Selling my car

I am getting ready to sell my 1996 Honda Civic. I have not driven the car in over a year and put in a new battery this weekend to get it running. Before I stopped driving the car, there was some engine problems and may even need a new engine. Kelley Blue Book is about $3,200… What should I list the Honda, with the possbile need for a new engine? What should I tell potential buyers? I really don’t know the extent of any problems…

This a a moral question. It is very difficult to sell any car with engine problems. You could list it in the paper as a “mechanic’s special”, that’s a car that needs some work. And that would fetch about 1/2 the $3200 Kelly value.

Since you don’t really know if it needs a new engine, I would spend $100 and get a mechanic’s evaluation. if the fix is cheap, do it and you can advertise it in good consciousness for $3200. If it does need an engine go the mechanic’s special way.

This forum does not specialize in how to hoodwink potential buyers.

This forum does not specialize in how to hoodwink potential buyers.

In fact we ALWAYS recommend to new buyers to have the car inspected before they buy the vehicle.

The only thing I would add is to look over Cartalk; there is a place where people can recommend mechanics who have done a good job for them. Look for your area, and see is there is a mechanic who gets more good reports than any other one, as far as honesty and competence. Don’t just take it to any shop at random.

I will repeat (sorry regulars who have read it before) my son’s tale. His wife’s old Ford one day refused to start. They towed it to a mechanic who told them the motor was shot and a used one would cost around $1500. I checked Cartalk mechanic files and there was a mechanic in Dansville who had many more pluses than anyone else. He had her car towed there, and they discovered the a/c pulley was locked and kept the starter from turning over. Since the car use was temporary, the mechanic removed that separate belt, and they drove it off.

So, with a better mechanic, you may find the problem is minor. Or, will know for sure if the engine is shot.