To Sell or Fix & Sell

I’ve got a convertible toyota solara (2002) that I’m planning to sell. It has about 95k, and last time I had it checked, they told me it needs a new timing belt. Now the belt is actually starting to squeal once in awhile, so I know they’re right. Does it make more financial sense for me to pay for the repair and sell, or sell without the repair?

The squeal you hear is NOT the timing belt. Timing belts are cogged…impossible to squeal. The squealing you’re hearing is from one of the drive belts. It is however about due for a new belt (mileage wise). If this is an interference engine you should get it done…because it could destroy your engine if it does break.

Financially it’s far better to keep it then to sell it. The car is only 6 years old and only 95k miles. How well have you maintained it?? Regular oil changes?? If maintenance was kept up this car should last well past 200k miles with minimal repairs. Far cheaper then the $500/mo loan payments.

What Mike said.

Its not an interference engine. I like the car, and have maintained it, but its a convertible & I need something I can strap a kayak to the top of. Eventually I’m going to get in trouble putting the top down & the kayaks in the backseat to get back up to the put-in spot. And I miss having the control over a car that a manual gives me when I’m on unpaved roads. Nearly got this one stranded in a salt flat. I bought this one used, so I’ve got about $4k left on the loan for it, but can sell it for 10k. The plan is to replace it with a late 90s Rav4 with a manual trans. I’ve seen a couple in the area going for 6-9k.

Valid reasons to get a new car. I for one wouldn’t replace it. But tell any prospective owners that it needs to be changed. You should be able to sell it for near the same price with it fixed or not. If you’re trading it in…they don’t car at all…so don’t worry about it.

If you sell this car privately, it is only fair to disclose the timing belt issue to the buyer, so that it can be negotiated for about $700 less than normal asking price.

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Replace the timing belt while you’re dithering about selling the car because if it breaks your engine will require MAJOR EXPENSIVE repairs.