dj06482 UltraDork
8/14/19 9:08 p.m.


I've read through a few older threads on here and some general articles, but want to make sure I have my bases covered. We have an '05 Odyssey and the transmission started slipping badly last week. Other than the transmission, the car is in good to very good shape. Because of the transmission, it would likely need to be towed. I may be able to drain/fill the transmission fluid and limp it to somewhere local, but there are no guarantees.

Options as I see it:

- Option #1: Sell it whole as-is (Markets: local junkyards,, Facebook Marketplace, CL, LetGo, also posted in the GRM Classifieds:

- Option #2: Part out the most valuable parts, then junk it (assuming I'd make slightly more money off the parts, but less money on what's left of the shell). This would also involve more work, especially depending on how far I stripped the car.

- Option #3: Donate to a charity - seems less attractive, because the tax benefit is based on the actual money the charity sells it for.

Any other angles I should be looking at, or words of wisdom based on previous experience? I'm leaning towards option #1, as I think option #2 will take more work without any guarantee of making significantly more money.


Robbie UltimaDork
8/14/19 9:15 p.m.

The tax benefit is likely $0 now that itemizing is likely a thing of the past due to the standard deduction doubling.

I agree parting probably makes way more money but takes a lot of time too.

dj06482 UltraDork
8/14/19 9:52 p.m.

Also forgot about the higher standard deduction - thanks for the reminder!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 4:30 a.m.
dj06482 UltraDork
8/15/19 6:06 a.m.

Thanks, John - looks like donating it is likely not in the cards!

wvumtnbkr UberDork
8/15/19 6:17 a.m.

Step 1. Pull engine and ecu.

Step 2 buy miata.

Step 3 scrap odyssey.

Step 4. Put Honda engine in miata.

Step 5 profit.

EvanB MegaDork
8/15/19 6:28 a.m.

I pull any valuable parts to sell or parts I want and scrap what's left for weight. It isn't going to be that much less than they will give you for the whole car and it can be more than made up for with parts sales. 

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
8/15/19 6:49 a.m.

The valuable parts are usually less heavy.  So yeah, parting the low-hanging fruit can be worthwhile.  Lights, computers, interior trim, etc.  Look at ebay completed sales and see what stuff is going for, and if its worth your time. 

I've had curiously good luck selling relatively modern cars that need work on CL for decent money.  The van might only bring $300 in scrap, but someone who's handy with swapping honda trannies might pay you $1k for the van.  

wae SuperDork
8/15/19 7:16 a.m.

My experience isn't vast, but my guess is that on that van there will be a couple parts that go for a halfway decent amount of money, but eBay will be littered with parts for that - it's really common and pretty old with plenty of aftermarket parts floating around, so the supply is somewhat high.  Looking at sold listings on eBay right now, it appears that the high dollar items are all the high shipping-cost items - doors, hoods, engines, transmissions, jump seats.  With so many active used parts listings for that car, you might be sitting on parts for a long while, so you need to consider if you have space to keep them and the time to keep the listings updated.  

You can always try craigslist for the local sale of parts like that, but I would avoid posting "parting out 2005 Honda" ads because you'll get about a million responses of "how much for whole car".  Unless you'd like to sell the whole car and then you might be in business!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 7:36 a.m.

In reply to dj06482 :

Its a Honda (reputation of reliability - even if unwarranted in this case.)  

I still think the flippers will jump on it.  Someone less scrupulous than you is going to put some fresh fluid in the van and try to sell it off quickly.  I think you could have $500-$700 by the end of the week off a CL/FB listing. 

Speaking of the less scrupulous.  If you do sell the van be sure to not leave the title open.  An open title is where the buyer has you not list their name on the title.  The buyer then never really registers the vehicle in their name (which avoids them having to pay tax on the car.)  But, due to this open title, the paper trail then becomes that YOU (not the flipper) sold this car to the new single mom who spent her last dollar to buy it. 

If the flipper presentes himself as you (your name) during the sale then this single mom and her big boyfriend might end up on your doorstep.  .  

ThurdFerguson New Reader
8/15/19 7:44 a.m.

My one experience similar, my wife's 2004 Toyota Sienna transmission started slipping.  224,000 miles.  It was still driveable and had decent interior but had extensive hail damage.  We cashed the insurance check from the hail so it didn't owe us anything.  Put it on craigslist for $1,500 at noon on a Saturday, sold it in two hours for $1,300.

Agree to make sure both sign the title, in MO the buyer also puts down their driver license # on a form the seller sends to the State Revenue dept.



John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 8:01 a.m.

In reply to dj06482 :

Follow this link and you will see my story of offloading a much less desirable car in one day for $400.

Yours is a desirable, reliable nameplate, minivan.  Mine was an undesirable Saturn Vue with a seemingly even less desirable manual trans with 4 bad tires and 4 bad shocks showing 265k miles.  

The flipper I sold it to had it on the local CL a very short time later for $1,200.  It sat for weeks and he went down to $1k.  I'm not sure how much he really ever got for it,  He probably just added a new slave cyl.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 8:08 a.m.

Before the Satun I also sold a non-running LeSabre for $600 and it was a rusty beast.  

Another time, I put a coolant burning Taurus onto CL with full disclosure.  The irony of that one was that the Saturn Vue flipper was the same guy who bought it.  

nutherjrfan UberDork
8/15/19 8:18 a.m.

As soon as I pay off the last of the Versa note ( not the model ) I'll maybe ( maybe ) buy a porta power to push out the rear panel to pop the bumper and lights back in place and list it on CL for $1k and take $800 or drive it for food delivery if it doesn't sell at that.  Life's too short to waste selling/parting a toaster.

Now the MR2 sell-off detailed on these forums I'd dig that but an appliance?  Nope.  smiley

wae SuperDork
8/15/19 8:25 a.m.

Oh, one other thing...  The wife's 04 Oddity crapped out its transmission a couple times as well (shocker).  When the rebuild job went out, she was miles from home and it was slipping on the highway so I had to go fetch it.  After a change of the freshly-pressed unicorn tears that they use for trans fluid and a bottle of Lucas Stop-Slip, it was to the point where once it warmed up, you couldn't tell that it had a problem.

Wound up trading it in on the Mazda 5 three pedal minivan after getting it good and warmed up for the dealer.  They never even did a test drive before they made us an offer on the thing, so I took the money and ran.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/15/19 8:33 a.m.

a 12-qt case of Honda Genuine ATF is about $100.   i'd roll the dice on 4x drain and fill (3 qts each time) with about 5 minutes of run time in between.   plus the stop-slip noted by wae above.

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
8/15/19 11:11 a.m.


Cooter UltraDork
8/15/19 11:43 a.m.

I sell parts on eBay, and agree with wae about parting it out.   I try to sell medium-high demand parts that are without competing listings, and easily shipped.  Anything that has competition will be difficult to sell or even be seen without paying eBay for placement, even if you are Top Rated.

I would try Carmax and see what they offer.   I have had good luck offloading newer vehicles there in the past.

ThurdFerguson New Reader
8/15/19 11:45 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:


Image result for andy griffith sawdust in transmission

dj06482 UltraDork
8/15/19 2:29 p.m.

I appreciate all the feedback, guys - you've made a lot of good points!

  • I'd love to J-swap a Miata, but the kit seems to run about $3500 alone, so that's out. 
  • I have an offer for $485 from, so that's the low water mark right now. I just re-ran an offer with the vehicle completely stripped and they came back $230, so I have a good idea of what it's worth whole vs. stripped.
  • I'm definitely pulling the easy things that have some value (WeatherTech Floor Mats for all three rows, WeatherTech mat for the entire cargo area when the 3rd row is folded down, 2nd row middle seat, stock alloy wheels with new tires, etc.) before getting rid of it.
  • After looking at eBay, it looks like the power sliding door motors, the mirrors, instrument clusters, headlights, taillights, upper grille, rear roof spoiler, body panels, and the radio/HVAC controls have some value
  • I'm leaning towards trying to pull as much money out of it for the minimal amount of effort (aren't we all!)
  • In terms of the transmission, I did a 3X drain and fill with Honda's Unicorn Tears fluid (the only thing that's ever been in the transmission) less than 5K ago, and it was at the correct level but looked dirty when I checked it a few weeks ago. I just did a single drain and fill with Honda's ATF last weekend. At the time of the recent transmission drain/fill, the magnetic drain plug had a bunch of material on it, so I'm not sure that the stop-slip and 4X drain/fill will do much good. The transmission had been shifting/acting fine, I've been driving this several times a week to make sure it was road-worthy. The beginning of our trip was a bit of a worse case scenario - 87 degrees, fully loaded with 6 of us, our gear, and a rooftop cargo carrier (that ironically only had boogie boards in it - so no weight). But, things quickly escalated from "the torque convertor seems to be unlocking more than usual in OD" to "we can't maintain speed on the highway" within a few miles. I'll probably see what the fluid looks like on the dipstick and then go from there.

I really appreciate all the feedback!

dj06482 UltraDork
8/16/19 9:05 p.m.

I called a well respected transmission shop today and talked it over with them. The shop foreman said that a common issue is that the internal filter gets clogged up and then hydraulic pressure drops to zero. 

I actually have the internal Honda transmission filter, so I’m going to drain the fluid and replace the filter to see what the fluid, filter, and drain plug look like. Then I’ll figure out where to go from there.

irish44j MegaDork
8/21/19 10:24 p.m.

Just for perspective, last year I bought a $500 beat old e34 BMW 5-series to get the M50 engine out of it for my e30 swap

e34 isn't really a "hobbyist" car nor are parts in terribly high demand (except the engine).

So for the week or two I had it I posted it on FB marketplace as "parting, come get what you want for cheap."


Guy came and took the beat-up bumpers for $60

Guy gave me $25 for some funky little ashtray part that fit in the door

Guy gave me about $100 worth of trade parts I wanted in exchange for some electrical stuff

Sold some of the lights

Sold the wheels (pending me taking it to the scrapyard) for $100

Sold some other random stuff off of it.

Pulled the trunk and grille and tail lights for my race sponsor (who races an e34 in Chump) and in trade he sent me the entire mount/bushing kit for my e30 M50 swap (worth $150 or so). 

Took the engine out, tossed the automatic transmission in the trunk

Towed it to the scrapyard where the weight of this big rusty car (without engine) got me about $150 for it.

In the end, I pretty much broke even on the purchase price (and got a "free" engine out of the deal). 


Meanwhile, my buddy's totally gutted Miata only got him like $25 at the same scrapyard.

Point being: if it's a heavy car, scrapping can get you some money. Pull any parts you can sell quickly/easily and junk the rest. 

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