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New car owner

So I recently purchased an Acura integra from a family friend,it’s a 1996 and was 200$. There however was a problem with the gasket and something about it losing pressure, I’m debating on either getting a new engine or just getting it repaired at a shop and need advice on the decision, thanks.

More information is certainly needed.

How many miles on this car?
Has it been driven in salt applied to roads in the winter?
How has it been maintained?

This car is now 22 to 23 years old. Some parts don’t just wear out, but “age out”.

$200 is possibly a good price for a running car near the end of its life and one decides to drive it until it dies.

it’s possibly a case of throwing good money after bad to keep it alive by fixing things up on it.

It needs a trustworthy mechanic’s inspection and opinion pertaining to the above.

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240K miles
Hasn’t been driven on salt
I’ll get back to you on the maintence

What condition is the body in?

Lots of dings, dents and scrapes?

Peeling paint and/or clearcoat?

Seats sat through, no support?

Headliner sagging, in need of replacement?

Or it’s in very good condition overall?

If it’s in exceptional condition overall . . . maintenance, body, mechanicals . . . it might be worth a head gasket and a valve job, and only if you intend to drive it for quite awhile

What do you mean by “new engine” . . . ?

Rebuilt engine, or “new to the car” . . . meaning a used junkyard engine of unknown condition?

Body and interior are in good condition. Seats aren’t worn through and don’t have rips.

And by new engine I do mean new to car. Sorry about the confusion I’m not car savvy,this is my first car I’m just here to learn :slight_smile:

What it sounds like you might mean the head gasket is bad and it has low compression. This raises the question of why the gasket blew, and whether any coolant got into the oil and for how long.

If the car was overheated, there could be cylinder head work needed, which would drive up the price. If you had coolant in the oil for a while, teh bearings may be shot, requiring an engine teardown.

Given your mileage, I would:

  1. Get an accurate, independent diagnosis. This wouldn’t the the first time a seller was wrong on the cause of his problems.
  2. If it is a major repair, and you still want to keep the car, at your mileage I would just look at swapping in a used engine.

Forget the used engine, they are all 20+ years old with tons of miles.

Drop in a rebuilt long block. Order new injectors, all new sensors, and replace anything electrical or that moves or is rubber. Everything is totally worn out and it is stupid to replace the engine and put old stuff back on that WILL fail at some near point.

Then there is the problem that EVERY thing is 20+ years old with 240K miles. Door locks and latches wear out, steering systems wear out, ignition switches wear out, fuel pumps, suspension, steering, heater controls, seats, EVERYthing! That $200 car isn’t looking much like a bargain anymore, is it?


In other words, a used engine?

Very bad idea, in my opinion

It might be in worse shape than yours, or have problems which your engine doesn’t have. If the engine’s been sitting on a shelf for awhile, do you think the vendor is actually going to remember what shape it was 3 years ago, when they pulled it, for example?

Assuming the headgasket diagnosis is correct, and your engine has no other problems, consider a headgasket and a valve job

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Got friends who can help you do the work yourself?

What you have is the dream situation for someone who wants a better-than-stock classic Japanese car. A good-condition rolling chassis that you can get for a song because of a bad motor, and then put in a better motor than it came with.

Some used engine importers offer a warranty, which is great if you’re doing the install yourself, but not so great if you have to rely on a shop to do it.

So, if you can DIY or do it with friends who work for beer, then swap the engine with something better. Otherwise, do what @db4690 said.