Repair or not repair?

My '03 Dodge Stratus was stolen - the door was locked but they opened it. It was recovered but they took the whole ignition cylinder and lock out and now the driver’s door is catching on the bottom.
I asked for an estimate for repair and the auto shop said $400 - for ignition and reprogramming - provided this is the only issue, which I don’t know at this point.
I wonder if it is worth repairing it or if I should try to sell it as is… It has 190K and was running great. It has some rust, but it is MN, so yeah… Thoughts appreciated!

You’re going to get offered less with that ignition lock cylinder and door problem

$400 to repair the ignition lock cylinder seems reasonable

Perhaps a good body shop can get that door fixed up, as well

May I ask why you’re not going through your insurance?

I only had liability insurance… :frowning:

I vote to repair it. Even if you decide to trade it after it’s repaired.
I’m guessing $400 is under your deductible?

Provided rust isn’t an issue when it comes time for the safety inspection . . .

  1. Fix the ignition lock cylinder
  2. Have the door repaired/adjusted, provided the cost is reasonable . . . you be the judge of that

In that order, I would say

I generally don’t put money into vehicles I’m about to sell. Are you prepared to discount the selling price of this vehicle by $400 to offset the problems? If so, you can show prospective sellers the quote and let them choose.

The rust isn’t bad, but there are some rust spots. I had the BCM replaced for a used one a while ago, so the odometer does not reflect the actual mileage. Would this depreciate the sale price?

That depends on which state you live in. At very least, it’s something you need to disclose.

I am definitely going to disclose it, plus it is required, I am just wondering if it brings the price down.

Is there any paperwork that discloses the mileage when the BCM was replaced? If so, you can verify the mileage and it should not hurt the value at all.

But I would fix it and keep it. Why do you want to sell it?

Is there a more frugal alternative possible for replacing the busted ignition switch? Could a simple “insert key in lock” part be used instead of an electronic lock that requires re-programming?

I say this b/c the ignition switch on my Corolla failed for the “Start” position a few years ago and I just re-wired a separate switch and relay to bypass that part of the ignition switch. A little funky looking, and I have to press a button now to start the car, but it works great. Cost me $10 max.

If I was car shopping, and I came across a car with some jury-rigged push button start system, I would wonder what other problems the car might have

I probably would not make an offer

I don’t think the OP has much of a choice - fix it for $400 or just junk it as is? The car is virtually unsaleable as it sits. At least if the ignition and door are fixed it can be sold, but would it sell for more than $400? The OP will get either zippo or maybe $50.00 to junk it.

With rust and 190K miles the car has so little value anyway this is a tough call. I think I’d walk away from this one, junk it and start shopping.

If you’re going to sell it, I’d have the problem fixed. There are a lot more potential buyers for a car they can test drive and drive home without needing repairs. Leave it unrepaired and the mechanics will like it, but everyone else will take a pass unless they can have the amount of the repair confirmed by their own mechanic. So I’d fix it to increase the number of potential buyers.

As a prospective buyer I would expect more than $400 off to compensate for the repair. My time and aggravation to get it fixed are worth something to me. Unless you want to give the buyer extra compensation, it’s cheaper for you to get it fixed.

Secondly, if I see a ripped out ignition cylinder I know it was stolen. The expectation is the thief beat the heck out of it while they had it. That’s a major red flag.

Fix it before selling.

First thing is to add comprehensive insurance to your policy. It adds fire, theft, glass and vandalism for a very small amount of money.

I would repair the car and keep driving it. A replacement car not only cost you more but also opens you up for other unknown problems.