mustange converable, junk it?
February 1, 2010 8:23 PM   Subscribe

I have a 2000 (~30,000 miles) Ford Mustang Convertible. Other than the engine it is in good condition. Is it worth getting a new/rebuilt engine? (I am in the Minneapolis, MN area)

Is it worth getting a new engine? Rebuilt engine?

My goal is maximization of net worth. I don't want to put $4000 into something that is worth $2500.

Any recommendations for the Minneapolis, MN area?

What questions should I ask that I am not asking? What would you tell your MOM if she asked you this question?

posted by santogold to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
30,000 miles or 300,000 miles? I'd be incredibly skeptical of any mechanic who told me a car with 30,000 miles on it needed a new engine.
posted by usonian at 8:29 PM on February 1, 2010

How sure are you that it needs an entire new engine? 30k miles isn't a lot, at all. And a lot of engine issues can be, well, fixed, rather than starting over from scratch.

So I'd tell my mom to get a recommendation or two (from friends, or from the CarTalk website) for independent mechanics who do good work, bring the car to them, and ask for diagnoses. (As compared to bringing it in and telling them that it needs a new engine before they even see it.)
posted by Forktine at 8:35 PM on February 1, 2010

Rebuilding an engine will cost you WAY too much in labor charges. Since it's a Mustang, and if you absolutely need a new engine, it shouldn't be too tricky for a competent mechanic to swap it out with a replacement. If it were me, I'd sell the car to an enthusiast (there's a million billion Mustang and muscle car forums out there), take the several grand I would've otherwise spent replacing the engine, and just buy a decent low-mileage used car.
posted by spiderskull at 8:41 PM on February 1, 2010

Hm, on second thought, I might be way off base. I thought crate (replacement) engines were cheaper.

Anyway, I'd still go for the used car plan.
posted by spiderskull at 8:45 PM on February 1, 2010

Seriously, 30K miles? Something you're not telling us? What wore out the engine? Was it something like not checking the oil or not topping off the radiator? If you are looking to maximize net worth, you won't do it by putting $4000 into a $2500 car. If you really like this car and want to drive it for another nine years, here is what you need to do. First, walk around it. Are the paint, glass, sheet metal and top in good condition? Was it driven in MN winters on salted roads without being thoroughly washed (especially the undercarriage)? Next, what shape is the rest of the powertrain? If the engine is messed up this soon, there is a good chance the tranny and rear end is too. Get them checked out. Is this a stick shift? If you do get the engine done, have the clutch replaced while the engine is out. It will save $$$ later. How are the numerous accessories? Power windows and locks all working properly? Is the interior in good enough shape to last another nine years?

We each have our own goals and standards. For me, a 2000 Mustang is not exactly a classic. I wouldn't want to spend a lot on just a new powerplant. YMMV.

If you do not want to spend on it, you don't need to "junk it." It has value to someone. The three alternatives are trade it in on the car you want, sell it as-is on a full-disclosure, private party basis, or donate it to charity for a tax write-off. If you choose the latter, check with your accountant as to what you can reasonably deduct from your tax bill.
posted by Old Geezer at 8:49 PM on February 1, 2010

What do you mean, "net worth" do you consider this vehicle an investment (because it's not)? or are you referring to your net worth and the impact this vehicle will have on it?

Is your car a v6 or v8? auto or manual? Is this your primary transportation? What do you need this car for(fun or transportation)? What is preventing you from selling this mustang as-is and getting something newer or less broken? If you do replace the engine, are you expecting to keep the car or sell it?

There are too many unanswered questions surrounding your original query to help you. please be specific in your question.

As far as the "net worth" this vehicle will decline in value forever or until it is valueless, this is not a collector car. With that in mind, you can sell this car right now, as is. This will add cash to your bottom line and subtract any costs associated with maintaining your declining asset (car insurance, registration, maintenance, gas, etc..) Assuming you don't have to buy another car, selling this car will positively affect your net worth.
posted by Paleoindian at 10:50 PM on February 1, 2010

A 2000 Mustang convertible with 30,000 miles in "clean" condition is worth about $5-6K for private party sale ($4-5K trade-in) according to's appraiser, depending on base or GT model. Those numbers seem high to me but it's worth your while to search local ads and Craigslist to see what Mustangs run in your area. Having a replaced engine would decrease the value further but once you get an idea of the market you can make an informed decision on replacing the engine. Is that $4K number an actual estimate on the cost of replacement? If not contact some shops to get estimates. I'm guessing it's going to be close but probably not worthwhile to fix but someone will take the car as-is.

paulsc, how in the world does your anti-Ford rant starting with a vehicle that's been out of production for 83 years in any way help the OP?
posted by 6550 at 8:29 AM on February 2, 2010

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