Vehicle Problems: 12 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Car

Vehicle Problems: 12 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Car

Are you wondering if it’s time to say goodbye to your car? When vehicle problems, like engine issues, start to mount, you may need to prep for a new car purchase. After all, you want to be safe and secure when you’re on the road.

Read on to learn 12 signs you should sell your old vehicle!


1. Starting Your Vehicle Is a Challenge

If you have to head to an interview for a job, you don’t want an unreliable car. But if your car isn’t starting on the first or even second or third try, you’ll be in a panic. A car that won’t start easily is one that may need to be replaced.

A problematic electrical system could be the culprit. It could be the starter, or it could even be the battery. No matter what the underlying cause, an unreliable vehicle is one that’s not suitable for anyone with a regular commute. 

Don’t become reliant on calling a friend each time your car leaves you stranded. You might fracture the friendship if you’re calling too often. Start saving for a car that can start the moment you’re strapped in and ready to go. 

2. The Check Engine Light Is a Continual Problem

The age-old sign of car trouble is the check engine light. Sometimes this indicator only means that you have a minor problem like a loose gas cap. But sometimes it means that you have a bigger issue with your catalytic converter, which is a much more expensive proposition.

A car that is noisy or shaky while idling is one that should be taken to a car repair shop. The same is true if you see lots of exhaust or hear thuds beneath the hood. 

When you take your car in, have your mechanic run a diagnostic test. They should be able to let you know if you have a huge expense on the horizon. And if you do, consider investing in a new car. 

3. Transmission Trouble Can Create Issues

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than an engine light, it did. Transmission trouble is one of the biggest indications that it’s time to sell a vehicle. 

Warning signs often are pretty clear. For instance, you may notice strange noises, leaks, or the unpleasant odor of something burning beneath the hood. Clunking and uneven gear shifts also are telltale signs. 

The result of a failing transmission is a huge repair cost. You can expect to spend a few thousand dollars to replace a transmission. And depending on the age of your car, that may be more than the value of the car.

4. Watch for Uneven Tire Tread 

You can fix vehicle problems, including uneven tire tread, without spending a fortune. A set of new tires can fall under $500 and should last for up to around 40,000 miles. But sometimes uneven wear is a sign of a bigger issue.

Underinflated or overinflated tires can cause the tread to wear more on the inside or outside of your tire. But uneven tread also may suggest costlier problems with your suspension.

5. It’s a Constant Cost to Fix Vehicle Problems

Are you spending too much time at the auto repair shop or dealership? When you’re investing time and money into auto repairs, selling a vehicle may be the wisest choice. You can’t always take time off from work for repairs or divert more money from savings to cover the cost.

When vehicle issues plague your weeks, tally up the repair totals. One week it could the air conditioner, while the next week it could be your brakes. If the weekly repair costs outweigh the cost of a monthly payment for a newer car, consider opting for a new car.

6. High Mileage Can Lead to Vehicle Issues

How many miles are on your car’s odometer? If the number has crested 100,000, know that a new vehicle is in your future. You’ll also be more prone to vehicle issues with your current one. 

Hoses, brakes, and belts can become susceptible to problems including breakage. Make certain you have a mechanic who’s diligent about checking these important parts when you take your car in for routine servicing. Likewise, your exhaust system may start running into issues and your car’s fluids will need to be replaced.

7. You May Not Need the Vehicle

Changing up your living situation may mean you can change up your car situation, too. For instance, moving to a walkable city or one with good public transportation may minimize your need for a car. Similarly, you may have roommates or a spouse with a car you can use. 

When you don’t need a vehicle, it just eats up space in your garage. And if you’re paying for a coveted and expensive city parking space, why not get some savings by unloading the vehicle? Think carefully about your needs, and if you can let go of a car, do it.

8. Vehicle Problems Include Poor Gas Mileage

High gas bills are another sign that you should consider selling a vehicle. Make a point of tracking your mileage on your next trip through city traffic or on the highway. Older vehicles tend to chew up more gas while providing less mileage in return.

A more fuel-efficient vehicle will give you better gas mileage and savings. You might even want to consider an electric car or hybrid vehicle to minimize your dependency on gas. You’ll do some good for the earth at the same time!

9. Safety Features Are Not Current

When you’re taking your kids to school, you want to trust that your car will keep them safe. Driving an older car, however, means that it might not be equipped with safety features like a rear camera or the latest traction control. 

Upgrading to a newer car means you’ll get the latest features, including lane-departure warnings or adaptive cruise control. Best of all, you’ll be able to customize your car to get the bells and whistles you think are most relevant.

10. Rust Is a Common Indicator

Do you notice rust starting to creep onto your car’s body? Your doors, hood, and even undercarriage are at risk for developing this pesky oxidation. And even if you try your best to remove it, it’s likely to come back and spread. 

When you start seeing rust, that’s a clear warning that it could be time to sell a vehicle before its looks deteriorate further. Not only does rust make your car look old, but it also can damage things like your suspension. And it’s not always easy to see.

Start planning right away to sell your car. Knowing about car valuation can help you get the most for your vehicle. You’ll want to see how your make and model stacks up, and do what you can to make your car look better. 

11. A Mechanic Tells You It’s Time

When you need someone to address common vehicles problems, you probably turn to a trusted mechanic. Whether you go to an independent garage or a dealership, you want to find a mechanic whose opinion you trust. There’s a good chance, after all, that they’ll serve you the dreaded news that it’s time to replace your vehicle. 

Taking your car in for a single repair could result in the mechanic telling you that there are other issues. If you have a solid sense of trust toward your mechanic, you can know that they’re not trying to gouge you for more money. 

12. You Want a Change of Pace

Sometimes you just want a different type of vehicle. If you’re an empty nester, you might not need a minivan crowding the driveway. Or if you’re tired of driving a silver sedan, you might want to switch to an SUV in a flashier red.

And if you just got a promotion, you might have a little more cash to spend. Or you might be retired and have plenty stashed away in your retirement fund. That sports car you dreamt about as a kid might be doable!

From scaling up in size to seeking a compact car for easier parking, the reasons to sell an old car will vary. But any of them are valid. Just be sure to do your research first.

Selling a Vehicle Might Be the Right Choice

When you start seeing persistent vehicle problems, that’s a sign that you may need an upgrade. Watch out for unusual noises or engine problems that won’t go away. And if your vehicle simply is old and less responsive, you may want to start saving for a better vehicle.

For more tips to keep your life in good shape, check back for new and informative articles.

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