Repair fender before selling?

Our 2003 Mazda Tribute has just 80k miles and is generally OK. But it’s front fender has an ugly gash as a result of running over a bent fence post a couple years ago (getting the car off off it ripped a chunk of plastic fender off, too). Question: Will getting the fender replaced pay for itself when I sell? Or should I sell as is? Rest of the front & back bumpers have a bunch if dings because we live in the city & park on the street, but that gash is different. Is there some basic wisdom on this question? Ie, if I spend $400 on a fix will I make $401 more on sale?

It will make the sale much easier but at best be a wash in value.

It’s hard to tell without a picture, but from your description it will cost far more than $400 to fix.

Thanks! Here are a couple pix

That looks like more than a 400 dollar fix to me. It looks pretty bad and I think it would be a detriment with any prospective buyer. As mentioned, any repair cost would probably be a wash at best.

The easiest and cheapest fix on this would be to do some footwork (it may take some patience) and locate some used parts in the same color from a salvage, eBay, Craiglist, or seller on a Mazda forum, etc. This would make any repair a bolt on and could be feasible depending upon price.

Some years back I wiped out the entire front end on a Mercury I had due to a high speed deer strike and with some digging located a complete front clip at a salvage for 400 bucks. Both fenders, hood, headlamps and Laser lights, along with the front valance. The same color and even the same fender pinstripe; go figure. One afternoon of bolts and screws and done.

that is a tough one.
on one hand it would look much better with it fixed, which certainly will increase it desirability to some people.
on the other hand, some might find it odd that it has a brand new fender and wonder if that is hiding more extensive damage that is causing you to sell the car.

how about seeing what you are offered as is, and if you are not happy with the offers consider repairing it to get more

I’d fix it because it will drag the value of the vehicle down. Some people don’t care about such things but all in all…most people do. BTW…I think the $400 estimate is way too low for the repair.

Go to a dealer and see if you can talk to the used car manager. These managers are in charge of preparing used vehicles for resale and they know the local body shops that do good work for a reasonable price. Even if the dealer has a body shop, the used car managers often farm out the work to an independent shop. Why? Price! Every dollar saved means more profit. You can then decide if the repair is worthwhile.

You might replace the bumper facia yourself. It looks like that is the damaged area. I didn’t see fender damage in the pictures. It is worth doing because it will delay or prevent sale, and can lead to lots of questions. Many buyers may consider this an indication that you had more accidents and will only want the car at a significantly reduced price. Check out surplus parts on line and see what the price is. Hopefully, you won’t have to replace more than the facia.

I just looked and you can get a bumper cover for $200 + S&H. Plan on $100 for S&H.
You can drop it off at a body shop and get it painted for about $200-$300.
Then install it yourself.

Total cost perhaps $500 to $600. I think it’d be worth it.

Um that’s a bumper not a fender, just for clarification. I do believe that is more than the $400 too, especially if you replaced the air foil underneath which is another hundred or so. I think you could sand it and touch it up yourself or have a detailer do it with a couple spray cans. Don’t think I’d spend the money on it but then I’d be doing it myself for $50.

You should consider doing it yourself. Put it up on ramps, and remove it with wrenches. Socket, open end, or box wrenches should be about all you need. At least that was the case with a Taurus I used to own. Your car might be different. On the other hand, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last weekend…