Money to be made

By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine

If you have a couple of old cars sitting around the shop, this may be a good time to convert them to cash. An interesting set of circumstances has created an almost-perfect atmosphere for moving the iron.

The rise in U.S.fuel prices and the disaster in Japan have driven used car retail prices up by about 10 percent in two months according to industry reports. Wholesale auctions are also reporting increased prices, too.

New car inventories are already dropping as OEMs suffer lost production, leading many buyers to consider quality used vehicles as replacements. Additionally, other owners aren’t interested in a new car but are looking for a more fuel-efficient ride. 

Thus, some shop time and few parts invested in your outback relics might produce a salable car at a good price. And, since you did the work right, you can vouch for the car and maybe even offer a limited guarantee. There’s always a customer for a good car at a good price.

But not everything can (or should) be fixed. If your yard cars are truly junk or not worth fixing, it’s still a good time to move them out. A recent report from Experian says that for that last quarter of 2010, more cars were “removed from service” (junked) than at any time since “Cash for Clunkers.”

Here again, circumstances combine in your favor. There has been a steep increase in the price paid for scrap steel, because much of the scrap can be sold to countries that lack the production resources. Additionally, many people are still affected by the stale economy and are willing sell something just to get some cash, even if it means taking an old car off the road.

Although the prices vary widely and by region, it is fair to say that an average junker delivered to the yard could now bring between two and four hundred dollars, instead of the “flat fifty bucks” being paid a few years ago.

Some TV shows make a big deal of finding treasures in the attic or the barn. Yours may be right in your back yard.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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