Need advice: engine repair or buy new/used car

I have a 99 Subaru Forrester, 85,500 miles. I got behind on oil changes and didn’t realize that it was running dry. Long story short I need to replace the engine. My mechanic quoted me $5800 parts & labor. The replacement engine has 55,000 miles on it. I can’t decide whether to fix it or buy a new/used car. Funds are low and I would have to get a loan either way.

What is the replacement value of the car (with a good engine)?

In general, you should fix the car if it costs less than replacing it with a comparable vehicle.

Thanks for answering so quickly! Seems kind of close. I just checked the blue book. The trade-in value is about $5480. The Private Party Value is $7270. The suggested retail value is $9,810

first off, you need to change your policy of never checking the oil level.
“being behind on oil changes” is not the reason for a wiped engine. check the oil level at least every other week or you’re going to be right back in the same predicament very soon.

forget those blue book values you’re tossing around; they’re not realistic.
as it sits right now the car is worth 500 bucks and that would be in a situation in which someone really wanted this particular car as a project.
other than that, the car is only worth a couple of hundred dollars to the average joe as it sits.

it could bring 4-5k if it was clean enough, running well with a different engine, and you had the right buyer.
those 6/7/9 grand figures are not of this planet.

i would say fix it but not at 5-6 grand. just curious; what kind of labor charge is in that 5800 dollar figure?

Thats what I was trying to get too; I have no clue what a used Subaru sells for. It sounds to me like you should look at replacing the car unless you can find a cheaper engine replacement deal.

You don’t want to know how bad some repairs/replacements can be. The one situation you don’t want is a car that won’t run right. A car can be test driven only if it runs. You don’t know what your car will do until your money is gone. How lucky do you feel? Probably not so lucky that you can bet on the Subaru that you already own. Luck wasn’t with the car the first time you pressed it.

For that amount of repair costs you should be able to get a engine that has been totally rebuilt. If you decide to fix the car I would check out this web site and talk with them about getting one of their engines. You will have a 3 year warranty on it. These folks know how to rebuild Subaru engines very well and are excellent to deal with if you have any issues later on with the engine. They take care of their customers.