Do not be too sure that you cannot sell it outright. Cars can be found all the time with signs in the window that say, "For Sale As Is", especially those that are wrecked by do-it-yourselfers trying to modify things, and they get in over their heads. Your car is not very old, especially compared to my daily drivers, and the mileage is not excessive. If you were only offered $500.00 at a Nissan dealership, that tells me they do not put much value on their products. It does depend though on what you would have been trading it on. They have to look at how much they can resell yours for, then at how much profit there is to work with on the one you're looking at.
To put this in perspective, I'm bidding on a 2015 Grand Caravan right now. It was smashed in the front, and it does not run. I am going as high as $5,000.00, but I am doubtful I will even be close to getting it. Plus it will be a two-day drive each way to go and get it. Your car needs very little work by comparison. I find it hard to believe you cannot get more than $500.00 for it.
Something else you might consider, if you have the time, is to ask at a nearby community college with an Automotive program, if they would like to do the repairs. We were always looking for live work at my school to give the kids real-world experience. We charged ten dollars per hour for what the job was supposed to take, and we got parts at real good discounts, then marked them up ten percent to form a "breakage" fund in case we damaged something. The trade-off to the very low cost is it will take a few weeks to get your car back. We were only in the shop four hours per day, and some of that time was spent in the classroom. The students were very responsible, and they still were well-supervised.
The other concern is they will only take your car in during the times Engine Repair is being taught. For us that was once per year for eight weeks. To do an engine repair during Brakes class, for example, would take work away from the shops that hire our graduates. Some schools offer their classes two to four times per year. They also look for a variety of jobs. They will have plenty of cylinder head gasket jobs and total engine rebuilds. They typically do not get enough timing chain and timing belt jobs because they get handled too quickly at repair shops.
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 AT 5:29 PM