I’m at a loss with the decision I must make about my '06 Subaru Forester with 167,000 miles on it.
I bought this car about 6 months ago with some advice to keep an eye on the coolant levels from the 3rd party inspector that I used.
After a while it was clear that there actually was a coolant leak somewhere and it continued to grow.
I was having to refill the system every 2 days.
My mechanic finally pinpointed that coolant was leaking into a head gasket.
So we put some stop-leak tablets in with the coolant and it seemed to perhaps fix the problem for a week or so, as the coolant tank levels were remaining consistent.
However, when I checked the actual radiator while the engine was cold, the levels seemed to be rather low.
Near the end of last week, I filled the radiator with coolant.
Then catastrophe hit. During a drive, while the engine was idle at a stoplight, the engine and therefore the car began to shake much more than was normal (my motor mounts also probably need to be fixed). Then I lost all ability to accelerate-the pedal was giving me nothing.
I had to restart the car in order to get any acceleration at all.
I had to do this twice more in the 1/4 mile home.
When I got home I realized that there was light smoke coming from the hood and there there was heavy white smoke coming from my exhaust.
The smoke from the hood turned out to be radiator fluid evaporating because it was splashed all over the place under the hood.
The heavy white smoke from the tail pipe dissipated and then would return very heavy when I pressed the gas pedal.
I also checked and noticed that my oil level was incredibly low, even though the oil has been changed within 1000 miles.
Now, finally to my question.
My mechanic is recommending that I completely replace the engine with a refurbished one.
That will cost me approximately $3500, half what I bought the car for.
My other option is to have them remove the engine, do a valve job, machine the head gaskets, and replace what motor mounts need replacing.
I believe he said that it would cost anywhere from $2000 to $3000 depending on the amount of labor needed once the engine is removed and a clearer picture can be seen.
Is it worth me paying for a new engine, or do I risk having the repairs done?
I am worried that there could be more wrong with the engine ever after we do these repairs.
I’m very much at a stand still and cannot decide what to do next.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you in advance!