Broke jobless with car troubles

Hey there,
I got an opel vectra 2003 1,8 V that i bought used for cheap last year.

I live in denmark and car repairs are really expensive here.

Around 6 months ago the car stopped running i took it to the mechanic and he said it needed i new engine which i paid $3k for

He then told me that my Clutch is going to break soon and i told i am going to have to wait for that one.

2 weeks ago the clutch broke and i had to pay $1200 to get that fixed. Which is a lot of money for me since i am jobless right now and looking for a job. I had to give up a job i just got because of the car. The job was far and the car was stressing me out. This week it started acting up again the motor is making a lot of noise especially when driving over 50 km/h. I am also getting an exclamation mark on the dashboard which usually means its bad

I cant really afford any big bills from the mechanic so any help identifying the problem and if its something i can fix myself will be really appreciated.

I took some pictures and videos in this link Car - Google Drive

New motor for $3k? Or a new used motor? Any warranty?
Using my great hindsight, should of changed clutch with motor out of car.


Cavell is correct but do not stop there, and I write this for all the other folks who may also fall into this situation…

When you pull an engine, especially if you are replacing the engine, you should install a new clutch and pressure plate, and you should also install a new pilot bearing and throw-out bearing at the same time…

What I do not understand is when the “mechanic” (and I put that in quotes, as he was probably more just a “fix-it” man…) changed the engine, he probably removed the flywheel (and to do that you have to remove the clutch and pressure plate… and reinstalled them onto the replacement engine. If not you got the old clutch and pressure plate from the old car it was pulled from.

You wrote “New Engine” but in reality, it was new to you but was really a junk yard engine, at best, a rebuilt engine…

Unless you are in a dire situation, always get a second or even a third opinion/estimate.


Good grief

You’re pretty good at jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst

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New used motor

No such thing! It’s either one it the other.


I expect OP means while newly installed on the car, it’s a used engine.

OP, in reading your post I’m thinking your best bet may be to accept your loss, sell this vehicle and purchase another used car, but a make/model that is produced in high volume & rated among the most reliable. Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 would be 3 to consider were you located in the USA market. Then focus on keeping the basic maintenance current. Quite a bit of the basic maintenance tasks are diy’er friendly on these cars; so if you have a place to do the work, purchase a Haynes or Chilton’s repair manual to become familiar w/how the car’s systems work and the maintenance procedures in your spare time. Won’t solve your immediate problem, but will likely pay off in spades going forward.

In the US yes. But in Denmark Opel outsells all of those brands .


I think I’m pretty justified to jump to conclusions. As the OP wrote, after he paid the “mechanic” $3,000 for his “new” engine (as it turns out, a “New, Used Motor”, probably from a junk yard), then the "Mechanic tells him the clutch is shot and that the OP will need a new one.

That “mechanic” should have checked the clutch while the engine was out of the car and informed the OP that it should be replaced with only minimal increase in costs (parts and some labor).

I do not doubt for a second that the “mechanic” installed the replacement engine with the original clutch that came with the engine and only after it was installed did he notice that the clutch was shot and was hoping for a nice “double dip” into the OP’s wallet.

Replacing a clutch and pressure plate with an engine swap, especially with a car that’s almost 20-years old, is a forgone conclusion.

So, “db4690”, what conclusions do you draw from the OP’s circumstances. Do you feel for the poor “mechanic” who installed a used engine with a defective clutch or as I do, for the poor OP who got took by the “Mr. Fix-It Car Guy” who put it all together leaving the OP with a car he probably cannot reliably drive to look for work?

How do you know he didn’t?

Can you honestly say that you’ve never been in a tight spot and just didn’t have that extra $200 to do something that was needed?


Ah yes, Denmark. Where they adjust your fine for speeding based on your income. I’ve heard stories of $10k tickets and 1 yr license suspensions. Or is it Sweden?
Has your mechanic looked at motor to diagnose motor noise?

Because I read what the OP wrote:

“Around 6 months ago the car stopped running i took it to the mechanic and he said it needed i new engine which i paid $3k for He then told me that my Clutch is going to break soon and i told i am going to have to wait for that one.”

That does not sound like the OP was informed about the clutch until after the engine work was done. How else would a clutch replacement come to $1,200 if not to remove the engine that was just replaced…

And yes, I have been in a tight spot without an extra $200, but it wasn’t $200 the mechanic wanted but $1,200.

To Thekane12_181054 please tell us the sequence of events on the replacement of the engine and being informed that the clutch was in bad shape…

I have also sent Thekane12_181054 a PM asking for an update.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

No , you just want justification for your idea of what happened . The guy is unemployed , probably put a serious dent in his savings account or loaded up a credit card . So giving us a timeline will not solve any of his problems.

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Because the vehicle owner chose to wait 5 1/2 months to replace the clutch instead of paying for the clutch parts while the engine was out.

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The $1200 quote was 6 months later after the engine was put back in.

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OK, Re-reading the OP’s posting in light of what you wrote, I see where you are coming from, but that is not the way I read it.

I read it as after the mechanic replaced the engine, he then told the OP that the clutch was bad. The OP could not afford to have the work performed then so he drove it for 6-months, until the clutch “gave up the ghost” and finally died.

And now, his $3,000 junk yard engine is also going the way of the Dodo. I guess there was no warranty on the replacement.

Way I read it is that a used engine was installed 6 months ago.
At that time the OP was told the clutch was bad.
The OP declined the new clutch recommendation at that time.
Fast forward 6 months and the faulty clutch surrendered.
The lack of 200 6 months ago necessitates 1200 now.

That is tough on the OP but it’s as it should be. The financial distress of the OP, while tough, is not the fault of the shop.

No shame with being in that condition. When the economy tanked here in less than a month many lost their jobs; including me. Half the auto shops shut down, several new car dealers and some used ones went belly up and the ones remaining open laid off many. It went from tent cities in the parks to a ghost town in a few weeks.
Best selling sticker at the convenience stores…Last one out turn off the lights.

I commuted 50 miles a day and it was common to watch noon roll around without unlocking a tool box; which soon led to the reason why tool boxes have wheels.
Not even an oil change through the door… :frowning:

OP isn’t even sure the car has an issue. Just sounds off?