Buy a motor or Sell

My 2002 Jetta TDI has 101,000 miles and broke down one month ago. The first place I took it to said i needed a new timing belt; however, the 2nd guy that looked at it thinks I need a new motor.

Where in the world should I get a new motor and installed for something affordable.


Is there any hope in selling the car not working? Is there a market out there for broken cars? I’d imagine people that can fix cars can make a dime or two, but not sure

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I don’t know a thing about cars but I need to get it fixed, or sold!

Get a third opinion. So far only one guy has said you need a new motor. What if he’s the one that’s wrong?

Yes, there is a market out there for broken cars, especially if the body is in good shape. If you sell it, sell it as a “rolling chassis.” Someone who wants to soup up a Jetta might be looking for one to drop something fun into.

Thank you - I will get a 3rd opinion and see what happens!

suggestions on where to post an ad for sale?

It is entirely possible that your timing belt failed and took out the rest of the motor. The TDI motor in that year of Jetta requires the timing belt be replaced every 40k miles, and it is an interference motor. This means that when the timing belt breaks, the valves will most likely collide with the pistons, resulting in severe engine damage.

The first thing that needs to be done on this car, assuming the breakdown was caused by a timing belt failure, is a leakdown test, if one hasn’t been done yet. This test will tell you if there is valve damage. If there is none (unlikely), you can have the timing belt replaced and thank your lucky stars that you got off that easy. If there is valve damage, piston and bottom end damage need to be ruled out. This can be done easily if your mechanic has a borescope, otherwise the head will have to come off for inspection. If there is piston damage, you can either repair the existing engine or replace it with a used or rebuilt unit. If there is no piston damage, the valves that got bent can be replaced if there is no further damage to the head. This is also a good time to consider replacing worn valve seals, valve guides, and cam bearings if this engine has ever used oil. Your mechanic should also check the height of the pistons in the cylinders with the bent valves. It is possible, but unlikely, for such a collision of parts to bend a connecting rod.

The shop that told you that you need a new engine either performed these tests and found plenty of internal damage, or are assuming the worst. In some cases, installing a used engine is more economical than pulling and rebuilding the head, but all options should be explored before doing anything drastic.

Craigslist,, autotrader, websites of VW enthusiasts.

It could be either…but what bothers me is that why are they guessing…It’s NOT that difficult to determine if it’s a timing belt.

You are about to discover that cars are disposable consumer goods. When they are badly damaged, they have little value other than salvage…Repairing them frequently costs more than they are worth especially if you must pay for outside labor to perform the work…Finding a decent used engine for your car will be next to impossible given the high demand for these fragile engines…Installing a factory long-block will probably exceed the value of the car…