Q: Fix, trade, sell, or sell for parts?

asked by on January 12, 2017

Hi, I am the title holder of a 2004 Honda CR-V, manual transmission. I ran it out of oil - I know, I know, if I could go back in time I would stop at that spooky gas station at 10PM and buy some oil - but here we are...

I'm being quoted approximately $2700 to replace the engine. I don't know if I should do this, or try to sell it for parts or trade it in as is, if that's possible with a non-working car.

I think I should have it fixed and continue to drive it since I already own it but I'm being advised to get rid of it one way or another and buy another car, but this person is not "car-literate."

I would appreciate any advise you can give me. Thank you --Lisa

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Lisa: The sales tax alone on a brand new $25,000 car is about $2,000. Obviously, a repair bill of $2,700 (or less, if possible) looks attractive in a comparison like that. If you buy a "used" car from a dealer, you will also pay a large amount of sales tax. Any late model used car in reasonable condition is going to cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 or more. You already have a used car, in your possession, that can be made to run for perhaps $2,700. Therefore, assuming your car is in reasonable condition (other than the engine) your least cost option is going to be to simply fix what you already own. There are some YourMechanic specialists who will do engine swaps and you should investigate that possibility. If you are installing a used engine you have to be careful to get one that is actually "good" and you also have to be sure that any mechanic you work with is competent and is willing and able to follow instructions. An option, that you should look into as well, is to have your existing engine rebuilt at a local machine shop/engine re-building facility. Rebuilding your existing engine, which essentially gives you a NEW engine at the end of the process, should reduce the risk that attends installing a "used" engine AND may not change your overall repair bill that much. "Used" engines are a potentially risky proposition, so be sure you investigate the re-build option at a COMPETENT re-builder. Please let YourMechanic know if and how we can assist you further as we would be pleased to help you.

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