbb, NADAguides, or edmunds. They will include a difference for the mileage. Takes that value and be crease it by the cost of the new engine, the labor to install it, and a little extra for your trouble.

Well, lower miles = higher price, but an astute shopper might notice the engine doesn’t match the body! That would make me want it a lot less…


From those who know: are you required to note the engine swap upon sale? (From an ethics standpoint, I’d surely mention it.)

It seems to me that someone might use the new engine as a selling point. assuming it is new or rebuilt, of course.

Extra value’s gone with the engine…

It’d backfire on me…I’d want to know what precipitated the engine change, and why previous owner went through all the trouble to rebuild, only to immediately sell. (Smells too much like a reduild that didn’t quite pan out for comfort, personally!)


Happens all the time on C-list ads…somebody will sell a car and brag: “BRAND NEW breaks, rotors, tires, plugs and wires!” (And I think to myself, “Gee, wonder what reared its ugly head and made them abandon the restoration!”)


You might call that cynical…I call it realistic.

You are correct, most of the time on Craigslist it is breaks instead of brakes.

Not that I know anything about it, but if someone said it had a new engine, that would be a red flag to me, not a plus. I’d wonder why and what else. Engines normally last way beyond the rest of the car. If you’re going to drive it yourself though and the rest is good, and you can make the dollars work, no problem.

If it is really a totally useless engine in an 04 Oldsmobile, then the only way I’d take to car from someone is if I needed transportation, I had an indoor place to work, and it was free. Why the engine is no good at 35 K miles is troubling, but under the very limited situation I described I would consider it.

If the engine was trashed, can the tranny be far behind? Run away.

It’s pretty much about the body. That determines whether a fix is worthwhile. The body is the single most expensive component in a car an determines whether anything you do is worth it. Personally, I would pass on an 11 year old Intrepid.

Quoting @‌ insightful

“If the engine was trashed, can the tranny be far behind?”

I can think of one instance where the engine might be ruined and the transmission OK. What if the idiot owner kept driving after the temp gauge was pegged and/or the red light was on? That would cook the engine well before the transmission would be ruined due to lack of coolant.

That said, if the engine is the 2.7 liter V-6, finding a good used low mileage one, cheap, will be nearly impossible. I’m not sure good ones existed right out of the factory.

A low miles '04 for that price would be a deal even with a bad engine. When finished it should be a decent car.

That gets into the issue of value; which could be looked at in two ways. Fixing it and keeping it for yourself as a driver is one thing; fixing it to flip is another.