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Old 10-28-2016, 06:20 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 878,112 times
Reputation: 5530

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I found out that the 2004 Buick LeSabre (from the snow belt) that my deceased parents owned has major rust on the undercarriage and also on the brake lines. Sadly, the rest of the car is in excellent shape with only 32k miles, with leather seats including back seats that were never sat in.

We were told at a trusted car dealership we would only get a few hundred for it.

My question is would we be better off getting an estimate at a salvage yard? I would think the parts, including the engine, would be worth more than that. Does anyone have any idea if that is even worth our time checking it out?

Thanks for any input or information.
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:48 PM
 
6,636 posts, read 6,922,951 times
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An excellent story for those in the Northern areas to get their cars professionally oil undercoated or professional Fluid Film.
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,019 posts, read 24,400,329 times
Reputation: 5365
I thought most of those places just spray ATF or Brake Fluid underneath?

Then again here in the PNW we do not really have corrosion issues like the North East Coast so could be wrong.
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
3,632 posts, read 6,283,974 times
Reputation: 4342
If it runs fairly well just sell it yourself (disclose the rust and ask a reasonable price) odds are some one will be willing to snap it up to drive into the ground for a season or two.

Also many informed buyers these day realize that a car of that age with mileage that low could turn out to be a real headache...price it accordingly
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:17 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 878,112 times
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Thanks for the responses.

We are really surprised my dad did not have the undercarriage protected. In fact, I wonder if he paid for it but got ripped off (in his 80s at the time). We will look through his papers but the damage is there so we have to deal with that.

We have the car now in an area that does not deal with rust and it is so bad quite large flakes could be pulled off by hand. We can't sell privately it as it would not be safe and I don't want to be sued.

Guess we will get a couple of estimates and move on - picking up my new car tomorrow.
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:35 PM
 
Location: La Jolla, CA
7,285 posts, read 14,319,154 times
Reputation: 11612
Put an ad on Craigslist and see what you get (IMO). Without pictures, it's hard to know to what extent the undercarriage is rusted, and whether it really means trouble for the car at this point, or whether the car can go another several years. A lot of cars last a surprisingly long time, even in rusty condition.

Even though you took it to a "trusted" dealer, there is really no saying how much profit they have baked into the deal, but probably a lot.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,478 posts, read 53,735,003 times
Reputation: 24696
I have lost several good cars to the Rust Demon. Most were mechanically sound but could not longer pass the Safety Inspection without more expense than getting another car.


Remember the parents and scrap the car.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:28 AM
 
Location: NY
9,128 posts, read 16,194,019 times
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I doubt a salvage yard will give you much for it. Yes, they will see money in the parts, but they will see it as profit in their pocket which they only get by paying you salvage rate for the car.


Are we talking about structure rotted away or surface rust? If just surface rust, the brake lines can be replaced and the car likely driven some time. If structure is rotted away, then maybe not.

Throw it on craigslist and sell it regardless.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod
14,620 posts, read 9,833,739 times
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My truck falls into this category. It looks great inside and out but underneath is rusted. I don't have chunks falling off but I have had to replace some brakes lines and other things that rotted. I know it is only a matter of time but that is to be expected living in the Northeast.


If you trade it you will get less but your worry ends there. A private sale will get you more money but the car will need to pass a state inspection and in my state of Mass. the seller is liable for the safety part of the inspection.

If the frame is falling apart then it is time to junk it but if it is just parts like brake lines, exhaust or other metal lines than those can be replaced.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Lake Grove
2,753 posts, read 2,192,244 times
Reputation: 4466
Donate it for the tax deduction.
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