Michigan is often thought of because of its affiliation with car manufacturing. Just because it has a history with cars doesn't mean that you will always find the best pricing for junking a car. In fact, many of the cars on the list come from model years that have a history of being, for lack of a better term, "junk." The nice thing is that many manufacturers learned from the mistakes of the older cars they produced, making the new ones more efficient and more reliable.
We have tracked down the ten most junked cars in the state of Michigan, along with the going values they bring on the scrap market. Using carcomplaints.com, we have discovered some of the reasons that car owners, like yourself, have chosen to junk their car for cash instead of pouring in piles of money to fix them.
1. 2002 Ford Explorer
Average Price: $249.12
The number one vehicle that made the Michigan top ten scrap list is the 2002 Ford Explorer. This comes as no surprise because carcomplaints.com actually lists this car as one of their top ten worst cars of all time. This model year for Ford saw many costly transmission problems in the Explorer model, ones that cost over $3K just for a rebuild. The wheel bearings were also notorious for breaking on this model.
The average price for scrapping a 2002 Ford Explorer in Michigan is $249.12. Saginaw ($227.50) and Monroe ($230) were the cities that brought in below-average state pricing, at approximately $21.62 and $19.12. Belleville offered $258.33, $9.21 more than Michigan's average. Detroit was $19.97 above average at $269.09. Almont provided the highest scrap value for the 2002 Ford Explorer at $290, or $40.88 above scrap average pricing.
2. 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix
Average Price: $169.18
Despite going out of business, the 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix caused owners many problems regarding the heater/AC unit and the engine. The top and most expensive issues reported for the Grand Prix were vehicle starting issues and engine failure problems. Each of these seeing a price tag over $4K. Many also saw the blower motor either stop working or continue to blow without shutting off, according to the lists on carcomplaints.com.
The Michigan scrap average for a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix is $169.18. All of the cities we looked at offer above-average pricing for this model year. Grand Rapids is the lowest offer at $177, $7.82 above average. Pontiac offers owners $200 for a scrapped Grand Prix, which is $30.82 above the Michigan average. East Pointe is close behind at $210, or $40.82 above the average. Detroit offered owners $54.46 above average with a scrap rate of $223.64. Ann Arbor provided the highest scrap at $285, $119.82 higher.
3. 2003 Ford Taurus
Average Price: $190.21
The 2003 Ford Taurus is no stranger to extreme problems. The transmission often failed in this model year, around the 90K mile mark, costing over $2K to fix. The coil springs also broke on these models, puncturing the tires or even shredding them as they drove down roadways. The government even initiated an investigation into this problem from 2008 to 2011. Still, they did not force a recall as there were very few bad crashes and no deaths resulting from the problem.
The average scrap price for the 2003 Ford Taurus in Michigan is $190.21. Ypsilanti only offers $120 for this model year, $70.21 below the state average. Ypsilanti isn't the only city offering below-average pricing. Leslie only offers $152.50, which is $37.71 below. Romulus and Grand Rapids are within a dollar of one another at $195 and $196, making them over average by $4.79 and $5.79. Detroit brings the 2003 Ford Taurus home, offering $80.50 over the state's average at $270.71.
4. 2004 Chevrolet Malibu
Average Price: $192.82
The 2004 Chevrolet Malibu shows a lot of problems in the steering category on carcomplaints.com. These complaints even include 910 NHTSA complaints about the steering. Overall, the vehicle has over 2K complaints from consumers. Carcomplaints.com has it listed as a car to avoid like the plague. Many cited the power steering going out, and the steering column is defective in this model year.
The average Michigan scrap price for the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu is $192.82. We found a broad spectrum of pricing for this vehicle, starting with the least amount you could get for scrapping a Malibu; Traverse City offered $12.50, which is $180.32 below the state's average pricing. Battle Creek was also under average at $141.67, $51.15 below the average state scrap. Ypsilanti came within $6.82 of the average at $186. Detroit was $12.18 over the state's average at $205 for the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. Armada offered owners the most at $237.50, $44.68 Michigan's average.
5. 2002 Ford Taurus
Average Price: $198.72
Even with a few transmission problems, nothing was as big of a problem as the coil springs in the 2002 Ford Taurus. This model year was a part of the same investigation of the 2003 Ford Taurus that ultimately did not enforce a recall. The coil springs were notorious for breaking, causing tire shredding or puncturing while owners drove it down the roadways.
The average Michigan pricing for the 2002 Ford Taurus scrap is $198.72. Redford offered the lowest amount at $120, which is $78.72 lower than the average. Also below average were Ann Arbor ($185) and Grand Rapids ($188.75), only offering $13.72 and $9.97 below Michigan's average scrap pricing. Detroit offered owners $29.46 above the average at $228.18. The highest comes from Garden City at $250, a $51.28 profit above Michigan's average scrap for the 2002 Ford Taurus.
6. 2006 Pontiac G6
Average Price: $202.57
The 2006 Pontiac G6 had major problems in the electronic power-assisted steering failure. Basically, the power steering would cut out while the owner was driving, making it next to impossible to maneuver the vehicle safely. In March of 2010, GM issued a recall for 1.3 million vehicles exhibiting the same problems. Still, the 2006 Pontiac G6 was not a part of the recall. Carcomplaints.com has listed several consumer complaints as well as complaints made to the NHTSA (over 1100) for the steering problems.
The 2006 Pontiac G6 has an average scrap price of $202.57 in Michigan. The lowest amount you could receive from our list would be $160 in Grand Rapids, which is $42.57 below the state's average. Grandville was close to this amount at $167.50, a $35.07 difference. Detroit fell under by $2.57, only offering $200 for the G6. Lansing was in second place with an amount of $276.25, $73.68 above Michigan's average. With $277.43 over the average, Inkster offers $480 scrap value for the 2006 Pontiac Gg in Michigan.
7. 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix
Average Price: $193.29
Carcomplaints.com lists the most common problems associated with the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix as the engine stalling ($800 approximate fix cost), transmission failure ($1,700 approximate fix cost), and clicking from the steering wheel (under $500 to fix). Most of the complaints stem around the AC and heater or the engine causing problems. Other than that, the car seems to be somewhat solid - minus the need for someone to junk it.
In Michigan, the average scrap price for the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix is $193.29. Grand Blanc came in last place, only offering $125 for scrap, $68.29 below average. Flint was also on the low end at $150, $43.29 below Michigan's average. Detroit came in at $44.89 above-average scrap price at $238.18. Grand Rapids brought scrapping to $260 for the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix, which is $66.71 higher. Offering the most in Michigan was Wyoming with $290, at $96.71 above Michigan's average ($30 more than Grand Rapids).
8. 2008 Chevrolet Impala
Average Price: $231.76
Carcomplaints.com has a log of over 1K complaints on the 2008 Chevrolet Impala. The worst problems noted were premature tire wear, malfunctioning with the power locks, and the car running roughly, which turned into a $3,000 problem for an owner. There are also over 240 NHTSA complaints listed for the engine and over 200 for electrical problems.
The average you can expect for your 2008 Chevrolet Impala in Michigan is $231.76. The highest scrap price comes from Detroit at $261.11, which is $29.35 over the average. Next, Grand Rapids offered $258.33, and closing out the above-average amounts was Royal Oak at $3.24 above average ($235). The 2008 Chevrolet Impala wasn't worth quite as much in Flint, whose scrap value was $197.50, $34.26 below Michigan's average. Ortonville was only offering $177.50 for the Impala, falling $54.26 short of the average.
9. 2004 Chrysler Sebring
Average Price: $169.09
Although the 2004 Chrysler Sebring doesn't have as many complaints on carcomplaints.com as some of the other cars that made this list, it does have some of the rather pricier problems. Engine problems seem to reign supreme for this model. Oil sludge resulting in engine failure could cost up to $3,800 to fix, and the rods breaking in the engine could cost over $4K to fix. Other than the engine complaints, most of the other areas were lower numbers, but let's face it, fixing an engine can be a deal-breaker for keeping a car.
Michigan's average scrap price for the 2004 Chrysler Sebring is $169.09, with East Pointe offering the lowest rate of $120, $49.09 below the scrap price average. Grand Rapids also fell short of average, only offering $165.83, $3.26 below the Michigan average. Warren is the first city we found that offers above average at $172.50, which is $3.41 higher. Macomb was close behind at $180, offering owners $10.91 above average. Coming in at number one is Detroit, $59.48 above average, offering $228.57 for scrap 2004 Chrysler Sebring vehicles.
10. 2001 Ford Taurus
Average Price: $229.39
The last vehicle in the top ten junked cars in Michigan is the 2001 Ford Taurus. This vehicle has many problems resulting from the transmission and the suspension. There were over 550 NHTSA complaints regarding the suspension in the vehicle. Costly repairs to the transmission resulted in over $1,500 spent for rebuilds or replacements.
The Michigan average for scrapping a 2001 Ford Taurus is $229.39. Allendale offers the lowest scrap price at $172.50 ($56.89 below). Livonia is the only other city on our list that couldn't match Michigan's average price at $4.39 below average with $225. Grand Rapids is in the middle, with $17.28 above average pricing for the $246.67 scrap value. Ann Arbor saw scrap prices of $270, making the difference $40.61 above average. The real scrap price winner is Harrison Township with $318.33 for owners scrapping their 2001 Ford Taurus, $88.94 above the Michigan state average.
Where to Scrap in Michigan
If you are looking for a good place to start when you need to scrap your car in Michigan, look to Detroit. In almost all of the cars on our list, we saw Detroit offering above-average pricing. Before you commit to scrapping your car in a city, make sure you call the surrounding areas to see how much you might be able to get in cash for your scrap vehicle. Some vehicles are worth more than others, especially the vehicles with higher curb weights.