Repair a slew of expensive problems vs. engine rebuild?

overheating
civic
honda

#1

So I have a 2001 Honda Civic with a blown head gasket, probably a warped head, an old timing belt in need of changing, some issues with the coolant tank, and maaaybe untold issues from the over heating that caused the blown head gasket. It’s getting kinda expensive, around $1800 and I’m just a college student so what I was wondering was if it was worth paying the extra couple hundred to get a rebuilt engine instead. Would it save money in the long run or should I just fix these things and trust the honda engine?


#2

I don’t know much about cars, so listen to everybody else first…but I’m pretty sure if you’ve blown a head gasket, the time to “trust the honda engine” is past.

Have you priced rebuilt and/or remanufactured engines for your car?


#3

Mileage on the Civic??


#4

I’d probably go with the new engine if you can find one in that price range with a warranty of some kind. Bear in mind that the timing belt/water pump on the replacement engine should be replaced as well if it’s a used engine.


#5

The bottom end of Honda motors are usually solid, so a new head and gasket should be fine. But, if the motor has close to 200K on it, and/or if it using and burning oil then piston rings could be worn and new bearings wouldn’t hurt.

The answer to your question goes back to the condition of the motor before the overheating problems. If you can get a properly done rebuilt motor for around $500 more than the repair, then go for a rebuilt if you can afford it.


#6

If, indeed (not just probably), you have a warped head, kiss this engine goodbye. Once one of these engines overheats, it’s time to let it go and replace it.

Once you consider the price of a rebuilt engine, it might be easier to just let go of the whole car and replace it (or just let it go).

I am surprised by how many college students seem to need a car these days. Do you commute or do you live on campus? Would living on campus without a car be more cost effective than living off campus and owning a car? I wish I could go back to my college days living off campus with only a bicycle with a large basket for books and groceries. Most university campuses I have been to make car ownership more of a liability than a convenience.


#7

“I am surprised by how many college students seem to need a car these days”.
Whitey–You are behind the times. Every student goes to college with a car. My office window on a college campus overlooks a college dormitory. On move in day, students arrive with their parents in U-Haul trucks. They carry everything from big screen televisons to refrigerators to their rooms.
When I went to college, my dad opened the trunk of the 1954 Buick and told me that I could take whatever I could get in the trunk. I put in some books, my French horn, some music, my records and my typewriter. Non-essentials–towels and washcloths, razor, change of underwear, etc. stayed behind.


#8

I have one in graduate school…and another is a sophomore. My daughter didn’t get a car until her Junior year…She got my old Pathfinder. She was doing a lot of field trips for school and having a vehicle made her life easier. My son doesn’t have a car nor does he need one.


#9

After having been there, regardless of what people say, I won’t ever let someone open up and engine for repair anymore. Its just too expensive and the margin for error is too great. I would either replace the car, or the engine with either a complete used one, or a new short block. The money is in the labor though so dropping an engine in is a lot quicker than a short block.


#10

If the rest of the car is in OK shape I’d start looking for an engine from a salvage yard. In my area I just checked my local salvage yard . . . decent mileage engines are going for under $1000. Any good shop can change motors for you in a day or two for another $500, IMO. Add to that a new timing belt, tensioner and water pump and you’re up around your $1800, but your engine doesn’t need major work (hopefully). Rocketman