If you've recently noticed some troubling noises or odors coming from your vehicle's engine compartment, you may be dreading the thought of getting an official diagnosis. Whether you're dealing with corroded pistons, a thrown rod, or an unidentified oil leak, having your engine repaired, rebuilt, or replaced can be a pricey prospect. Fortunately, there are some easy-to-answer questions that can help point you toward the right path when it comes to solving your vehicle's engine troubles.Read on to learn more about the factors you'll want to consider when deciding between engine repair and replacement.
Do you want to keep the vehicle?
If the answer to this question is an unequivocal "no," there are relatively few situations in which it would make sense to sink money into engine repairs when you're not planning to keep the vehicle much longer. Although a vehicle with a working engine will almost always fetch a higher price than one needing repair work, it's less common to get back all the funds you've poured into repairs, especially if you're selling immediately after the repairs have been made and can't warrant to a potential buyer that the vehicle is in good shape.
How much is the vehicle worth?
Even for those who would like to keep their vehicles, repair or replacement of a failing engine isn't always the right decision. If your vehicle is worth less than $2,000 or so, it's likely that sinking money into an engine repair (even if you do most of the labor yourself) will leave you with a vehicle that's still worth less than the amount you just paid out.
How extensive are the necessary repairs?
For situations in which you'd like to keep your vehicle and can financially justify purchasing a new engine (or funding engine repairs), the extent of the repairs needed may dictate whether you choose a refurbished engine, new engine, or opt to replace only individual components. In general, the more parts within your engine that require repair, the more the economic scale will tilt toward replacement—largely because the labor costs associated with multiple engine repairs can quickly begin to dwarf the equipment costs.
What's your repair budget?
If the sky is the limit when it comes to your automotive budget, the installation of a new engine (often called a "crate" engine because it comes fresh from the crate) can give your vehicle hundreds of thousands of miles of trouble-free driving. However, those who are more constrained by financial considerations may want to look into a refurbished engine as opposed to a crate engine. Refurbished engines often carry the same extended warranty as crate engines at a fraction of the price, and can help you reserve additional funds to put toward labor costs.
For more information on repairs, consider contacting a company like American Transmission Center.