I recently took my 97 Explorer for Click & Clack’s used car checklist and leaned my trasmission may only last through this year. It also has a crackied winshield, the ABS is gone, the rear windshield wiper motor is gone, The 6 CD changer quit, the hood doesn’t stay up and the passenger door lock quit working. Beetween the ABS and transmnission it could cost more to fix than it ti worth. I’m starting to look for a newer vehicle. Meanwhile, has anyone ever sold their vehicle to a salvage yard for parts? Is it worth more as parts than as an old SUV with lots of things to repair? How can I get the most $ for my ailing SUV?
What makes you think the transmission is on it’s way out? There’s really nothing the amateur mechanic can do to ascertain the long-term life expectancy of the transmission, other than to see if the fluid’s been changed lately, but even dirty and/or low fluid is hardly a death sentence for your transmission. It sounds like your car is definitely getting into “clunker” territory, simply due to things not getting repaired as they arose, but the transmission is probably the only thing that wouldn’t be worth fixing.
A salvage yard MIGHT give you a few hundred bucks for it if you drive it in or will give you the cost of the tow (i.e. nothing for you) if they have to come get it. You’ll be much better off selling it to a private party.