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Replace '07 Civic Engine at Dealer?

Our 2007 75k, well cared for (at dealers), Honda Civic engine overheated yesterday. First heat stopped working, then car slowly lost power on highway. I pulled over when it could only go 25mph. While waiting for tow, internal lights slowly flickered out. Towed to nearby Honda shop - no experience with them. Diagnosis: radiator problem caused engine to overheat, “ignition coils scalded to the engine”, new engine is needed. Quote: $6400. I told him no way. He said because all service done with Honda, he would call Honda field rep for coverage. Next day: “great news” Honda will cover everything except $500 and radiator and ignition coils. Now: $2400. I asked if there was some kind of paperwork for the Honda field rep - he said no. Why does all this feel fishy? What are my next steps?

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I’m suspicious your radiator really failed. I suggest tow it your dealer, if possible.

Thanks for the info. The car was purchased more than 10 years ago; ~10 years 4 months ago. I feel like if this were the problem, the Honda guy would have said this to me - he has nothing to lose. I’ll bring it to his attention and see what he has to say. I’ll look at the engine block for cracks as well.

If this dealership isn’t telling you the truth, they might be planning to install a used engine to cut costs. I would have the car towed to your trusted dealership before proceeding, unless both dealerships are owned by the same company, which would make your towing fee a waste.

For that amount of money, you definitely need a second opinion, preferably from someone you trust.

The dealer isn’t going to install a new engine in a ten-year-old vehicle. They’ll install a used engine.

Also, if the vehicle has an automatic transmission, and the engine was overheated, the transmission was overheated too. So that may also be damaged.

Have them check the color/odor of the transmission fluid.


I was thinking the original estimate was probably for a rebuilt engine, and the new quote is probably for a used engine.

I might note the extension was raised from 8 to 10 years. It is also stated that the 10 years begins when the car is first sold new or put into service; meaning as a demostrator, etc.

The car is a 2007. That means no earlier than Nov. 16ish 2007. Odds are this car was put into service before Nov. 16, 2007.

You could throw yourself on the mercy of the court (meaning corporate Honda) and hope for the best.

The car is over the extended warranty, $2400 is a gift. Someone is being very generous to the OP.

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If this is still for a new engine there is no point in questioning how the dealer can pull this off with the ten year warranty expired. If you reject the offer and tow the car to another dealer will the same be offered?

I will add this. Your car was overheating. When an engine begins to overheat you SHOULD pull over immediately and call for help.

Many times an engine is barbecued over a trivial problem when shutting it off would have saved the engine.


To be fair, I’m pretty sure that on this engine, by the time it overheats, the head has been warped, even if you stop immediately. I also considered that the warning light or temperature gauge might not have offered sufficient warning to the driver to pull over before damage occurs. That’s why I didn’t bother with a lecture.