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Fix it or forget it

My 2001 Volvo S40 has blown an engine. Mechanic suggests installing used engine. Good idea?

Cheaper then a new car. Hows the rest of the vehicle??? Any Rust???

Probably only makes sense if you intend to keep the car for a long time. Find out the salvage value of the car as it is. What will the book value of the car be when it has a good running engine? What is the cost of the replacement engine installed?

no rust, no dents, new tires, it’s a well maintained car. it had 130,000 miles on it, the “new” engine has 75,000. Cost is $3,200. Car is worth $3,500. in blue book

Whether or not it’s a good idea is dependent entirely on the condition of the rest of the car and your long term plans for it. If the rest of the vehicle is in excellent shape and it meets your needs and you plan to keep it it might even justify a rebuilt long block. If it needs some work or you don’t plan to keep it a bneyard engine might be just the ticket.

You’ve told us nothing about the vehicle, so it’s hard for us to guess.

You might check around for how much it would cost for a rebuilt engine, but they might be $$$ for a Volvo. Can you afford to replace it with something newer? If you can’t, I guess a used engine would do, but it carries a risk of problems after the install.

car is in excellent condition; the bigger problem is my son’s car (college student) just dropped it’s timing chain and is toast. the thought of buying two cars is daunting. would fix this one to give to son, and look for another vehicle for me

what kind of problems?

I don’t think I’d replace the engine. If the salvage value is $1,000 that may help you with a down payment on another car. See if the mechanic will give you a grand for the car. He can put in the motor and perhaps make a profit on the resale.

Unless you know the maintenance history of the replacement engine, it could have problems related to poor maintenance. There are also problems that are created when engines are replaced, lots of details need to be done just right. Could it work fine? Sure, but that’s not guaranteed. Speaking of which, what warranty comes with the replacement, if any?

What do you really know about the new used engine? In a motor switch you’ve got to take off and replace all the accessories, power steering pump, alternator, AC compressor, lots of tubes, pipes, wires, intake manifold, exhaust manifolds, etc. In getting them all back together and running properly invariable problems will arise. Therefore it takes a few return trips to the shop to fix and redo whatever to “debug” the whole job.

If the new motor is solid you’ll be OK. If the previous owner wasn’t big on maintenance it could burn oil, have sludge, bad bearings?

In that case I’d look for a rebuilt long block. It’ll cost more up front, but very likely less in the long run.

How much do you trust your mechanic? How many times has he replaced Volvo engines? To go well, this needs someone with both skill and lots of experience.