What would you sell it for


Asked by Mar 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM about the 1996 Geo Prizm

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I have a 1996 Geo Prizm.  My mechanic thinks it needs transmission work.  I am not willing to have the trans pulled.  I want to sell.  It has close to 185,000 miles.  Timing belt changed out a little over a year ago.  New tires on the back.  fairly new tires on the front.  Tie rod ends replaced.  Brakes work fine.  Besides the trans issue, the cv joints are leaking.  It needs a paint job but body is in good shape.  The headliners is loose.  It would be a good car for someone who can work on them.  I do not want to rip anyone off but I also do not want to leave any money on the table.  I was thinking of asking 600.00 for it but think it should be more???  Any suggestions

3 Answers


Well, gas prices are in your favor. According to my research, a used automatic transmission is about $150 at a salvage yard; however, I would start by getting a second opinion to make sure that your exhaust system is working correctly. A cracked exhaust manifold or a clogged catalytic converter could be causing the car to "act" like the transmission is not working correctly. Your mechanic should be able to install a used transmission with a 30 to 60 day guarantee for the price of the used tranny plus the labor. My bet is that he just wants to stick you for a new tranny. So start by getting another mechanic's opinion. Do not tell the second mechanic that you have been to the first mechanic until after the second mechanic gives you his opinion. Now that gas prices are rising, these little cars are worth gold to owners of gas guzzling trucks and suvs; my 1996 Geo Prizm with the 5-speed and air conditioning averaged 35 mpg consistently and got close to 40 mpg on the highway. I just sold it to a guy with a new Ford F150 crew cab. I got $900. That was two weeks ago, and I already regret selling it! My 1994 Geo Prizm automatic with a pretty rusty body sold for $560; however, the guy that bought did just what I was suspecting he'd do: he resold it. Well the DOT didn't like that the names in the buyer's part of the title had been crossed off and new names written in, so now the original buyers is asking me to get a duplicate title. I told him no problem. I mailed him an application for a duplicate title. In my state, that costs $25 and has to be done in my county (which is 3 hours from his county). I wrote a note on the application for him to send the application back to me with $25 for the title and $20 for my time. Next, the new title will get sent to me, since I am still listed as the owner of the car; so guess what, lol. When I get the duplicate title, I'm gonna ask him for another $20. He really worked me on the price. He emailed an offer of $700 when the price was $900. Then he said his friend was making him pay for the gas to drive here to get the car, so he wanted to pay $600; but after a discussion, he agreed on $625. Then after he finally got here and wasted 3 hours of my time, he wanted to pay $500. I said no and shut the car off and started to lock it up as if I was ready to turn in for the night. He decided that since he had supposedly paid his friend to drive him here, that he had better buy the guy so that he wasn't out all of his gas money. So we agreed on $575. Of course, He only had $20 bills; and since I didn't have any change on me, I end-up getting $560 for the car. And that included me giving him a used hood for the car that cost me $150. I forgot to give him the spare key, too. So I still have a key for my old car. It will be interesting to see how all this pans out. At any rate, if you can get $600 for it, sell it. I wouldn't take too much less than that for it because these cars are in high demand right now and so are the parts. Here's a list of salvage yard prices: 1.6L Toyota engine $300, Auto Transmission $150, Hood/front fenders/doors/steering column/trunk lid $125 each, Headlight or Tail light $35 each, Steel Wheels $45 each, Grill $15, Bumpers $50 each, Entire Interior (Seats, carpet, seat belts and trim) $135, Speedometer cluster $25, Spare tire/jack/trunk lining $35, Factory Radio $35, Washer Tank $15, Used Battery $15, etc etc. Any time you have to sell a car for less than $1000, you'll get more for it if you part it out. Here are pictures of my cars https://picasaweb.google.com/106843622759297358229

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Nick, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. I went to KBB and was able to get a better idea of a price. I am starting with 1120.00$. I just passed a flyer around to all the mechanics i have visited in the past with all the info on the car. One guy I talked to said it sounded like the pressure plate. I have already bought a corolla so I will not fix my geo but I think it still has plenty of life left. I hate to no longer belong to the "geo club". They are just the best car. I hope I can find someone to take care of her. Thanks again for your response.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Your 1994 looks like mine--minus the rust. But my paint is faded in the same places.

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