Rebuilt engine or attorney


My son’s 98 pontiac sunfire small 4 cyl. engine replaced with remanufactured from a shop not dealer for $2000 after taking car the check engine light came on, took in next day & response was also antitheft system engaged and car stopped running and shows extensive leaking from area where water pump is located … took to GM dealer plugged in and they say ecm needs replacing from possible shorting out and water pump is bad… for $1650 repair job, 500 ecm 1100 water pump…his loan is $4200 left. Should we trust the guys at the first shop to do the repairs and how do we make them do the job right the 2nd time? or do we let the gm dealer do the work?

any help appreciated…


I would talk to the first shop, and discuss the dealer diagnosis. Ask if they are going to cover the shorted ECM. It is possible they will deny that their work caused this problem. If not, let the GM Dealer do the work, and go to small claims court for satisfaction on the first job. Make sure the GM place will clearly state that their opinion is that the ECM would not have failed on its own. Otherwise, a court claim stands a good chance of denial.


You may qualify for a free PCM repair from the Pontiac dealer. Go to and look up the recall titles for your vehicle. One is Corrosion/moisture Entering the PCM. This happened to my Cavalier wiht the L4 engine which stopped running for me while driving. Chevrolet fixed the problem free and paid for the tow. My Cavalier was assembled in Mexico where someone omitted sealing the PCM enclosure with silicone rubber according to what I was told. This was after the new car warrenty had expired.


I should have read your post well enough to see that your mechanic wants 1100 for a water pump. This seems like far too much money for this, get another quote.


You signed a contract, or some kind of agreement, with the first shop. Part of the agreement was that defects with the replacement engine would be remedied. You haven’t given the shop an opportunity to honor the agreement. By doing so, YOU are breaking the agreement. It’s up to you to honor your side of the agreement.