New Engine?!

Should I purchase a new ( used)engine for my 2003 Volkswagen golf? Ive owned it for 3 years, bought it used. It has about 70,000 miles. it overheated, gasket blew ( so I was told), coolant and oil mixed ( is that right). Should I give the car to charity or fix the engine? Im being quoted $3,000 for a used engine including labor. this is at a non-Volkswagen dealer.


What condition is the rest of the car in? If it has been well maintained and the body is in good shape, I’d suck it up and fix it.
Kep in mind, with charity donation you do not write off the book value, all you get is what the charity receives for proceeds. What do you suppose they’d get for a car with a blown engine? And you’ll only get back about 30% of that.

they car is in good condition otherwise. i hear you about the charity. Thanks for replying!

I’d fix it, too. Where else can you get a decent car for $3000?

Get at least 2 more estimates. Make sure that you understand the warranty the garage offers for their work. If they offer no warranty, you should ask why. It seems to me that they should be willing to guarantee their work and the engine. If they won’t do it, why waste $3000 on them?

I agree with JT on this one.

I forgot to mention. the warranty on this engine is only 6 months.I think thats the warranty for the engine itself, not necessarily the work the garage does. You can get warranty on their work?

Most decent salvage yards offer a warranty on used engines, and this will usually reimburse the shop for their labor in the event they have to redo their work because their engine was a dud. A six month warranty is sufficient time to determine if the engine is any good. If the engine runs good for that long, it will most likely last. I would get a couple more estimates for this job before you do it. You can probably find a better deal on this job.

This is great! i wish id been coming here all along. I probably would not be in this position now!

If the inference is that a salvage yard will reimburse shop labor in the event a used engine has a problem that is completely wrong.
The yard guarantees the part only, no labor. The shop guarantees the installation to be done correctly.

If the used engine has a fault the yard will provide another engine or a refund but will not refund any labor charges; ever, at all.

It’s always possible that a shop may be willing to stick their neck out on a used part and warranty it but they’re fools if they do in my opinion.
About 20-25% of the salvage yard engines/transmissions/whatever I’ve seen had probems ranging from minor to junk and those aren’t good odds.

It’s no different that if you buy a reman part and have it installed. The parts house is not going to pay labor charges either. Read the disclaimers on the receipts.

My suggestion would be that you clarify this in advance and have it in writing. Verbal means nothing.

With the engine out of the car the installer should be able to pull a valve cover and/or the pan to determine the overall condition of the engine. Minor labor involved. If he discovers a sludged engine or loose rods/mains, he can reject the engine at that time. He can check for timing chain slop or t-belt/wp condition and whatnot in about 1hour (less, really, but billing for one hour would not be out of line).

If you’re the one brokering your own purchased engine, the redo labor is on you. If he’s profiting off of the yard engine, there’s usually some coverage on his time if it doesn’t work out. You pay for that assurance somewhere in the mix and he’s the one gambling with his potential lost time as the wager.

THANK YOU ALL. you don’t know how valuable your comments have been, its great to have such a system of check and balances. i wish could be with me at the mechanics. hmmm… is there a car talk twitter. i don’t twitter, but if I would twitter you all while at the mechanic! I could at least pretend to know what im talking about!!

so I went for the engine! but dealing with the mechanic is always a slimy stressful mess! just aweful. this by far… has been my worse experience. ( as woman who knows nothing about cars) The double talk, discounts and blah blah really hit an all new bull level.
my next car is going to be a bicycle. does volkswagen make them…actually forget that. they would probably be equally as difficult to maintain.

ive only paid half down on this engine. so the saga will continue. stay tuned. they are telling me a week to install.
i have learned something valuable from this, still with one mechanic, even if they are (trying to) cheat you! I didn’t go to my ( sort of) regular mechanic ( a local business) cause he tried to double charge me for something. it was a mistake they told me, ( though the same item was written down just slightly different, but it was the same part/service). Im at a national chain now. And the prices are a little higher and like i said… the distress and bull have increased by 90%. the other thing… along with dealing with this engine… i just realize, the current mechanic replaced a part I had replace over a year ago by the old mechanic ( coolant temperature sensor). Did I really need another a year lager… hmm. i guess if the car was over heating.

anyway. im getting tied in knots typing this. thanks again yall.

anyway. im getting tied in knots typing this. thanks again yall.

Well, don’t get tied in knots over this. Medical fees to keep you fit are much higher than mechanic’s charges to keep your car going.

The chances are very good that your car will be repaired properly and will do fine with the engine transplant. I had to have an engine replaced in a Ford Aerostar van that fortunately, was under factory warranty. The car was fine when I got it back from the Ford service department. My only stress was from the parking services at the university where I teach. The used car dealer that sold me the Aerostar provided me with a loaner while the Ford service department replaced the engine. The parking services charged me $15 for a temporary 10 day permit. When I had to renew the temporary permit, the parking service person threw a fit and reamed me out for not getting my car repaired in a timely manner. I calmly asked her to call the Ford service manager and see if she could get him to speed things up.

You might want to use the ‘mechanic finder’, worked for me:

I have posted this just to keep the scales balanced in terms of value for your money…

What does pulling a valve cover accomplish other than determining if sludge exists or not?
One can’t look at the valve train and tell if there’s a problem in valves/valve seats or if a piston ring problem exists.
Now you’re into the area of parts involved and some of those valve cover and oil pan gaskets are expensive. (Valve cover gasket set for one of my cars is 80 bucks. Ouch.)

And one can’t always tell about timing chain slop without removal of the cover (another parts list required) nor can one eyeball a timing belt and determine if it’s good or not. Same goes for the timing belt tensioners and water pump.
And what happens if an obvious problem is found when the pan is dropped? Deliver another used engine and repeat the process; and for how many times?

If a shop is willing to be the broker for a used engine and personally stand behind that engine then I think they’re fools. Noble idea, but a stupid one.
It would be no different than if I acted as a go-between and provided someone a refrigerator or vacuum cleaner that was picked up at a garage sale.

My point was in response to the comment that a yard will reimburse labor in the event of a faulty part.