There comes a time in a vehicle's life when the price to fix it becomes more than the vehicle's value. At this point, you have the option to get rid of the vehicle or pour endless amounts of money into it, trying to fix it. One of the most common causes of mechanical breakdown in a vehicle is improper maintenance. Replacing engines, transmissions, and other vital car parts can become expensive. CarComplaints.com is an excellent resource for finding out what common car problems exist by make, model, and year.
So, what option do you choose?
In Illinois, the price for scrap metal can fluctuate per pound. The heavier the vehicle, the more money you will likely get overall. Most people who have their car taken as scrap will strip it first - selling the usable parts for a profit. If it is not stripped, the weight is called "curb weight," which is the standard vehicle's weight without occupants or baggage.
What are the ten most commonly scrapped vehicles in Illinois, and how much are they worth?
1. 2002 Ford Explorer
Average Price: $215.00
The number one scrapped vehicle in Illinois is the 2002 Ford Explorer. The most common issues found with this year and model are transmission failure, the O/D light blinking, the necessity for transmission overhaul, and the transmission slipping.
The 2002 Ford Explorer has a curb weight of almost 4,500 pounds. The highest scrapping price found in Illinois was in Naperville, at $277.50, and the lowest was found in Oregon at $155.00. On average, we found that the 2002 Ford Explorer brought sellers a price of $215.00 across the state when presented to a scrap company. Rockford, Joliet, and Chicago still provided amounts that were above this average.
2. 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix
Average Price: $174.02
Just five years after the release of this vehicle, Pontiac went out of business. Although parts are still available for replacement, the 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix is reported to have a small list of problems that make them not worth fixing up. From simple sensor problems to a stalled engine caused by a fuel pump failure, the cumulative issues reported for this model are astounding.
The lack of popularity for the vehicle and the lower curb weight, around 3,500 pounds, give it a low cash-in scrap value. The average price across the state of Illinois was calculated to be $174.02. Burbank ($240.00), Chicago ($206.82), and Manhattan ($200.00) provided the highest scrap value for this model. Unfortunately, the numbers significantly drop in Peoria ($60.00) and Springfield ($58.33).
3. 2005 Nissan Altima
Average Price: $230.23
Given the 2005 Nissan Altima history, it is not surprising that it ranked highly on the most scrapped cars in Illinois. Many of the problems commonly associated with this model year included the engine, which can be an expensive fix.
The curb weight for the 2005 Nissan Altima is estimated at close to 3,400 pounds. Based on research, the highest scrap price for this car was from Bethalto for $350.00. The lowest was from Great Lakes at a mere $35.00, almost $200.00 below average!. Despite the difference in the two amounts, we found that on average, Illinois 2005 Nissan Altima owners could get a scrap price around $230.23, which is seen in Hillside's scrap price, which is almost spot on. Chicago's scrap price, $279.44, was above average, but Rockford fell well below average by $80.23.
4. 2003 Ford Taurus
Average Price: $184.02
Considered to be the worst year of Ford Taurus to purchase, the 2003 model year experienced unintentional acceleration, which lead to accidents and deaths. Even with a curb weight of 3,500 pounds, the scrap pricing found for this vehicle wasn't as high as some of the other make, model, and years listed.
We found that the average price among scrapped Ford Taurus' was $184.02, a low amount supported by Alton ($137.50) and Peoria ($11.67). Lyons, Chicago, and Plainfield all reported above-average scrap purchase amounts at $197.50, $224.62, and $227.50, respectively.
5. 2004 Chevrolet Impala
Average Price: $189.73
The 2004 Chevrolet Impala is a mid-sized sedan that has a curb weight of approximately 3,500 pounds. Although the Impala is an easily identified design on the road and is a popular car to own, it still had quite the list of problems recorded throughout the years. Many of these problems seem superficial until you get to the mechanical failure issues such as the random jolting while being driven.
The average Illinois scrap price for the 2004 Chevrolet Impala is $189.73. Chicago and Waukegan tipped the scales with average scrap pricing of over $220.00 for this model. Although below-average, South Holland, Joliet, and Peoria still kept the scrap pricing above $100.00, making it a solid return no matter where scrapped.
6. 2004 Ford Explorer
Average Price: $227.70
Ranking high in the complaint category, the 2004 Ford Explorer was no stranger to National Highway Safety Administration safety complaints. These complaints included primarily engine and transmission issues, which are costly repairs. This model year also came in numerous trim packages, including the Eddie Bauer edition, making it a popular vehicle on the roadways.
The curb weight of the 2004 model is almost identical to the 2002 model, which explains why the average scrap pricing doesn't differ much. The 2004 model saw an average Illinois scrap price of $227.70, with all five sample cities cashing in above state average. Except for Naperville and Round Lake, the scrap values of Chicago, Oak Lawn, and Joliet all ended up producing over $250.00 in profit for car owners.
7. 2000 Honda Accord
Average Price: $192.30
The oldest vehicle to grace this top ten list is the 2000 Honda Accord. While some complaints about the car can be found online, mainly about electrical problems and the occasional transmission slip, the most likely reason for the vehicle's scrapping is the engine. Most Honda vehicles are considered reliable until you reach a specific mileage. In the case of the Accord, 300,000 miles seems to be the limit. In a vehicle this age, the price of the engine replacement may not be worth keeping it.
The average Illinois scrap price on the 2000 Honda Accord was $192.30, with the only real low-ball scrap price of $80.00 in Machesney Park. Aurora came close to average, yet under, at $165.00. Three cities provided scrap pricing over $200.00 - Chicago, Naperville, and Broadview. These figures are impressive, even with an average curb weight of around 3,000 pounds.
8. 2007 Chevrolet Impala
Average Price: $223.33
Carrying on with the same mechanical problems the earlier models of the Impala presented, the 2007 model was also heavier by about 200 pounds. The National Highway Safety Administration had numerous engine complaints closely followed by the electrical system malfunctioning for this model year.
The average scrap value in Illinois for the 2007 Chevrolet Impala seems somewhat consistent with the city samplings. At $223.33, the amount is closely comparable with Chicago, Joliet, and Naperville. Aurora was well above average at $260.00 and Bellwood under average scrap pricing at $170.00 - providing two very different perspectives of the scrap price spectrum.
9. 2007 Dodge Caliber
Average Price: $281.00
The 2007 Dodge Caliber is the number nine most scrapped vehicle in Illinois. The most commonly reported problems for the Caliber come from the suspension, not from the engine or any other primary mechanical component. Most drivers had no idea there was a problem with the suspension until the damage was caused, either to the car or the tires required replacing.
Considered a compact car, the curb weight of the 2007 Dodge Caliber is around 3,000 pounds. High scrap pricing can be found across the state of Illinois, with an average of about $281.00. Impressive scrap values come from Bridgeview ($326.25), East Alton (bringing in $64 more than average scrap price), and Peoria ($352.50). Chicago was close to the $300.00 mark with an average scrap value of $294.29. On the opposite end, Springfield only offered an average of $202.50 - well below average.
10. 2006 Chevrolet Impala
Average Price: $216.14
Ending the top ten scrapped vehicle list for Illinois is the 2006 Chevrolet Impala. This Impala model year has a curb weight ranging from 3,500 to 3,700, depending on the trim level. The most commonly reported problems with the 2006 Chevrolet Impala were engine problems and steering problems.
The average scrap price for this Impala model year falls in between the other two listed. In Illinois, the average scrap price for the 2006 Chevrolet Impala was $216.14, with only Chicago providing a scrap price above average at $239.41. Minooka barely averaged over $200.00, while Buffalo Grove, Rockford, and Blue Island didn't come close.
Understanding Top Scrap Pricing
In most circumstances, you consider scrapping your car when it is "junk." It probably doesn't run at this point, or it can be dangerous to start it up. Whatever the reason, you choose to sell it for scrap metal. The price for metal changes constantly, which is why you may see high prices associated with a scrap yard one day, but lower than average the next. You aren't likely to make thousands on your vehicle when you scrap it, but it does provide you with the ability to get a little extra cash and get it out of your way.