Q: White smoke

asked by on November 20, 2016

Hey,

So we just bought a Nissan Altima off of a private owner. The car ran great for the first 24 hours and then it would not accelerate. WE put the car in park and I revved the engine and thick white smoke came out of the back. Also the oil is super black and thick, but no mechanic will do a change until the bigger issue is fixed. I know this is most likely a head gasket issue so I put it up for sale because I cannot keep affording diagnostics and tows.

A mechanic got back to me and said he had a used engine with 75,000 miles on it and that he would replace the engine and put in the used one for $1100. does this seem like a good deal? Should we replace the entire engine?

My car has 134815 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there:

Swapping out a used engine for a slightly damaged one is not as easy as it once was. In fact, along with changing engines, you’ll most likely have to reset or reprogram your ECU (add a few hundred dollars as this can only be done through a dealership). Plus, there is typically no warranty on a used engine; so the risk of having other issues like the blown head gasket are likely. The choice would be yours to make, but instead of swapping out motors, you might want to cut your losses and try to find a different vehicle, or have the head gasket replaced and current engine inspected and repaired.

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