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To Scrap or Not To Scrap



My 96 Grand Cherokee in otherwise good condition stopped running last week
and the shop hasn’t figured out how to restart it – some complicated
electrical problem – so would like to know how to sell it for junk and how
much to expect for it. The “sold by owner” blue book value is $4500.


I question how complicated the issue is, and maybe the garage is jumping the gun a little bit. If there was a major melt down in the wiring harness, I could see you looking at scrapping the car, but if it’s something a little less severe like a blown fusible link, or bad solenoid/starter it’s worth fixing. I don’t know anything about your repair shop, so I don’t want to say anything negative, you will have to make the call on their competency.

If you are comfortable with the shops diagnosis and it’s going to cost you over $1,000 to fix then you have a few options…

1. List the car as a “Mechanic’s Special” in your local paper/car trader.

2. Put the car on Ebay as a “Mechanic’s Special”

3. Sell it to a junkyard in your area as a whole vehicle.

4. Part it out and sell pieces on Ebay or Locally.

The problem I see with trying to sell it as parts is the time involved with removing the parts, and I don’t see the demand for those parts being very high. If the vehicle was a classic car or truck, selling it in pieces on Ebay or even locally would be worth your time.

Selling the car as a mechanic’s special would be the best way in my opinion to get the most money from the vehicle. A competent shade-tree mechanic could diagnose or replace the wiring harness and have a good running vehicle for a small investment. I would ask $2500 – $3000 for the Jeep if you sell it this way. Selling it this way on Ebay does not make a lot of sense, unless you find a local buyer, as shipping a non-running vehicle is more expensive.

If you want the least hassle, sell it to a local junkyard and let them haul it from the garage. I do not know what price they would be willing to pay, but you can check for an idea of what major parts are selling for. (engine, transmission, axles, interior, hood, rear hatch, and doors) By checking these prices, you can get a good idea of what kind of money the junkyard would wring out of the vehicle. Take 75% of that value and that would be a good starting point for negotiation.

Good Luck,


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Posted: 21st August 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Selling Your Car

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