How do you know if you’re driving a clunker? If your car’s name includes the words Gremlin or Pacer, stop reading and go buy yourself a new car this minute. You know these cars are bad when Disney calls them out by basing characters called “The Lemons” on these vehicles in the movie “Cars 2.” For the rest of you who need help discerning whether your car is, in fact, a rolling piece of junk, here are your six signs.
Sign #6: A Bucket of Bolts
You say your car makes noises that sound like a bunch of bolts rattling around in a bucket? The crystal ball reveals many visits to an automotive repair shop in your future. Or, perhaps you’ve already spent hundreds of dollars over the past year fixing your fixer-up. If that’s the case, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy.
Buying a new car isn’t as difficult as you may think. Certainly, getting a new-to-you car is better than pouring money into a losing proposition (i.e. your clunker). Use the Kelly Blue Book or other method to determine the value of your car. If you’re spending more money on repairs than the car’s worth, it’s time to upgrade.
Sign #5: Your Car has a Drinking Problem
Old cars drink too much gas. This drinking problem ends up draining your wallet dry at the pump. If you drive a great deal and have an older vehicle that isn’t fuel efficient, consider the money you’d save with a newer car that has better mileage. In addition, clunkers may have other problems such as bad tires that put a drain on fuel efficiency.
Sign #4: It Plays Cassettes
First, congratulations on knowing what an 8-track cassette is, and double kudos for still owning a device that plays them. What’s that you say? Your car plays the smaller cassettes? While it may be kind of kitsch to have a cassette player, it’s definitely a sign you’re driving a hunk of junk. Dump your mix tape and find yourself a better ride.
Sign #3: The Oh-No Odometer
If that ever-rolling set of numbers on your dashboard has hit 100,000, you’re starting to flirt with clunker territory. A car with that many miles is more likely to need repairs than cars with less wear and tear. While many cars built in the last 15 years can handle six-digit miles, older models don’t have the parts to withstand that level of use. It’s best to evaluate your car’s worth against typical repairs that come post-100,000 miles.
The level of routine maintenance your car has had during its lifespan impacts how well it will fair with this many miles. Hitting this mileage milestone is a good time to evaluate your car and decide if it’s ready for the junk yard.
Sign #2: Undiagnosed Problems
Does your car have chronic warning light syndrome? With this condition, one or more warning lights on the dashboard remain on whenever the car is in operation. When these symptoms first appeared, you took the car to a mechanic who went through the usual check list. However, no one could give you a clear reason why your car was suffering, trying to communicate its need yet failing miserably.
Sign #1: You’re Afraid to Drive Your Car Long Distances
Taking your vehicle out on the open road for any period of time makes you nervous, nervous enough to have the cell phone fully charged and emergency food and drinks on hand. As you click off the miles, you wonder if a serious problem is going to rear its ugly head and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it’s the car’s age, mileage, clunking sounds, or recent repairs that make your stomach turn. Whatever the cause, if you don’t feel comfortable taking your car beyond the city limits, you may be driving a piece of junk.
Rid yourself of the car that only goes in whatever direction the wind is blowing. Upgrade to a newer vehicle that will save you time, money, and headaches. Sure, you may miss your junker, but in the end, you’ll know you made the right decision.
10 thoughts on “6 Signs that Your Car is a Rolling Piece of Junk”
This is the one thing I needed to convince myself that I should get rid of my old rolling piece of junk.
It’s nice to have a car, but it sounds like it’s not worth it to have a junk car. I think if you’re experiencing a few of these signs at the same time then it might be a good idea to take it to a junkyard. It could help you invest in a better mode of transportation.
Hell i’m driving a 1995 grand am it was fine at first but then I went threw Mike’s carwash and got the ultimate $20 wash since then I’ve had to put so much money into that fucking car got so much shit replaced and it still doesn’t drive right at high speeds if I go past 50 the engine feels and sounds like it’s losing power then my engine light will come on and the car starts shaking a little bit
Thanks for pointing out that getting a new car will save us tons of money if we’re currently driving an older car that guzzles gas. My car stopped working and I’ve been trying to decide if I should have it repaired or sell it for parts. The car wasn’t very gas efficient when it was working, so I think I’ll sell it and get a new car.
Thanks for explaining that if there is a cassette player, you’re driving a piece of junk. My car still has cassettes that I listen to as I drive to work. I’ll have to look at selling my junk car.
It made sense when you said that we should junk our car if we’re afraid to drive it long distances. I’ve been nervous about driving my old car too far for a while now. I’ll have to find a car removal service to take it away so I can replace it with one that’s reliable.
You pointed out some of the most important factors. Before I didn’t know but you made it clear. You did such an amazing job. You completely convinced that I should be free up space of my garage. Should I hire a tow company or are there any alternative options?
My car has been making tons of noises lately, and it’s been using up lots of gas. It makes sense that it might be junk now! It would definitely be a good idea for me to consider junking the old thing.
Thanks for explaining that old cars cost us money since they’re much less fuel-efficient. My brother has an old sedan that he constantly has to repair and fill up with gas. I’ll share this info to help him see why selling the car to a wrecker would be the best choice.
I never knew that a car’s efficiency would decrease depending on its age. I have a friend who received his uncle’s old muscle car, and he’s having trouble making it work. I’ll probably share this with him so that he’d consider selling it instead.