What to do with my old A2B car?


paqman
05-05-2009, 01:47 PM
Sorry in advance for the long post, it just got away from me. I wasn't sure if I should put this in this section or not, seeing as I'm really asking about selling more than buying. And let it be known, I'm not advertising my car for sale on here, because I'm not sure if I want to sell it yet or not.

I just need some advice about what to do with it. Let me give you some background on this car. It's a 1997 Ford Escort. I bought it in July of 2003, so I guess I've had it for close to 6 years. It had a rebuilt title on it, the odometer read 91,000, but the engine only had 40,000 miles on it. It's bare bones, no power anything, no A/C, no cruise control, nothing. Pracitcally the only ammenity it has is the heater, which works great. (Which is good, because winters here are pretty cold)

This has been the best car I've ever owned. Never had one problem with it. It gets great gas mileage, I've maintained it religously, put new tires on, replaced a tie-rod end, put a CD player in, and other small preventative maintenance stuff. I paid $2600 cash for it, and haven't looked back. I've put about 40K miles on it, and I've gotten my money's worth out of it many times over.

Here's my problem. We're thinking about having our 3rd kid this fall/winter. My wife drives an '01 Maxima, which we don't owe anything on, but with two kids in car seats, there will be no place for the third. So we have to get something with more room. A minivian or something, that's another post entirely. So we could sell the Maxima to help pay for the minivan, because I'm sure I could get quite a few more years out of my trusty Escort, but to be completely honest, (puts hands over Escorts ears and whispers) with the Maxima paid off completely, I'd rather take that for myself, and all the automatic/V6/260hp/pw/pd/pl/ps/AC/Bose/everything else that comes with it!

So I think we're going to keep the Maxima and get a minivan or something. But that leaves the lean green machine all by his lonesome.

I could sell the Escort. But what would I get for a 1997 Escort with manual everything, no AC, a rebuilt title, and a crappy paint job? $500 if I'm lucky? And whoever buys it would get a steal. So it's not worth the cash I'd get for it. It's worth a lot more to me than the cash it's worth. I thought about storing it and letting my first kid have it as their first car, but my oldest is 4, so I don't know that I could keep it running for 11 more years!

So what should I do? Is there a way to keep a car like that around and running smoothly for 11 more years? I see high school kids all the time running around in 23 year old Honda's and stuff, with 250K miles on them. And this one wouldn't be getting so many miles on it, just enough to keep it running. I know it wouldn't last if I just shelved it and didn't touch it for 11 years, so can I drive it around once a month and get the oil changed every now and then? Any tips for making a car last that long that's not going to be driven?

Or is there another option entirely? Would I get more from taxes if I donated it than I would from selling it? Just wanting some ideas.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance!

Ray paulsen
05-07-2009, 06:15 AM
Your post may be long, but an interesting read as I can relate to your question having been down the same road with 2 cars.

The Escort may be worthless, but it's not about value, it's about special meaning to you , if you have the space hang on to the car for as long as your emotions tell you, becauce if you don't , you will be thinking back a few years from now " why did I let that Escort leave me "

You mentioned cold winters, that brings me to the question, how is the body and frame ?

As for present thoughts, you are many months away having to make a final decision. :banghead:

paqman
05-07-2009, 08:31 AM
Your post may be long, but an interesting read as I can relate to your question having been down the same road with 2 cars.

The Escort may be worthless, but it's not about value, it's about special meaning to you , if you have the space hang on to the car for as long as your emotions tell you, becauce if you don't , you will be thinking back a few years from now " why did I let that Escort leave me "

You mentioned cold winters, that brings me to the question, how is the body and frame ?

As for present thoughts, you are many months away having to make a final decision. :banghead:

Thanks for the reply. You're very right, I don't need to make a decision right now, I've got plenty of time. As for the body and frame, the clear coat on the hood has completely faded off, so the hood is completely faded looking compared to the rest of the car. It's not pretty. There's not much rust, a couple little bb sized spots here and there. The frame I'm not sure about. I think it's pretty good in the rust department, but as I mentioned it's got a rebuilt title, and I know for a fact that it was in an accident, because I know the guy that rebuilt it.

I hadn't ever noticed anything wrong with the frame till I tried to replace the CCRM (before I knew the car didn't have AC. See this post. (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=504830)), and realized that it was held to the frame by some zip ties. And when I was putting the new one in, I noticed it was because the frame there was a little bent. So who knows about the integrity of the frame? I'm thinking it was a front end collision so the rest of the frame is pretty solid.

Here I go rambling again. I'm not too sentimental about the car, just want to hold on to something that woks so well, but is worth so little. It's not like it's a classic or anything.

'97ventureowner
05-07-2009, 08:52 AM
I would have the vehicle "looked over" especially the underside and frame to see the extent of any rust or previous damage.
If you decide to keep it, keep in mind that age is also a big factor in expense of vehicle upkeep. To put it in simpler words, keeping a car in storage costs money as well s you will eventually have to replace parts due to "non use" as they age. Items such as fluids, tires,brakes, etc. may need to be replaced over time as they degrade. Keep that in mind when calculating on whether to keep it or not. You can lessen some of these factors by using synthetic oil which would allow you a longer oil change time frame, coating the tires and keeping them covered, keeping mice at bay so they don't chew on wires or other items such as air filters to name a few. I've stored vehicles for years myself and can say it costs a bit of mone to get them road ready once again when taken out of storage.
One more thing to keep in mind is the availability of parts for your vehicle 11 years from now.Some items may be harder to find than others.

paqman
05-07-2009, 08:59 AM
I would have the vehicle "looked over" especially the underside and frame to see the extent of any rust or previous damage.
If you decide to keep it, keep in mind that age is also a big factor in expense of vehicle upkeep. To put it in simpler words, keeping a car in storage costs money as well s you will eventually have to replace parts due to "non use" as they age. Items such as fluids, tires,brakes, etc. may need to be replaced over time as they degrade. Keep that in mind when calculating on whether to keep it or not. You can lessen some of these factors by using synthetic oil which would allow you a longer oil change time frame, coating the tires and keeping them covered, keeping mice at bay so they don't chew on wires or other items such as air filters to name a few. I've stored vehicles for years myself and can say it costs a bit of mone to get them road ready once again when taken out of storage.
One more thing to keep in mind is the availability of parts for your vehicle 11 years from now.Some items may be harder to find than others.

Very good points, thanks for the info. Yeah, the more and more I research and read about it, it doesn't seem worth it to keep. I'm thinking selling would be the best option, perhaps looking into how much could be gained by donating it.

'97ventureowner
05-07-2009, 09:05 AM
From my understanding, donating a car for a tax write off is primarily for those that itemize on their tax forms. Many people ( including myself) just take the standard deduction, so you can't claim the donation ion your taxes. Don't let that deter you though if you don't itemize. Donating also helps organizations who part out the car and sell parts or get the scrap value, while some organizations "refurbish" the vehicle and either sell it at auction or give it to those who need transportation.
If you decide to sell it outright through a private sale, you could apply the proceeds of the sale towards your new minivan.

paqman
05-07-2009, 09:09 AM
From my understanding, donating a car for a tax write off is primarily for those that itemize on their tax forms. Many people ( including myself) just take the standard deduction, so you can't claim the donation ion your taxes. Don't let that deter you though if you don't itemize. Donating also helps organizations who part out the car and sell parts or get the scrap value, while some organizations "refurbish" the vehicle and either sell it at auction or give it to those who need transportation.
If you decide to sell it outright through a private sale, you could apply the proceeds of the sale towards your new minivan.

Ah, you're right, hadn't thought of that, we don't itemize. And yes, if I do sell, I plan on using the proceeds towards the minivan, just doesn't seem like I'll get much. As far as the donation goes, if I don't get something out of it, I'm not interested, cause I just ain't that nice.:grinyes: But I don't feel that guilty, I donate thousands of dollars a year towards other legitimate charities.

'97ventureowner
05-07-2009, 09:22 AM
I wouldn't feel guilty either. I donate to other causes myself. There seemed to be an influx of charities in recent years jumping on the "donate a car" for their cause to the pooint where one could question the validity of some of these organizations.
To top that off , the government also changed the rules a couple years back regarding the donations, making the option less appealing. I know in my area donations went down after the new regulations went into effect, and some charities stepped up advertising for vehicle donations.
In your case, with the prospect of another child, you may need the money more to help your family, ( no matter what the proceeds from selling the car.) Every little bit helps.

paqman
05-07-2009, 09:43 AM
I wouldn't feel guilty either. I donate to other causes myself. There seemed to be an influx of charities in recent years jumping on the "donate a car" for their cause to the pooint where one could question the validity of some of these organizations.
To top that off , the government also changed the rules a couple years back regarding the donations, making the option less appealing. I know in my area donations went down after the new regulations went into effect, and some charities stepped up advertising for vehicle donations.
In your case, with the prospect of another child, you may need the money more to help your family, ( no matter what the proceeds from selling the car.) Every little bit helps.
Very true, every little bit helps. I guess even $500 would be a nice little addon to my downpayment.

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