I’m going to sell my car. I owe more than it’s worth, but I am going to sell it anyway. The bank has told me that if I sell it, they will release the title to the new owner, and they will just take the leftover balance of the loan and make it an “unsecured” loan. If I get what I think the car is worth, then that means my new loan will be paid off within a year’s time. Then, for the first time in a long time, we will owe less on our vehicles than what they are worth!!
I thought about just keeping the car as an emergency backup to my van and my motorcycle, but then I realized that between now and May (when I could consistently ride my bike), I will have paid about $800 just for registration and insurance, let alone the extra interest I would be paying with a higher balance loan. So I need to sell it.
There were several problems with the car, and I have worked to fix most of them. The blower fan only worked on 4 or 5 (the “high” settings), and didn’t work at all on 1,2, or 3. I found out that the fix was a $18 part and 45 minutes of pretzel-like activity, as described here. Then, as soon as I fixed that, the driver’s side power window stopped working. I traced the problem to the power window motor, which I then replaced to the tune of $80 (doing the repair work myself, as shown here. Coincidentally, the dealer had told me that each of these repairs would cost me about $500 for them to do. Ha!
The final repair that I did involved the shifter knob. Kim told me several weeks ago that the shifter button (that must be depressed before you can engage the shifter) would pop out at times, and this would require a frantic search under the driver’s feet for the button, so the driver could shift into Park or whatever. I looked at the button, and found that one of the tabs holding it in place had broken. I called the dealer to see how much a new button would cost. Guess what…they said I had to buy the whole shifter knob, not just the button. The good news was that it costs $20 new. I mentioned this on my Facebook page, and a lady at church mentioned that she had one from an old Grand Prix. I tried hers and it works!
There are only two things wrong with the car right now: The first is that the cruise works intermittently. I have tried to get this fixed. I took it to the dealer, and they said it works fine. I asked them, did they understand the meaning of the word ‘intermittent’? They said they couldn’t fix it if it didn’t look broken. Ah well. Evidently this is a common problem with this model, so I figured they might just do whatever they did to fix all the other cars that had this problem, but they don’t believe me. It’s just as well, because it would probably cost me $500 (like everything else they want to do to the car!).
The second thing wrong with the car is that the front tires should be replaced. They still have tread, but you can see “over Lincoln’s head” if you know what I mean. The tires are performance tires, which means they cost $70 new. This amounts to $200 with all the valves, mounting, balancing, etc. The question is whether I will get the value back for replacing them before the sale. In other words, if I could get $4000 for the car if I replaced the tires for $200, but if I don’t replace the tires, I would only get $3500, it would be worth it to replace them. My fear is that I will get X amount of dollars for the car no matter if I replace the tires or not, especially since the car has about 137K miles on it.
I am going to list it on Craigslist later today for $5,000 and see if I get any bites. If anybody I know wants to buy it, e-mail me or call me. I will entertain all offers. And then I will kick the lowball ones to the curb!