To Repair or Not

My 1999 Chevy Venture mini-van, with 150,000 miles, broke down a few days ago. Although his diagnosis isn’t complete, my outstanding mechanic Don thinks the engine may need to be replaced at cost of about $4000. I was planning to sell the car soon after reaching 150,000. Except for the possible blown engine, the vehicle is in good shape with only a bit of rust on the rocker panels. Is it worth putting a rebuilt engine into this car, or should I just junk it?

Casper, If Don Gives Your Engine “Thumbs Down” Then Give It “The Boot”.

I’ve seen many newer, lower miles minivans on the used car market for less than you’d have into this higher miles, 11 to 12 year-old vehicle.



It is not worth putting a $4,000 motor in it. What do you think you could sell it for? Rusty rocker panels isn’t going to impress a buyer. If you fixed the rust, put in a good running motor, and completely detailed the car so the paint and seats show great - you’d sell it for about $2,000. With a running motor as is the rust puts it in “rough” condition and with 150K miles you might get $800 for it.

Your options are donate it, sell it to a mechanic who can put in a motor and resell it, or sell it to a salvage yard. I won’t put more that $800 into another motor because you might not see that money again.

Junk it. No question about it. There’s no way you ever recover your money if you sell it soon, and you’ll need to drive it for several more years yourself with no other significant bills to make a replacement worthwhile.

Clean trade (with operational engine) from is about $1900, FYI. Use that in your economic planning.

take it to the recycling yard or sell it as a parts vehicle

Can he find a boneyard engine?

$4k, no way, but of he can stick a boneyard engine in it it might get the cost down to be worth it.

I think we are sending good money after bad. The probability of many other expesnive things happening to this vehicle are high.

Sell it for parts and cut your losses.