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View Poll Results: What to do with the old car?

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  • Trade in as is

    4 21.05%
  • Fix check engine light & Trade

    0 0%
  • Sell as is

    2 10.53%
  • Fix check engine light & Sell

    13 68.42%
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    Buying new car - sell or trade in old one

    We are getting ready to buy a Honda Civic, to replace my VW Passat. The Passat is very good condition, but the check engine light has been on for some time. I'm fairly sure it's an O2 sensor. So should I:

    Trade as is
    Get the sensor fixed and trade
    Sell as is
    Get the sensor fixed and sell

    It's low miles, and very clean, 1 owner. I need a car and would rather not wait until it sells or rent a car until we bought one.

    All thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks

    P.S. I think we could sell it for about $1500 more then trade, and the O2 sensor looks like about a $500 repair.
    Time to Ride...

  2. #2
    Cheese State Poseur Jose Perez's Avatar
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    The problem with selling is the time and hassle expended in the process. People coming to your house, trying to haggle, last minute canceled appt.'s, etc. When I bought my station wagon a year and a half ago I actually donated my last car to a local charity and took the tax break (wasn't a significant savings BTW) rather than deal with the hassle of selling it. The car wasn't worth much, <$2,500 private sale price <$1,800 trade in, so that made the decision easier.

  3. #3
    delicious 40x14's Avatar
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    Put black electrical tape over the check engine light on the dashboard.

  4. #4
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    Sorry wrong forum - should have been Foo!

    Thanks for the thoughts!
    Time to Ride...

  5. #5
    IRL Banhammer idiq's Avatar
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    Checked out Foo but didn't see thread, so I'm guessing this one will just be moved.

    The O2 sensor is relatively cheap to replace. If you go by an Advance Auto/Autozone they can do a free code check to tell you what's wrong. However, they use a cheaper coder - so while they can pinpoint the problem they often cannot pinpoint the exact cause - for instance, while you believe it may be your O2 sensor, the O2 sensor code is the same code as a bad catalytic converter (if it codes for Bank 2).

    I believe sensors are cheap, like $20 back $50 front or something, although I'm not positive. If it's in Bank 1, you'll need a special tool to change it. Bank 2 is by far the easier one to do on your own.

    If you take it to a shop, they'll probably want to run their 'own' diagnostic test - if you're 100% certain it's the O2 sensor, just have them replace whichever one is coding. If you want something more definitive, have them check it. In VA shop diagnostic tests are around $90, and the labor and parts for this (should) be around $100. So, worst case (if it is the O2 sensor) you spend $200 to fix it.

    I think you should fix it THEN either post it on craig's list or trade it in... either way you'll get more with that light off. With it on, the dealership will be trying to shaft you on your trade in value, no matter what the problem is.

  6. #6
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    CE lights scare people. Whether you trade it in or sell it outright fix the CE light first. Personally I recommend selling the car outright since you will definitely get more than trade in. Since you are planning on buying a civic and there are a million of them, you should be able to go buy a civic with any options in any color you want the day you sell your Jetta.
    Mike
    2007 GF Wahoo

  7. #7
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    Just had similar issues with my Jetta ...

    I had the check engine light blaring at me in my Jetta for months. I took it to the local parts place to pull the codes, which they swore up and down new O2 sensors would correct. Well, only when I hooked the new O2 sensors to the new catalytic converter, my light went away. $180 for sensors and $250 for an aftermarket catalytic converter.

    Is the Passat a V6 or the 1.8T ? If it's the turbo, I hope you haven't put more than 75000 miles on your timing belt - $3000 to repair if the belt breaks, but only ~$700 to replace the belt ...

    All that said and done, my 2002 Jetta Wagon 1.8T has 183,000 miles, still gets 30mpg (only runs right on premium ), and has a monthly payment of $0.00 . Yeah, I'm not crazy about gas prices, but things could be worse. I could be like a zillion people I see in traffic every day in huge pickups, SUVs, and other miscellaneous gas sucking devices. And they're usually the ones doing 85 passing every one else. No sympathy to them from me. Or from my wife in her 32mpg 1994 Toyota Celica with 258,000 miles. She's actually looking at new cars, but having a tough time justifying the cost when most of the new ones don't get the mileage of what she has now that's already paid for. The math just doesn't work for buying a new car because of gas mileage unless we find something that gets 60+ mpg or so.


    And if I had a safe route to ride to work ....

    http://forums.vwvortex.com/ for lots of VW advice

  8. #8
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

    We ended up trading. I pulled the codes, was the secondary air system (emissions cold start), I checked the vacuum lines and think I found a pinched line. Reset the CEL and was good to go. Hopefully that was all it needed, with such low miles I would hate to see something a lot more serious. But the problem with the VW was everything was $$$, it has 3 O2 sensor, and they run over $400 for the sensors alone, catalytic converters are in the thousands. The Passat was also getting ready for new fluids and brakes, so now we have a car that is new with warranty. The Passat drove great and was nicely equipped, but mileage wasn't that great, and it was expensive to have worked on. It was a V6.

    I'll start driving our mini-van and my wife will commute in the Civic. So with my car and the stimulus check (thanks George), the gas savings alone will almost make the monthly payment.
    Time to Ride...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    carmax.

  10. #10
    Former grouch, now happy H1449-6's Avatar
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    I've had five VWs over the years and I'm probably done with the marque. Too many stupid little things go wrong and cost $$$ to fix. E.g. my 03 Passat needed CV boots and a serpentine belt at less than 40K miles.
    Spectrum Ti Super | Landshark Roadshark | Serotta Colorado | Gunnar Crosshairs | Trek 9800 | Santana fillet brazed tandem | K2 Easy Roller | Dawes (BD) Bullseye 1x1

  11. #11
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    I'd balance just getting the thing off your hands versus how much more cash you might possibly obtain. It probably wouldn't be that much if trading it in, so I'd consider just walking off from the Passat to enjoy a new vehicle.

    I don't get why VWs are so popular. They seem like good cars, but almost everyone I know that drives one has random crap fail. One friend of mine had three major failures, the serpentine belt, the alternator, and one other that left him stranded three separate days in one week on a Jetta he abought a week earlier.

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