• Mar 27, 2006
Your 1990 Ford or Honda or BMW has finally died or it feels that way from the repair bills. So should you start your new car shopping surfing the Internet or the good old newspaper?
Not so fast, say the Engine Repower Council (ERC) and the Car Care Council (CCC). According to both organizations, it may make more sense to rebuild your vehicle, especially if it's the engine that is giving you (and your bank account) fits.

"When a car or truck suffers major engine damage, often the first reaction of most consumers is to buy a new or used vehicle," says EPC chairman Rick Miller. "In some cases that might make sense, but often it's simply not necessary. And it's a very expensive proposition compared to re-powering your car or truck's worn out engine with a rebuilt/re-manufactured engine."

Besides long-term costs, the article discusses other advantages of rebuilt engines, many of which are at least as good if not better than the original ones due to better components, designs and materials. Rebuilt engines are also more environmentally friendly since they may use recycled parts, materials and have to comply with current pollution standards. Finally, rebuilt engines are usually backed by one-year warranties.

[Source: The Auto Channel]


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  • 20 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "... and have to comply with current pollution standards."
      Nonsense, the components of a vehicle's emission control systems are not included with any company's rebuilt or remanufacured engines. Many of these engines have defects costing all involved $$$. This is even true of so-called factory re-maned engines. Only the GM all new "crate" engines are a safe bet. Normally I'm a sharp critic of GM, but they set a high standard for replacement engines.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This only works for relatively new, high mileage fleet cars. It makes little economic sense for an average consumer to spend several thousand dollars installing a rebuilt engine in an old car, even if the body is in reasonably good condition. The new engine does nothing to increase the longevity of the other expensive components including the transmission, differential and air conditioning. Finally, it is unlikely an insurance company will hesitate to write the car off for even a relatively minor accident or give anything approaching the true value of the car with the new engine.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 70's and the initial gas crunch, detuning; not a good decade for keeping an automobile. 1974 164E Volvo - $6300 after trade in of $100. 425,000 miles later, still have the old firewagon. Haven't bought a new car since - couple used boys, no new ones. Painted the firewagon myself about 17 years ago before Dupont took the isocyanates out of Imron paint; just now could use another - but I'll not be doing it. Have rebuilt the engine, myself, twice, and have 37,000 on the current edition.

      Now, not many people, outside of dedicated wrench turners, and even some of them, would not want to do what it takes to keep ANYTHING 32 years - much less have it remain safe on the road! As someone noted, it requires quite a bit more than some simple engine/drive train replacement exercise. I watched, the other day, as a late model car burned to the ground in a parking lot - fire started in the engine compartment, probably caused from a leaky rubber fuel hose or injector (poorly maintained)? Like my wife, all these folk wanted the thing to do was crank each time they got in it with as little attention (gas and sometimes oil) paid to it as possible by them! Reminds me, need to round up a bucket seat frame, one of mine has broken.

      Bottom line reads, keep up with the nitnoids, if you don't replace the old clunker, or, as someone pointed out, replacing the engine/tranny will just be pounding sand down that bottomless hole!
      • 8 Years Ago
      its quicker to get a new car than rebuild or replace the engine most of the time.

      I would love to rebuild rather than get a new car but I only have 1 car and I will most likely be spending my mony on the rebuild so a rental may not be an option unless rebuilder provides one or I get a load.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My husband has completely rebuilt his 1980 450SL Mercedes engine.
      It is not starting! It makes a starter motor sound but nothing else. It is getting gas, sometimes oil pressure, and there is spark. It is going on two weeks now. Same sound same systems. What is your opinion?
      Linda
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have a 1992 Honda Prelude S (base model for that year). The engine let go at 193k miles a year ago. I got a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) used replacement engine and transmission put in with a 1yr/12k mile warranty. A year later and it's still running strong. The old engine was a 2.2L SOHC 4cyl rated at 135HP. The new one is a 2.2L DOHC rated at 160HP. It's better than the day I bought it.

      I know there's alot of people who just have to have that "new car smell" every few years but my Lude is my baby and run it til it just can't run anymore.

      If you see a car as an investment, do the smarter thing and buy one that's 2 years old. Let the other fools take the depreciation hit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Here is the main problem. New car warranties are like house insurance to most people on a budget. The rich can pay the chunks of expense if something happens to the house. In the case of a car, most people (who do not have huge savings, or money set aside for large repairs) will end up putting the repairs on high interest credit cards, and will take a long time to pay it back -- and during that time they will be biting their nails everytime the car has a squeak or groan. If a transmission goes, how far behind could a differential or headgasket, or bearings, etc be? It is endless unless you have really set money aside.

      At the end of the day, used etc MIGHT end up being cheaper if things go your way; but most people negate any benefit because they simply not rich enough to -- basically self insure themselves against costly repairs.

      Rich people can buy used, poor people need those darn warranties and steady payments to make their budgets work.
      • 8 Years Ago
      emulous1974, great info.
      It would be nice if the autobloggers did some simple research like this before posting.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well boys,

      You're right and your wrong. Lets say yo have a car, drive 30,000 a year, 5 years later it needs a new engine and hell, let's even throw in a transmission.

      5 years, lots of miles, but the body is still good, interior still good, so you put 3,000 in an engine, 2,000 in a transmission that comes to 5,000, now add up your payments on a depreciating piece of shiny new equipment. 450 a month payments (maybe) and a loss of at least 30% of it's value. A repaired car will not cost you 450 to 600 per month either, like a new one will. It also will not be upside down in payments or a lease like the one you just traded in for. Hmmmm

      The trick is getting mechanical repairs done properly, so that they last, not a 1/3 or 1/2 the original mileage but close to the same.

      Ever sit down, figure out how much that shiny new car REALLY costs?

      And a 5 or 6 year old car these days is still safe and most will still be looking good too.

      We're too eager for the new and it's too easy to just go out and buy another one.

      Now I love cars as much as or more than the next guy, but have to tell you, the answer is not always "just go get a new one"

      The other thing is this guys, REAL MEN rebuild their own toys, not have a repair garage do it. I've rebuilt engines from a Honda 600 to a Mercedes and Porsche and by being your own tech you can save thousands over the years. You can rebuild an engine for a 1/3 or less of the price if you can do it yourself.

      And auto trans overhauls aren't too bad either.

      • 8 Years Ago
      #10. White Trash Hooker. I have a question for you....If you live in your car, can to get a home improvement loan for a new set of tires? And since you are a hooker, is the cost considered a business expense and therefore deductable?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Only objection to putting in a new drivetrain is if the platform is worn out (rusted chassi, suspention that is unsafe, etc); but with that said.

      Putting in a new drivetrain is a great way to keep cost per mile down to almost nothing. $2k-5k seems like alot but over the course of an engine life this is pennies on the mile.

      I have both new cars and old cars and considering that your insurance is more on the new car and car payments and usually the old car has cheaper replacement parts, it is nice to save money with the older car.

      Only bit of advice, replace the drivetrain, not just the engine; but if you only replace the tranny or just the engine, you will be replacing the other very soon after.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not that I don't think that most consumers, including myself jump the gun on replacing vehicles before their real time is up, but I'm more weary of taking advice from two organizations, which are actually the same organization and that don't state who their funders or founders really are:

      "ERC was formed in 1999 by a group of automotive industry leaders in response to the growing concern among professional engine rebuilders that most consumers do not understand the benefits of rebuilt engines. These concerns were supported by a motorist survey showing that nearly 74 percent of consumers were not aware of this alternative."

      "The Engine Repower Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating consumers about the economic and environmental benefits of rebuilt and remanufactured engines."

      Every non-profit has to state who it's leaders and where they get their funding in order to obtain and keep, non-profit status. Those that are on the up and up usually post that information on their websites:

      http://www.carcare.org

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