2000 nissan altima with blown engine

Do I buy an engine or sell the car for parts? My son’s car overheated while driving down the hwy due to a radiator leak. After a first and second opinion, two separate mechanics told me the engine has no compression so basically was shot. The car was in good shape with 102k miles and everything worked. Internet surfing has some used engines with 80-100k miles from $800-$1200, some guaranteed some not. Is it better to rebuild the original engine or buy another used one? Labor cost on top of an engine wont be cheap. Are other parts under the hood expected to be replaced too as a result of the engine overheating? We are IT geeks not mechanical and appreciate any helpful advice.

Rebuiiding an engine properly (key word there) is usually not cost effective due to the expense, which may include a lot of automotive machine shop sublet work, oversize piston set, plus many of the peripherals.

A used engine is the best route to go on an 11 year old car but you always run into that old saw about whether that guaranteed engine is really good or not. Some are, some are not, and many are in between with varying degrees of comparatively minor problems.
Keep in mind that while someone may guarantee an engine they do NOT guarantee labor and that’s the way it should be. If the engine turns out to be no good then you may get the money back on the engine but you’re still out the labor.

It would be best to deal locally with a salvage and some larger salvage yards will install for a nominal fee what they sell. If a problem develops they’re on th hook for it, not you.
As to other parts that may be needed, that would be things like fluids, spark plugs, and hopefully no O2 sensor or converter problems. The latter can be affected by overheating and that’s an unknown until the car is up and running.

FYI. In the future when a car overheats the vehicle should be stopped immediately. Cars do not overheat instantly. Continuing to drive the vehicle turned a comparatively cheap fix into a major expensive headache. Hope some of that helps and good luck.

If the overheat was severe, don’t even THINK about rebuilding your engine…There is nothing to rebuild, it’s scrap metal… OK gave some good advise…Many of the better salvage yards will install or arrange to be installed their used engines. The guarantee is usually 30 days…

When that red warning light comes on, it’s MUCH cheaper just to pull over and have the car towed home or to a nearby repair shop than to keep driving it, hoping “you will make it”…

I would recommend that you look into a quality remanufactured engine. It’s usually returned to near new condition, but since its done on an assembly line, the cost is much lower. Nissan has a lot of these engines available because of the issues with the rings used in 2005 and 2006. There were remanufactured on the assembly line that the new engines were made on.

You really don’t know what you are getting when you buy a used engine. It might work for a few months to a year, sometimes more. If you go to a local wrecking yard and see the car it comes from, look at the odometer and see the general condition that it might have been in before the accident, you might get a good engine, but I think the best bang for the buck will be a reman.

While I normally don’t recommend a dealer for this type work, in the case of the Altima, it could be worth looking into.