I’m in a bit of a situation: my mechanic says that I have blown a gaskethead, and the resulting leak of fluid (antifreeze, he says) into my engine has caused low compression in one of my cylinders. He’s therefore claiming that an engine replacement is the solution to this problem. I have yet to get a second opinion. So I have 2 questions resulting from this:
Is his claim that leaked coolant into an engine cylinder and the resulting damage is sufficient to render the engine unrepairable (e.g. replacing the head gasket, which was what he’d initially predicted would be needed to fix the problem before going under the hood).
If the engine is indeed beyond saving, he’s suggesting about $3,000 for a used engine w/ 43,000, or $4800 for a new factory engine. The car is 3.5 years old (I bought it new in March of 2010), has 83,500 miles and aside from a minor accident which was purely cosmetic and where the front bumper was replaced with an original manufacturer replacement, seemed to run fine before this incident. So given the decent shape of rest of the car, would biting the bullet and springing for the new engine at about $4800 be a worthwhile investment? For reference, the Kelly Blue Book value is about $5,500. My big question is will the brand new engine (if I go that route) place any additional strain on the remaining parts, or accelerate the demise of the transmission?
I like the car, an it’s never given me any problems to this point, so I can deal with parting ways for a new engine if it means getting another 60,000-80,000 miles out of it. But if that’s not likely (the warranty for the new engine they’re claiming in 12,000 miles or 12 months), then that $4800 plus the sale value of the car as is would certainly go a long way toward a certified used or new Honda, Toyota or Nissan.