1993 Oldsmobile Silhouette engine

160,000miles. Owned since new. All maintenence done regularly. Currently gets 20mpg in town. Transmission replaced, still has some warantee. 3.8L. Knocking in lower engine. Mechanic says $4500 for remanufactured engine. It that or car payments. Advice?

Have you searched what complete vehicle you could buy for that money? That 93 would have to be perfect in every way for me to consider putting 4500 in. The drivetrain is the best part of the Silhouette/Lumina APV line. Make the search for a complete vehicle to help you decide.

How would I search by price and features only? Thanks,

If the rest of the vehicle is OK I would replace the engine. You may be able to find a low mileage used engine, which will cost you less than the $4500 quoted.

OK. I figured that out. There is nothing I would want to own available for $4500 or less.

Yeah … I can probably afford $4500. With that I’d get some kind of warrantee. Used engine with a warrantee? How do I trust the quoted mileage?

More than $4500 and I have to get a loan. Fixed income. Can’t afford payments.

Since I bought the car new I have the complete maintenance history. I’ll probably go for the remanufactured engine.


I recently bought a 2000 Silhouette - 103K, garage kept, all records for $2900. Minivans have terrible resale value. (The person I bought it from said he started by asking about $6000).

The used markets are full of vans - newer and w/ lower miles - for $4500 or less.

Which is exactly what I told the OP to look for. His report tht “there is nothing for $4500 that I would own” made me chuckle.

It certainly is your decision about what to do with your $4500, but I’m not sure where you looked. Car dealers are not the way to go. Good “middle aged” (as opposed to senior citizen) minivans are all over starting at 5K and going down from there. The only hard part is sorting though the ones that have been cared for from those that haven’t.

Look at craigslist in your area.

That’s what happens when you keep a vehicle too long. You tend to hate to let it go, especially if you treated it right and it treated you right.

I just gave my 2000 Silo to our oldest daughter and took her neglected 2003 Montana to sell to retrieve the $800 I spent getting the Olds certified and e-tested.

I never realised how difficult it is to locate the 2 piece plastic (honeycomb) grille for that van.

Not on ebay, the 5 recycle yards nor the 3 dealerships I called. One dealer quoted me $147 for the grille! I can’t repeat what I said here.

Is there any aftermarket places that sell these grilles?

The OP has a good point.

Where DOES one get a GOOD (mechanically) vehicle for $4500 that hasn’t been neglected where oil changes, filter changes, regular servicing (including brakes, etc.) transmission fluid/filter changes were done in time (never mind ON time) to avoid huge repair bills.

In the same breath, I have a hesitancy to spend $4500 on a NEW? engine for a 16 year old van.

Who knows what is next to give up. Trouble tends to follow when something old breaks, as the new component is stronger than the next old one.

To the OP: did you get more than one estimate for a new (used/rebuilt) engine? Check with independent shops.

Have you tried www.car-part.com - big e-network of salvage yards. The only tricky part would be making sure it is the right grill. You don’t get pictures of the actual piece - but sometimes they have pictures of the type.

“There is nothing I would want to own available for $4500 or less.”

Yet you want a van worth less than $1000, even in perfect condition. I suggest you consider a 2000-2001 Silhouette. You might even find a 2002 for $4500. We have a 2003 and are very happy with it.