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When Should I Junk My Car? How to Know When It’s the End

Nothing lasts forever, including cars.  

The day you buy a new car is exciting because it’s shiny and smells good and everything seems perfect. But with each passing year, the newness fades until eventually, that same car has lost its luster.

You might be wondering “when the time is right to junk my car”? After all, it probably rattles everywhere you go, blows black smoke from the tailpipe, and will barely start half the time.

In this article we take a look at how to know when to junk your car. Keep reading to learn the signs for when the day has finally come to give it up for good.

The Check Engine Light Has Been on For Years

Those warning lights on your dash are there for a reason. They are designed to alert you to mechanical and electrical issues. Thus when the check engine light comes on for any reason, it’s likely bad news.

If your check engine light came on long ago and never went off, you’ve likely already done a ton of damage. That light is a sign of trouble, and by ignoring it you simply made a small problem much bigger.

There’s Now More Duct Tape than Metal

It’s funny to see a car on the road covered in duct tape. But it’s not so funny when that car belongs to you. When a car starts falling apart, using duct tape to hold it together is simply delaying the inevitable.

For starters, this a major safety issue. Duct tape isn’t designed for car repairs. Eventually you’re going to sneeze and your car will turn to dust. So if you’re repairing it with duct tape, it might finally be time to walk away.

It Doesn’t Feel Safe on the Road

If you’re driving the speed limit and your car feels or sounds like it’s going to explode, you shouldn’t be on the road. Automobiles are complicated pieces of engineering, and serious mechanical is possible at any moment.

When your car becomes a safety hazard, do yourself and everyone else a favor and keep it off the road. 

Related Reading:  8 DIY Car Repairs Even a Total Simpleton Could Do

Kelly Blue Book Won’t Even Acknowledge it Exists

Kelly Blue Book is a resource for determining the value of an automobile. It bases the value mostly by the year it was made, current mileage, and the current condition. 

KBB might have your car listed, but might not be worth anything. If this is the case, go ahead and consider getting it junk.

You Can See the Road Through the Floor

Most cars are made out of metal or similar material, right? Well, if not properly cared for, over time metal will eventually begin to rust. And once it starts to rust, it won’t stop.

When a car has been neglected, the rust becomes obvious and often causes the car to start falling apart. 

If you’re able to see through holes that have rusted all the way through parts of your car, it’s time to start making some decisions. And when you can actually see the asphalt passing beneath your through a hole in the floor, we’d recommend driving directing to the salvage yard and simply handing them the key.

It Smells Like Jimmy Hoffa is in the Trunk

There’s nothing worse than a smelly car. They can develop a smell for any number of reasons.

Perhaps you left the windows down when it rained and now it reeks of mildew. Or perhaps you’ve left food under the seat a few too many times. The reality is that odors come from a million different sources and none of them are good.

Do what you can to combat the funk, but if your efforts seem to be getting you nowhere and the stink is now a permanent feature, today might be the day to say goodbye to your old friend.

It Hasn’t Started in Months

Eventually, every car will begin experiencing mechanical failures of one type or another. The alternator might go out so the battery can’t hold a charge. The starter might be fried, thus the car won’t…well…start. But if there is a significant wiring problem, this might prove to be too expensive of a repair to sink money into.

Related Reading:  About Timing Belts

There’s simply no reason to hold on to junk cars forever. If you’ve made some minor repairs but it still won’t start, the truth is it might have finally given up the ghost.

You Don’t Feel Safe Driving the Kids

When it comes to your kids, their safety is the top priority.

Earlier we talked about needing to feel safe on the road. This is even more significant when it comes to transporting children. Holding on to a junk car for sentimental reasons isn’t worth it. Your kids come first. Get rid of that thing.

You Can Afford a New Car

Listen, you’re moving up in the world. You’ve got a great job, things are going well, and you finally have enough extra cash to invest in a car you’re proud of.

It’s time to make the move. After all, that old piece of junk is embarrassing to be seen in. Perhaps you’ve known this deep down for a long time but only now can admit it to yourself.

Not having a car payment might feel great, but the trade-off is your driving around in a machine that’s loud, smells awful, and is barely roadworthy.

The time has come to trade up. This is an exciting moment, so choose to embrace it. 

Knowing When it’s Time to Junk My Car

How do you know when it’s time to junk my car? It’s not rocket science. That old thing barely runs. It smells like a Christmas cheese log from ten years ago is still rolling around under your seat. And the engine sounds like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

Reality is staring you right in the eye. It’s time to junk your car. Not sure whether to sell or trade it in? Check out this article to learn more and decide what’s best for you.