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Should I fix my car before I trade it in?

We’re looking to trade in our 200 Toyota Sienna in within the next month or so. The problem is that my driver side door handle is broken and one of the slding doors doesn’t work. It would cost a about $250 for the sliding door to be fixed and $150 for the driver door. Should I get this fixed before I trade it in or just take the droip in trade in value and let the dealer worry about it? Also my car has 140,068 miles on it in case anyone was wondering.

meant to put 2000 sienna, sorry

For $400 I would fix them to keep the dealer from using those problems to offer a very low trade-in. Once I fix it I would also get offers from a number of places, you need to know the value of your Sienna before you accept the trade-in offer. Carmax will give you an offer that’s good for 1 week.

I agree for $400 you should get more for the car then with out. Again I work for a dealer, and I know that once they find one thing wrong with it they assume there is more. It just puts a bad taste in the mouth of the used car manager. You want the car to present it self as well as it can, make sure it clean when you bring it in.

You won’t get your whole $400 back.
Contact a couple of body shops to see if you can get it done cheaper.

If you are trading for new vehicle or very late model used don’t bother. This vehicle is going straight to auction due to age.

While @raj is right its going to the auction most likley, its still a major deduct if the door does not work properly, at least the drivers door. You may get lucky with the slidding door, but NOTHING pisses the used car manager off more then having to crawl into a car from the passenger side…

A 13 year old Siennas with 140k miles is probably going to be nothing but a wholesale unit unless the dealer is one of those who maintains a back lot with units like that.
You might drive by the dealer in question and see if they have a row or two of older vehicles sitting towards the back of the lot.

If not, they probably just dump cars like this on a wholesaler and could care less about the doors.

My tempatation would be to fix the doors at the lowest possible cost, clean out the Sienna and sell it myself. Used minivans, at least in my area, are selling well. Right or wrong, the fact that it is a Toyota makes people think it is a reliable vehicle. If you sell the vehicle yourself, you are in a better position for bargaining for a new car. Remember this: trading in a car involves two transactions. 1) You buy a car from the dealer; 2) the dealer buys a car from you. Now the dealer wants to sell you a car at top dollar and he wants to buy your car at bottom dollar. Eliminate the second part of this transaction and you will save money.

Hate to disagree OK, a wholesaler is like any other customer. They look for faults in a vech, so not being able to open the driver’s door is a fairly major one. They will use it to get a lower price than the dealer offers it to them at. So really everyone involved will want AT LEAST the driver’s door fixed. This is an example of what will happen… Dealer: Mr. Customer you car would be worth $2500 if everything was ok, but you made me climb over from the passenger side of the car. That got me looking, and I noticed your sliding door did not work either. Plus your XYZ is also wrong with the van… So I can offer you $1000… Cust negotiates and they agree on $1700… Dealer calls the wholesaler and tells him he NEEDS $2200 for it… Wholesaler says what the heck is he going to do with a van with two busted doors, I will give you $1500… Dealer ends up with the $1700 he put into it… maybe $100 more.

Now if the doors are working, and the OP takes the time to clean the car inside and out. He has a better chance of getting the $2500, the wholesaler is going to pay the money on it, and everyone is going to be much happier. .HOW do I know this? I DEAL WITH IT EVERY DAY… LOL :slight_smile:

I completely agree with Triedaq: get it fixed, clean it, advertise on Craigslist. Spend the bonus you got from selling it yourself on a romantic weekend somewhere and that car will remain a fond memory!

On top of EVERYTHING else already said, it’s also like this (assuming, that is, that your van is worth more than $200 other than the doors):

Dealer says he can fix the doors for $500 (or whatever his estimate is), but he wants to see you leave with a new car, so he’ll “cut you a deal” and only take $450 off the value of your van instead of the $500. You come to an agreement, and he goes and gets it fixed for $250.

Can YOU get it fixed for $250? Probably not unless you maybe do it yourself. Get as cheap of a fix on the doors as you can find, and the repairs should usually pay for themselves.

In NH both the driver’s door and the sliding door would have to work in order to pass inspection.

To me, a minivan with a broken driver’s door and sliding door is a heap/junker, if those obvious things are broken, who knows what else is wrong with it (as others have said).

A couple of dealers I worked for used to send aged or problem vehicles to the back lot. They had prices slapped on them and various wholesalers came around every week to look them over. They were given a “Take it or leave it” option at those prices with all cars being “as is, where is”. The dealer fixed or negotiated nothing and if one guy didn’t want it at X dollars another one might.

Matter of fact, I bought an extremely slick low miles Subaru that was in our shop and diagnosed with a trashed engine caused by a quick lube facility. The owner traded it in on the spot and I discovered later that day they had shoved it to to the back with a 700 dollar price tag on it. Having seen the car and in the process of building a motor anyway for myself I jumped on that one before the wholesalers came around and by the end of the week I drove it home. That car served me well for about 10 years.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I would not repair it. There is a small change the dealer finding this problem of the car. Also the costs for the dealer to repair is will probably be lower then your costs to fix it. You can also sell your car to car dealer for cash by using SellingTheCar.com and get a good discount of the dealer where you buy a car.