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Fred's Auto Removal | Cash for Junk Cars Portland > Blog > Auto Repair Tips

Reasons to Scrap Your Car over Selling It

Many people are faced with the decision of whether it is time to scrap their old and broken down car or try to sell it to the highest bidder.
While there are many reasons to sell it, it is not the only option worth considering. For many situations, the better option may be to contact a junkyard and have them take it off your hands.

Below, we will discuss some of the benefits of doing that and why it may be a better option than trying to sell your vehicle yourself.

When the Value of the Car Drops below the Cost of Repairs

The Basics

From a purely financial perspective, the simplest way to determine when it is time to scrap your car over selling it is to identify when the value of the vehicle drops below what you would get from a junkyard.

The minimum amount that you can salvage from your vehicle will always be supported by the value of the parts in your car. Sometimes, the cost to repair some of those parts will exceed the amount that it is worth to save your vehicle. This is the point where scraping your car may become a better option.

When a Repair Becomes Too Costly

This will typically occur in older cars. For example, a 1997 Toyota Corolla will have some resale value attached to it, even if it is not in the best condition. However, once the transmission goes, the cost of repairs may exceed the value of the actual car.

You can expect to sell a working car like this for around $1,000. On the other hand, it will cost upwards of $1500 to replace a broken transmission.

You will never be able to sell a car that is only valued at $1,000 when it will require more than that amount to get it road ready again. Even if the repair cost is equal to the value of the vehicle, it will be difficult to find a buyer when you consider the cost of the many repairs that will come as more time passes.

Scraping the Corolla

In this example, it is a better option to scrap the Corolla. By doing this, you can avoid having to pay to have the transmission fixed. It will not only save you money in the short-term, but it also allows you to get some money for the car when no one else is going to buy it from you.

If Your Vehicle Is Not Passing Emissions

Depending on the laws of your state, you can be required to put your car through emissions testing in order to renew the registration for it and continue driving it on public roads. Different states have different requirements; however, they all have a set of standards that vary in strictness.

Oregon Emissions

In the state of Oregon, vehicles must be able to pass an emissions test in order to receive an updated registration tag for it. In addition to this, all vehicles that are new to the state of Oregon will have to pass this emissions test as well.

The state of Oregon has slightly different emissions standards depending on the area that you are in. In Portland, all vehicles that are made on or after 1975 must be able to pass emissions tests. In Medford, any vehicle that is less than 20 years old must be able to pass emissions.

These emissions tests apply to all vehicles including cars, vans, trucks, buses and motorhomes and all hybrid vehicles. If your vehicle falls within these guidelines, you will not be able to register your car in the state of Oregon until it passes emissions inspections.

Consider the Cost to Pass Emissions Testing

The point of all this is that in some cases, especially in older vehicles, you may be hit with expenses that will be required to put into your car in order to get it to pass the emissions tests. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, these costs can be more than you may be prepared to pay. If the cost is too great, it may be time to consider taking your car to a salvage yard.

This is a common situation that we see. An emissions test is generally not thought of as a potential problem for car owners. It isn’t until they are hit with the bill that they realize they may have been better off scrapping the car.

This problem is not exclusive to the state of Oregon. No matter what state you live in, you will have to follow a specific standard of emissions testing in order to be able to continue to drive your car.

If You Want to Avoid the Hassle of Selling Your Car

Selling Privately

The process of selling your car can be a lengthy and time-consuming endeavor. If you want to sell your car privately, you will have to list it where people will see it and field countless inquiries about it, both from people that are serious about buying your vehicle and from others that are just wasting your time.

You will also have to show your car to people that are interested in buying it. If you’re lucky enough to find someone that is interested in it, you will then have to go through the process of negotiating and agreeing to a price.

All in all, the process of selling your car is not an easy one. It is especially difficult if you are selling a car that has low value. The amount you would be selling it for may not be worth all the time it will take to complete the sale from start to finish.

Selling to a Dealer

The other option is to sell it to a dealer. The advantage of this is that you won’t have to spend all that time looking for a buyer yourself. The dealer will only be interested in the car if they feel they can resell it for a higher value.

Depending on the price, they may not be interested in your vehicle at all. It will entierly depend on the valuation they place on the vehicle. If they can’t sell it at a higher price point, they will not buy the vehicle.

Even if they do have some interest in your vehicle, they would only give you an offer that is below the market value of it. This is the only way they will be able to resell it at a higher price.

Is It Worth My Time?

No matter what route you choose, the process of selling your car is not a pleasant one. Consider how much time you have to invest in this process and weigh that against the amount of money that you will make from the sale of it.

Between dealers trying to undercut your asking price and private buyers constantly negotiating lower prices, you should be prepared to sell your car for less than what you feel it is worth no matter what price point you are starting at.

The Easy Solution

For many people, they would prefer to save all that time and simply take it to Frad’s Auto Removal. They will still be able to earn a decent amount of money for it and more importantly, they will save themselves hours of time.

If You Need Money Quickly

As we explained above, the process of selling a car is a lengthy one. If you are in a situation where you need to come up with money quickly, scrapping your car may be the only option.

This is not advisable if you have a car that you can sell for a few thousand dollars; however, if you are driving a junker car, it may not be such a bad idea.

It always depends on your circumstances, but it may be the best decision financially to scrap your car in order to receive the money a lot quicker.

You Can Save Money on Your Last Insurance Payments

A lot of people save their old cars for emergency purposes. They pay for the emissions testing, the registration each year, and the insurance every month but they never use it. This is a poor financial decision. As this backup car sits there being unused, it is taking up space and costing you money.

You can unload all of these unnecessary charges and make a few bucks for yourself by scrapping it. If you have an old car that is not being used at all, you are just wasting money by having it sit there.

It’s the Easiest Way to Remove a Car That Doesn’t Run

Whether it is because of engine trouble or another reason, it is going to be pretty difficult to sell a car that doesn’t run. You are not only going to have to sell it at a heavy discount, you are also going to have to find someone that is willing to buy the car knowing that it will require a lot of time and money just to get it running again.

Free Towing

Instead of dealing with all this, you can contact us at Fred’s Auto Removal to have your broken down car removed for free. We will not only give you cash for your car, we will also tow it for no cost.

This will save you a lot of time and money on the towing expenses. Towing the car to a junkyard or paying for it to be towed to a repair shop can cost over a hundred dollars. You can save this money by having Fred’s Auto Removal do it for you.

It’s Time to Scrap Your Car

Fred’s Auto Removal service works with salvage yards and used car dealers throughout the Portland area to match you with the perfect canidate for your vehicle. This will help us bring you the best possible return for your car that you can find.

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Recondition car batteries

Dead or Just Mostly Dead?

It Starts with Your Battery 

Dead or weak car batteries can be more than just annoying.  Being stranded by a dead battery in the wrong part of town can be be downright dangerous.  So learning to recondition car batteries can be a useful skill.

But just because your old battery is growing weaker doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace it or sell your junk car to us you could just fix it your self.  Many older batteries still have plenty of life left in them, if you know how to find it.  Restoring an old battery can be a much better solution than buying a new one.

Why Lead Acid Batteries Weaken

Car batteries rely on lead electrodes suspended in a strong solution of  acid to produce a electrical charge.  This formula has been used to make batteries for over 150 years.

Lead acid batteries rely on concentrated sulfuric acid to provide the positive charge that produces the flow of electrons that powers our automobile electrical systems. Lead and lead oxide plates provide the electrons that are pulled through the positive and negative terminals on the battery.

The fact that the flow is reversible is the key to the success of battery design, because by adding electricity back into the battery, we can restore its charge.  And since the acid and the lead plates are relatively content to sit quietly during periods when there is neither a change nor a discharge, lead acid batteries store their power for a long time, as much as two years or more with no activity.

When your battery won’t fully recharge, the likely culprit is an accumulation of sulfate on the lead electrodes which forms a shield that keeps the electrons from flowing between the electrodes.  Sulfate is a compound of sulfur and oxygen, and forms from the sulfur in the acid.

Sulfate coatings on lead electrodes has the effect of reducing the concentration of hydrogen ions in the acid solution, which also reduces he amount of lead that can react with the hydrogen ions to produce the flow of electrons.  This process is called sulfation, and will eventually weaken all lead acid batteries to the point that they can no longer produce enough power to start an engine.

The good news is that the process is often reversible, meaning that a lead acid battery that was otherwise useless can be restored to it’s former strength.

Reconditioning Car Batteries

Testing a Car Battery

Desulfating a Dead Battery 

Since sulfating causes batteries to weaken, you won’t be surprised to learn that desulfating is the key to restoring them.  It’s a process you can do at home, although it’s not without a few risks.  Be sure to read the disclaimer at the end of this article before you decide to tackle it.  You’ll need proper protective gear, including safety glasses.

You will need a few items in order to desulfate a battery:

  1. Battery post cleaner.
  2. Battery load tester and/or a multimeter.
  3. Battery charger or better yet a desulfating battery charger.
  4. Funnel.
  5. Epsom salts.
  6. Distilled water.

Step 1. Begin by inspecting the battery.  If the case is swollen or cracked, or the terminals are loose or wobbly, the battery can’t be reconditioned.  Use extra caution when you remove it, because it may leak acid that will damage your clothes, skin, and just about every other surface that it touches.  Recycle it by exchanging it with the store from which you purchase your replacement battery.

Step 2.  If the battery is does not appear to have damage, disconnect the cables from the battery terminals, and use the post cleaner to thoroughly clean both the positive and negative battery terminals.

Step 3. Once the terminals are clean, remove the caps from the cells, and check the fluid levels.  If they’re low, add distilled water to each cell that needs it.  Don’t use tap water.  Now, use the charger to recharge the battery.  The charger’s instructions will tell you how long to leave it connected.  Remember that the battery will be producing explosive gases during charging, so eliminate all sources of spark or flame, and make sure that the charger is off or unplugged when connecting or disconnecting it to or from the battery terminals since it may spark if it’s on.

Step 4.  Connect the positive (red) cable from the multimeter or the load tester to the positive terminal on the battery, and the negative (black) cable to the negative terminal on the battery.  If you’re using a load tester, make sure it’s not in load testing mode.  If the voltage is greater than 12.0 volts, you should be able to recondition the battery.  If it’s below 12.0 volts, the battery likely has a bad cell and you may not be able to recondition the battery.

Step 5.  You can skip this step if you don’t have a load tester.  If you do, switch it to load test mode, and follow the meter’s instructions to test the battery under a load.  If you find that the the voltage under a load is 6.1 volts or less, you probably won’t be able to recondition the battery.  This is a more accurate test than the multimeter by itself.

Step 6.  Use your desulfating charger to apply an equalizing charge to the battery.   Follow the charger’s instructions, and then retest the battery either with the load tester, as you did in step 5, or with the multimeter.  If the voltage has not risen from the original test, go to step 7.  If you don’t have a desulfating charger, you can skip step 6 and go right to step 7.

Step 7.  Heat 1/2 quart of water to 150 degrees, and dissolve 8 ounces epsom salts in the water.  Remove a 1/2 quart of fluid from the battery, making sure that you remove an equal volume from each cell.  This can be done with a baster or battery hydrometer.  Replace the fluid with the dissolved epsom salts, again being careful to place equal volumes in each cell.  Charge the battery again, and repeat either the load or multimeter test.  If the voltage is above 12.3 volts, you’re battery is now likely reconditioned and should give you several more months or years of service.  If it’s less than 12.3 volts, you should replace the battery.

Batteries that can’t be reconditioned must be recycled by qualified recyclers since they contain hazardous substances.  Because it’s always better to reuse than to recycle, by reconditioning your old car batteries, you’re helping to reduce waste and environmental damage.

Hopefully, you’ll save some money at the same time.


Lots of us love to save money by doing things ourselves.  We treasure the independence that self-reliance gives us, and we will tackle any DIY project fearlessly, confident that we’ll learn what we need to as the project unfolds.

I’ll be the last person to discourage you from being self-reliant, but It’s important for you to understand that working with lead acid batteries can be dangerous.  It is not within the scope of this article to warn you about every risk that you might face when you’re reconditioning an old battery, so make sure that you understand the risks before proceeding.

Lead acid batteries obviously contain acid.  Handling acid imprudently can lead to disfiguring burns, blindness, and even death.  Disposing of it improperly can damage the environment or plumbing systems.

Automobile batteries also produce hydrogen gas when they’re charging, which can explode and ignite fires.  And even though direct current may not shock you, there are at least a few mechanics that are missing ring fingers because they wedged their wedding rings between positive and negative terminalsH.

Unless you have a good working knowledge of basic chemistry and electricity, you should not attempt to recondition your own batteries.  Working with caustic, explosive, and high energy systems that you don’t understand is a good way to win a Darwin Award.  If you’re not familiar with them, all you really need to know is that they’re awarded posthumously, which means after you’re dead.  Don’t get one.

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