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Fix the Car / Replace the car

I have a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with about 260K miles, the engine is clanking badly and a complete engine replacement has been recommended.

It will cost about $5.5k - am I throwing good money after bad?

Do I spend $5.5K fixing it or $5.5k for a down payment and then have nice monthly payment too?



With the age and mileage, my vote would be to avoid spending that much money on an engine as you’re still left with a quarter million miles vehicle that has an aged transmission, suspension, etc.

If you find a low miles used engine and everything appears to be at least reasonably solid then I might go that route, all depending.

You might also check with some salvage yards in your area. Some of them will not only sell you a used engine but may install it for a nominal fee that is far cheaper than a regular shop. That would at least provide you with a warranty on a used engine.

as ok4450 said if you can find a low milage engine that is the way i would go. that being said i would make my decision ater answering these ???'s how or what kind of shape is the Jeep in ? rust, paint, and the toys do they work. is the trans and the transfer case in good working order ? what are its needs ? just something to think about.

The Kelly Blue Book value of your car with an engine that runs is in the $2000-$3000 range (depending on trade-in or private sale).

If you spend $5.5K on a replacement engine, you will still have a vehicle that is only worth $2000-$3000. Is that the situation you want to be in?

If you got 260K out of a 4.7L in a JGC, you did very well. You must have done all the recommended preventive maintenance as you should have.

Check out for a good used engine in your area. As ok said, the salvage yard may be ready willing and able to install it for you too. The trick will be finding one with reasonably low mileage. If you can find a suitable engine, it’s worth fixing.

At this point, your Jeep is not worth much. MAYBE $500 to a salvage yard. The engine is not sellable for them, and the transmission is doubtful, unless they lie about the mileage. All that’s left are body and ancillary parts.

I have always looked at these sort of situations like this. As I have a few vehicles that fit this description. (miles, age, etc.) It is still far cheaper to repair a vehicle that is paid for than it is to have a newer vehicle with a payment and still have to pay for repairs on it. Case in point, I have a 2002 Intrepid with a 3.5L V6. It has 262,000 miles on it. Everything works great on this car. It doesn’t smoke, knock or rattle. It starts everyday and takes me on my 100 mile round trip to work and back. I just rebuilt the entire front suspension on it for around $400. Of course I did all of the labor myself and was lucky enough to find two cars at the salvage yard that amazingly had new struts and tie rod ends in them when they were inducted there. This repair will undoubtedly extend the life of the car and it was still cheaper than a monthly car payment plus the repair. I also have a 93 Grand Caravan AWD with a 3.3L that needed a new engine at 210,000. I replaced the engine because everything on this van still worked and it drives beautifully. Of course the AWD parts are becoming harder to find but this is a fantastic winter vehicle. The bottom line is, if everything on the vehicle is working good, (with the exception of the engine) the body is good etc. and you “LIKE” the thing, besides the KBB opinion of its value, what is it worth to you personally? It’s the devil you know or the devil you don’t situation. Do you fix what you know is wrong or buy a new or used car that was formally someone else’s headache?