Am I getting ripped off?

I have a Jeep WJ with an I6 that blew a head gasket and warped the heads almost a year ago. I haven’t been able to pay for the repair because of the terrible job that I had, but I’ve finally gotten enough financial stability to take out a loan. I’m told I need $2,500 simply for the labor, and my parents already gave the mechanic $1,500 which apparently “just covered the parts car” is this right? and technically the parts car is mine now right?

$2,500 should buy about 25 hours of labor. To replace a head should take a pro about 3 hours.

Can you provide a description for what the mechanic plans to do for the repair?
For example:

Is it simply a head gasket, with the head being milled to corrected the warped surface?
Is a full valve job being done?
Is a reconditioned head being installed?
Is other related work being done in addition to the above head issues?

If it’s been sitting after a blown head gasket for a whole year…I’d expect that the engine is seized from the corrosion. If the coolant mixed with the oil it would have been sitting for a year with coolant in contact with bearings and any other close tolerance parts.

I’d think if a donor car was purchased, the mechanic plans to do an engine swap.

That may get a little closer to the $2500, but it’s still high.


For a total of $4000 you should have been able to get a brand new engine installed. Yes you are being ripped off. Is this mechanic the only one within 1000 miles of your home? Find another one.

Agreed. And assuming the mechanic actually bought a parts car, he’s going to charge you for the full price of the parts car for the engine, and then part the rest of it out and make bank over time. He’s scamming you 6 ways from Sunday.

On second thought, this sounds so ridiculous that I wonder if it’s not a scam post. We get them once in a while.

Unfortunately this is not a scam post, my uncle has somehow became the family mechanic and I always feel like I’m getting ripped off but feel there’s nothing I can do to avoid it, if the vehicle wasn’t stuck at his shop id take it somewhere else and never go back to him again, I didn’t know anybody else I could get advice about it from anyone that actually knows anything about cars so I came here!

Looking for a bright side. They bought a parts car and plan on doing an engine swap? Then a lifetime of free parts as needed? Call him and talk to him, and instead of a loan offer to pay him off in regular installments. I am confused. Call him and get the scoop.

The labor to replace the engine in a 2004 WJ 4wd for example is 12.7 hours. There may be more work need that we don’t know about,did you ask for details?

Are you saying they’re charging you 2500 labor to swap an engine from a purchased parts vehicle?

If so, that sounds obscenely high unless there’s a lot of extras involved with it.

As to ownership of a parts donor car that is something that should always be clarified at the beginning and in writing. Verbal means nothing as memories get hazy, interpretations can vary, and amnesia may reach severe levels.

This is a perfect example of why you sometimes don’t want to do business with relatives


When you were a kid…what the heck did you do to your uncle.

I’d go have a long chat with him and maybe get a few quotes from other shops for ammo.

Just call up a few places and tell them you have the two vehicles, and you need an engine swap.

Granted there may be expenses unforeseen, but I think the $2500 is close to double what you should pay.

One question though. Does the donor engine run!!! if so then it IS double.


Are you saying they're charging you 2500 labor to swap an engine from a purchased parts vehicle?

And apparently that’s the family discount. :wink: