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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2000 9-3 (base 2.0T w/ AT; 4 door hatch) recently gave up the ghost on me with almost no warning at 99,800 miles on the ODO. I was commuting home from work when the oil light blinked and chimed sporadically and seconds later all turbo pressure was gone, a big cloud of white smoke puffed behind the car, and a terrible burning chemical (coolant?) odor penetrated the cabin. It appears to be a victim of engine sludge, in spite of regular oil change intervals of 3,000-5,000 miles during my ownership of the vehicle (20,000 miles and onward).

The car has also had problems with circuit 29 and a really bad SID, but structurally is in good shape. It has already been replaced with a 2010 Mazda5, and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. So far, the options I have thought of are to sell it as a "parts car" or donate to charity. What could I expect to see as a value for this car? (I've checked around Craigslist and didn't find anything). Are there any options that I'm missing? Keeping the car is not an option unless I could get it running again for less than $1,000. Thanks!
 

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There are so many things that could be wrong, it's almost impossible to say that you can get it done for less than a grand.

Do you have the tools, facility, time and DIY skills to do some potential engine out stuff?

If not, have a mechanic look at it, find out what's wrong and then we can figure it out.

I'm guessing head gasket though.
 

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The white smoke and odor say coolant was entering the combustion chamber. I second the head gasket failure. I think the car is fixable at acceptable cost.
If sold not running youll only get 500 at best so its better to fix it even if it costs 1000. Lower cost if you DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks all!

Head gasket is my guess too. My uncle has an independent repair shop, and just speaking with him over the phone, he is also of the opinion that it is a bad head gasket.

I don't have the time to do the work myself (though I would capably and happily do the work if I HAD the time), and don't want to put the money into a repair (even with a great discount at my uncle's shop) as we've already replaced the car with more reliable transportation.

I've pretty much resigned myself to consider the car a total loss, but if I could get something back from a donation to charity, or sell the car as a parts car, I would do that in a heartbeat. I just don't have a good grasp of the best way to unload the car honestly and get something back in return.
 

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If you lived closer to KC, I would happily take it off your hands if it's just a head gasket.

As far as donations, I am pretty sure that they are looking for running cars. As a parts car, that's pretty much a crap shoot. List it on Craigslist or fleabay and see how it goes.
 

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IIRC, the IRS changed the rules about gifts to charities a few years ago. Before the change, it seems like you could deduct the book value for the car/truck. Today, i think that you can only deduct what the charity sells the car for. And if they sell the car to a junk yard for $1, that's all you can claim, even though the junk yard will make some money parting it out... Ron
 
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