Q: I think my motor is toast.

asked by on

I was driving at about 50 mph when I heard a loud thud from the engine. I suddenly began to lose power (revved to about 4 or 5 grand to stay at 50. When I pulled over it sputtered and died. When I started it again it squeaked and rattled a lot. I think a cylinder is missing pretty bad or maybe it's a rod knock or a screwed up valve I'm just not sure.

My car has 139000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It’s possible you have major engine damage but to rule this in or out, the best thing to do is schedule an engine diagnostic. One quick test you can do is a compression test. Obviously, if compression is super low in one or more cylinders there is a major problem that will require complete disassembly of the engine. Even if the engine is damaged, that is far from being a disaster. Engines can be re-built, replaced with a used engine (have to select very carefully of course; buying a used engine is risky), or you can buy a new (remanufactured) crate engine with a warranty. So, there are a variety of options to get the car running again and you should definitely consider them because, frankly, the sales tax on a new $30,000 car is typically around $2,000 not to mention all the other extraordinary costs of buying new (like mandatory collision insurance if you finance the car). For $2,000 you are well on your way to replacing the engine with a crate engine. The bottom line is, to save money, give serious consideration to fixing or replacing the engine and, to that end, just let us know if and how we can assist you. The first step would be to diagnose what you have, of course, to make sure it can’t be restored in situ.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I think my motor is toast.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Mitsubishi Eclipse automatic to manual conversion

There will be more than a few changes to the vehicle you will need to do to facilitate this swap. The wire harness, computer, engine and trans mounts, computer, clutch pedal assembly and other items that may not be mentioned....

Q: Window chips damaging driver side window.

Hello. In most cases, scratches on automotive glass can be difficult to remove if they are deep. If they are shallow, you maybe able to use a bit of metal, or specialized glass polish, to buff out the scratches by...

Q: All engine sensor failure, transmission problems after a car wash.

Hi there. The only thing that could cause the severe issues that you are having with your vehicle is a leak in the exhaust system and having cold water enter the catalytic converter causing the chamber to collapse. Check the...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.