Repair it before selling it?

Help me with this gut-wrenching decision, someone...please.
I have a '94 Cougar with about 70K miles. I'm just getting ready to shop for an '04 Accord or Mazda 6, something smaller and more sensible for my current
driving. The problem is that I have a crunching or grinding sound from the steering that I've been told is either the control arms or ball joints, with a price of $300+ to fix.
The car is in great shape otherwise, but if I plan to trade it in less than a month's time (possibly within the next couple of weeks), should I put $300 or more into this car? Or should I just let the dealer worry about fixing it?
OTOH, if a dealer or buyer test drives it before giving me a trade value, they'll probably notice the noise from the front end and subtract $$ accordingly from my trade value, right?
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Not only does the trade evaluator reduce the value of your trade by the cost of a needed repair when checking a vehicle, he also deducts for 'down time.' The extra time it will take before the vehicle will be available for the used car lot or a wholesaler. Fix the car, WBMA. Besides driving it as it is may cause more damage or even an accident.
Just a note, my one son bought a loaded top of the line V6 Sable recently for an unbelievable $8,600 LESS than the Honda dealer wanted for a loaded Accord V6! You may find it to your advantage to do some shopping and get a total 'drive home' price before you decide what to buy.
mike hunt
snipped-for-privacy@buffnet.net wrote:

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Twbell, Your going to deal with a foreign car dealer right? What makes you think he even wants you old car. Fact is they don't. They will probably wholesale it due to age and milage. Some people would place a very high value on their used cars. Look at the trade in on that car @ www.kbb.com When a dealer rates you car, he's been looking at new ones all day. Everything they see used is just a POS in their eyes. Their interest is to land a sale. They know your looking, therefor hungry. Just like a kid in a candy store. Your in better control of the deal with no trade. That leave them little room to negotiate and they have to make it irresistible to land the deal. Without the leverage of your old car. Your Post should have been:

If I go to my local Ford dealer, there's nothing older than a 99 model yr.(and very few) of these. with milage low enough to sell you a bumper to bumper plan. That's what they want. No don't repair it. Sell or trade it as is. This way thats all you loose. What if the list of repairs grows, as they take it apart. BeeVee

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Don't bother fixing your '94 Cougar. Just look in the Kelley Blue Book values for your Cougar. Sell or trade your car as is. You don't want to bother trading your Cougar at a forigen auto dealer. The fact is that forigen dealers don't want your old American car. You would be better off selling your Cougar as is because the dealer will give you a very low trade in value which is a lot lower than the KBB value. Once you trade in your old car, the dealer will auction off your old car older than a '98 or '99 model as is at the trade in value they give you.
I know because I have traded my '94 Taurus in for a '02 Taurus and that's what the Ford dealer I bought my '02 Taurus did. My old Taurus had a cracked windsheild, broken AC, and a broken cruise control. I didn't bother replacing or repairing them. In the KBB, the value of my old car was nearly $2,000. The dealer gave me $1,200 on my old car and auctioned it off as is at that minimum bid. That's what they told me after I purchased my '02 Taurus. Whoever bought my old car at the auction will fix the car and sell it themselves. It could be a private party or a used car dealer.
~CyberWolf
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opined in

Sell it directly.
These are great cars but the price is held low because of some inherent problems that a guy who KNOWS the cars will use to his benefit.
It's 99% likely a ball joint and that's easy to determine with a mech stethoscope.
Good to know exactly what to tell the prospect as to the problem. You will likely sell it to a guy who does his own work. Start with the minimum REALISTIC value plus 10% and you will sell it quick.
Here's how... shop for the best price you can get on the car you want. THEN ask how much dealer will give you for the Cougar.
That's usually the best asking price.
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SNIP
<<<<'04 Accord or Mazda 6, >>>>
Speak of the devil!
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