Rusted out Rear axle. Is my 93 Gd Am scrap?

This Grand Am has been a bit of a headache since my wife bought it 4 years ago for $500. First the heating core went, then both Rocker Arms (or control arms…) replaced, and incidentals. Adjusted for my wallet’s deflation, now the car is “worth” closer to $3000 :stuck_out_tongue:

We unplugged the ABS a few years back, but otherwise it runs like a champ. The rebuilt engine Quad 4 is still strong, ditto the transmission.

But a few months ago it broke an ankle. She came home from work complaining the car felt funny on the drive, handling was splashy. The tires were fine, aside from the rear driver’s side; It was leaning in about 20?. A quick peek revealed a nice crack in the back axle, at the strut mount weld. Looked bad, but my regular guy advised me that wasn’t necessarily a death sentence.

This weekend I finally got around to hauling it off to the shop. Sure enough the whole back axle is rusted to hell. His quote came back at about double what I was hoping - $650 for a salvaged axle, installed.

So what do you all think? Do we give the guy another boat payment, and keep replacing steel until there’s nothing left to bolt it to? Or do we throw in the towel and start thinking about car payments.

I don’t have the foggiest idea how to get rid of a car either. (no cliffs or lakes nearby)


Before deciding ask your mechanic to look it over to see what else is rusted. Things seldome rust one part at a time. It would not be worth fixing the axle just to have something else fail from rust

The first clue was the $500 purchase price.
You never said what year the car is, but I’m guessing that its probably an older car, possibly an '85 though '91 car.

Anyway, what you really want to look at is the entire under carriage.
If you expected a perfect car that just rolled off the factory floor for $500, you were kidding yourselves. There’s going to be rust.

Also, you didn’t mention where you live.
If you live in the North East, like Vermont, NH, or Maine, then rust is something you should be very familiar with, and should have known to look for.

Finally, if it just was the axle beam that was rusted out, then $650 for one that isn’t rusted out is pretty decent price wise, and should allow you to keep driving your car for a while longer.


I agree that 650 is not bad if it allows you to keep the car for several more years. You do have the ABS disconnected, and other components may be ready to fail. Only you can decide how may more $$ you want to put into the car. Disposal is not a real problem, take it to the junkyard the axle came from or go on-line to see if there is a charity near you that wants cars. Oldmortorist

He mentioned the 93 part. If he lives on the coast in New Hampshire, just like Boston, I agree that the car is toast. True also if he drives in Hartford Ct. or Worcester Ma. Sometimes they fix those cars to avoid crashing something of value.