CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2008 Nissan Versa - New engine needed

I was told that my car needs a new engine due to lack of oil. It’s not running. I’m sure some of the parts can be salvaged I would like to have a good mechanic install it without charging the price of a used car.

Here is what you do . 1. Look at the online sites like Kelly Blue Book and get an idea of what your vehicle would be worth with a good engine 2. Call several local shops and see if they will give you a ball park price of a rebuilt engine 3. Then you decide if you want to put the money in this one or replace it 4. On the next vehicle check your oil level at least once a week.

6 Likes

If I had a 12-year old economy car in need of an engine, I would look very hard at the cost comparison to a used car of that same type and age before doing anything to the car that died.

1 Like

Does that car have an automatic transmission or a CVT?
If so, how often have you had the trans fluid and filter changed?
(Hint: With a 12 year old car, that service should have been done at least 3 times, and–perhaps–4 times, depending on the odometer mileage.)

If this car’s transmission wasn’t serviced as it should have been, then you could well put yourself in the position of having to pay several thousand $$ to overhaul the transmission after spending several thousand $$ on overhauling the engine.

3 Likes

A rebuilt engine will run about $4500 plus installation labor. That’s about what your car is worth. A used engine will be considerably cheaper but of unknown provenance. I’d be inclined to have a used engine installed and start looking for a new car.

1 Like

In my area, this car is worth $3500. You’d be hard pressed to get a used engine installed for that.

Have the car towed to the junkyard. Or sell it to the shop that wants to put an engine in. Accept whatever they offer you for it. Learn from this experience. Get another car. Check your oil level every time you get gas.

3 Likes

I bought the car used in ,2018. It now only has 100,600. miles on it
The fluid is CVT. Use public transportation to get to work as I live in an area with great public transportation to commute. I also hadn’t owned a car in 12 years after living outside the country for a while… I agree in hindsight I would do a lot differently. And learned valuable lessons… Thanks

I know and have been quoted that amount or more Just am not in the position to just scrap the car… Especially since I still owe on it.

I am not in the financial position to get another car used or new. I am working on finding a solution.

Thanks everyone. I see this car model driving down the street daily so I know many people have one… Something will happen… The best solution…

The only way to do that is if you can DIY, and even then you are probably looking at around $1500 when you consider the cost of the used engine itself, and all of the other parts and incidentals which you will have to buy to complete the job. It is highly unlikely you will find a shop willing to install a used engine for much less than $3000.

So in other words, you do not know if the CVT fluid has been changed at the recommended interval, or if it has ever been changed at all. The transmission is actually the weak part on this model, and I frequently see Nissan Versas for sale dirt cheap with slipping or failed CVTs.

Whether or not you still owe money on the loan, the car has now depreciated to scrap value, and is not worth repairing. I would suggest contacting the lender to explain the situation, and ask them to release their lien on the title so you can junk the vehicle. If they refuse, I’d still get rid of the car and cancel the insurance. There are places which will accept junk vehicles even without a title, just so you know.

Of course, you will still owe the remaining payments, whether or not the lender cooperates and allows you to junk the vehicle legally. If you are unable to continue paying for this car, while also paying for a different car so you can get to work, etc. you may need to declare bankruptcy to eliminate the debt.

Can’t buy much for 3500, make sure it is worth it.

As others have said your car is worth about $3500 with a good engine. The fact that you have a loan on if for more than that is doesn’t matter. If you can’t afford a used car, where are you going to get the money to replace the engine.

If you have great public transportation and can’t afford a car, don’t have one.

Why should a mechanic who is not related to you lower his shop rates? What is in it for him?

1 Like

I fixed the title for you.

2008 Nissan Versa, blown engine, New car needed.

You’re welcome.

3 Likes

To me anyway, a 13 year old Versa with a blown engine is worth 500 bucks and that’s is if the body and interior are clean.

There’s no way any mechanic or shop should cut you a break on engine replacement costs. They have to rely on a paycheck to keep their own heaps running. Tough situation to be in (been there a time or two myself) but mercy has nothing to do with it and the problem with sympathy is that many people who walk into a shop are looking for a break. It just can’t be one financially from both mechanic and shop standpoint.

1 Like

If you live in a place that has good public transportation then you probably live in a place with a good choice of car-share systems and/or ride services like Uber or Lyft. If the reason you have a car at all is for weekend travel you should note that car rental companies often give good rates if you rent for several days over a weekend. I’ve rented cars that way. Sometimes you have to pick up and drop at the airport to do that, but not always. Those sorts of choices free you from the cost of a car, insurance, maintenance, parking, etc. Could be cheaper net.

Thanks for the feedback. I did find a charity that can help. I do qualify and will use this. Next time if I get another car I will be smarter and do a lot better with maintenance…

I see this advice quite often from you and other’s I do not live where there is any public transportation I don’t know if other state;s are like mine but when I was working as an OTR truck driver I was not putting very mile’s on my PU so I dropped the insurance on it and was going to use the wife’s car when I was home the state was going to revoke my driver’s license if I did not have insurance on it.

I have cars that are not in use, I simply turn in the plates and I’m under no obligation to insure them.

I have two truck’s I could get by with that on one but have to keep one tagged and insured to keep my driver’s license even it I don’t drive it.