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Engine Repair or Replacement? Making the Best Choice

Toyota Car EngineAs your vehicle is exposed to wear and tear over years of normal operation, engine repair or replacement is something you may have to deal with. Keeping in mind that as your engine ages, so does everything else on the car, how do you decide whether its better to replace your car with a different one or replace the engine in your car with a new or rebuilt one?

While the answer to that question will vary from individual to individual, there are a few basic facts that every person will need to examine before making the best decision for their particular pocketbook and transportation needs. For the purpose of this article, we will assume you have already determined your vehicle has enough value to justify keeping and investing in. Now you have to focus on whether engine repair or engine replacement will be the most cost effective choice.

Most people know that having work done on a car’s engine is expensive. That means whether the problem is relatively minor or big enough to require major engine repair or even replacement, you can probably count on the price tag being a big one, or a bigger one. Once a professional technician has diagnosed your vehicle’s engine problem, they will present you with repair options.

A reputable repair shop, like Dale’s Auto Care, will give you an estimate of the cost for engine repair on your existing engine or installation of a new or used replacement engine. It is always a good idea to ask which option they would recommend and why, especially if you have had positive experiences at the repair shop and trust their opinions. Here are some of the main points to consider for the most common options offered:

Engine Repair vs Replacement

When considering this option, it is reasonable to assume that the cost of repair is less than the price of a comparable replacement engine. Another factor to consider is the length of time you will be without the vehicle while the repair is made. Because it can take more time to remove and repair an engine than the 3-5 days usually required to remove and install a replacement engine, you will want to make sure you have firm estimate of how much time the repair will take before choosing this option.

The following factors should also be considered as they can significantly affect the quality of an engine repair:

  • The reliability of replacement parts being used
  • Access to precision machining for individual engine components being repaired
  • Skill level and experience of the technician doing the work
  • The length of warranty on the repair job

Engine Replacement – New, Remanufactured, Used

When considering this option, it is important to differentiate between the various types of replacement engines. The first type is a brand new, in a box from the manufacturer. This means it has never been previously installed in a vehicle. While it may be ideal to have a brand new engine, just like the one in the car as it came off the assembly line, these engines are generally so expensive that very few people can afford them.

The second type is a “remanufactured” engine. This is generally a previously used engine that has undergone engine repair on an assembly line where it is “restored” to existing manufacturer specifications. The most reliable remanufactured engines come from a vendor used by the manufacturer and ordered through a dealership. Independent repair shops are also able to get remanufactured engines through other aftermarket assembly line sources.

While not technically considered remanufactured, there are independent machine shops that will rebuild an engine that has been removed from vehicle at a local repair shop. Once the rebuild is complete and the engine is returned to the repair shop where it is reinstalled in the vehicle it was removed from. This is like having your own engine remanufactured, but could also fall under the heading of engine repair.

The third type is a used engine from a wrecking yard. This can be a less expensive option than remanufactured. It’s wise to use caution when considering this option for a number of reasons:

  • The maintenance history for this engine is an unknown
  • The warranty is usually for a shorter period than a rebuilt or remanufactured engine
  • Modifications or adjustments may be necessary for it to “fit” into your vehicle
  • If it fails, you may be out of pocket for the labor to install a warrantee replacement

While a repair professional at Dale’s Auto Care can help you make the best choice about engine repair or replacement, having manufacturer recommended scheduled maintenance performed on your vehicle means you’ll enjoy years of reliable service.

Don’t wait until you notice your car is spewing bluish-gray smoke from the tailpipe, burning a quart of oil or more between oil changes, or making funny tapping or knocking sounds. These are signs that your car’s engine has a problem you can’t afford to ignore. Call Dale’s today or request an appointment online.

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