2003 Saturn Vue Engine Seized .....cost to fix?....help

My boyfriend and i saw this 2003 Saturn vue on kijiji for $1,000, and the problem with it is that the engine is seized, we offered $800 and she’s willing to take it…but my question is …should we go ahead and buy and fix it or would the cost of fixing it be as much as getting a a decent car for a couple thousand dollars???


Mechanically challanged

I’d stay away from it. If they destroyed the engine, the transmission and the rest of the car may not be in any better shape.

If the present owners of that Saturn allowed the engine to seize (likely as a result of owner negligence), it is also likely that the rest of the car has seen little or no maintenance.

If this vehicle was in good condition, it would be worth about $4,000.
How would you feel about spending the money to install a new engine and then winding up with a transmission that was also junk? At that point, your total “investment” to get the vehicle running would likely be somewhere over $5,000.

Makes perfect sense to me, but my boyfriend seem to think it’d be worth it. But then again we both haven’t looked at it from that perspective at all

This car is worth 200 bucks tops IF the body and interior are clean and to someone who really really wants it.
A 1000 bucks for a car that is hiding out from the crusher is not a good deal.

im attaching a picture of the vehicle it looks really good overall

From the pic it looks pretty clean so I might take a chance on it but with a few caveats.

To me, the price is still high and the pic is not comprehensive but I’d go more than 200 dollars on it but not a 1000. Maybe 5-700 and that depends on what an installed engine is going to cost.

If you live near a major metro area call a few yards and price a used engine while asking if they do installs for a nominal fee. Not all yards will install what they sell but a few do and they’re often far less than a shop would charge.
The best part of something like this is that a yard will often guarantee the engine they’re going to install. A shop doing this work (at least a sane one) will not guarantee a used part as they have no idea if that used part is good or not.

One thing you do not really want to get into is spending 3 or 4 grand on a used engine only to find out the transmission is on the way out, the suspension is worn out, etc.

I’d avoid it. If you are asking the question, it indicates to me you and your boyfriend don’t know all the issues associated wih buying a car like this and getting it back running. Don’t be offended, I don’t know them, either, that’s why I would never consider getting a vehicle in this condition.

As others have said, it is no simple matter to swap in a new motor, and, more importantly, with a non-running car you don’t know what else is brokent, the transmission in particular. Could be a real money pit.

Definitely tell him it’s not.

The only time it makes sense to buy a car with a seized/no engine is when you just want a good-condition body and plan to stick a go-fast engine in it anyway. Any other time, the discount you get from the bad motor will be more than nullified by the cost to put a new motor in it.