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I have a 1991 Toyota Starlet which recently broke down due to a major overheat. It has suffered a cracked cylinder head.

Do you think it is worth repairing, the car runs well but I don't think it would be worth much?.

It has been in a minor accident and has quite a few dents.


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 13 September 2009


Its sounds like the repairs are going to cost a lot more than what the car is actually worth and you will never recover those costs if you do decide to sell the car later.

If you had to name the worst possible engine failure to have, overheating would be near the top of the list. The problem is the repair costs can escalate because there are so many associated parts to the cooling system that will need either replacing or reconditioning as part of the job.

Trademe may be an option if the engine has not been dismantled. Be honest and advertise the car as wanting mechanical attention. You never know what somebody may pay for it. Make sure the ownership gets changed if you do sell the vehicle with the registration still current.

If you do scrap the vehicle, hand the number plates into a NZTA agent such as an AA Centre. Depending on the amount of registration still left, you will receive a cheque within a couple of weeks for the unused time period.

A second hand engine may be another option but once again the costs can escalate especially if you are paying a garage to carry out this work.

If the vehicle would struggle to get its next Warrant of Fitness then it's a no-brainer really, get what you can for it and move on.