My 2002 Jeep Liberty blew a rod last week. My husband wants to get a mechanic to install a rebuilt engine. I found a mechanic to install a used engine from a salvage yard that guarentees its engine and the cost of labor for 90 days. This mechanic made a really good case to me for using a used engine. My husband is not convinced and still wants the rebuilt (which would be $1,000 more, but comes with three-year warranty, not including labor.)The used would be about $2,500, the rebuilt about $3,500. Help!
If I were to keep the Jeep for a long time, the three year warranty is attractive. The used engine comes with a very short warranty and no known history of use, maintenance, etc. The mechanic is making a good case because he wants the business.
Condition of the rest of the car (including transmission) and how long I would keep the car would drive my decision.
Check the current book value of your Liberty. There will be virtually no difference in the value if it has a rebuilt or used engine in it. I would likely opt for the used engine as the vehicle is nearing the end of the line. In a couple of years it will have very low resale value.
If you simply love the car and plan to keep it for 5 to 10 more years then the extra money for the rebuilt motor might be worth it. If you sell or trade it in the next 2 or 3 years the used motor is the way to go.
A used engine at 2500 is not as good as a rebuilt. That said the rebuilt is on the low side of the price I would expect. With the price (i assume installed) so close then it is the rebuild. The issue is the used engine is too high a price. It should be less than half a rebuild. For a used engine I would hold at 900 for the part and no more than 800 on the labor.
Reasonably low mileage used 3.7L V-6 engines seem to be running about $2000 on http://www.car-part.com in my region. I’m assuming it’s a 3.7L for two reasons. Most Libertys have them, and most of them fail all too early. (Why they did away with the Nash 4.0 I’ll never know.) You can find cheaper engines, but why put a 120K engine in your car? At that mileage it’s probably nearing the end of its life too. You don’t want to do this again next year. That says to me that the $3500 installed price for the rebuilt engine may be the way to go.
I would get the rebuilt with the 3 year warranty–I have a 2002 jeep —they are very well know to have horrible engines and have to be replaced sometimes 2 or 3 times
make sure you get the right engine because I went through this and they changed the engine so I think it is only 2002 and 2003 engine you can use but double check–I had a salvage yard sell me the wrong one and they won’t take it back!!!
This really depends on your plans for the car. If you are going to sell it or trade it in fairly soon, say in 6 to 12 months, then the used engine makes sense. If you want to keep it for 2 years or more then you go for the rebuild.
The used motor will have similar miles on it to the motor that just threw the rod. Rebuilt motors have lots of new parts, especially parts that wear like bearings, piston rings, and such. Some rebuilts even have better parts than OEM if there were weaknesses in the original design that have been recognized and improved upon.
All this means a properly rebuilt motor should be a very strong bet to significantly outlast the used motor.