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Replace engine in 2002 Saab 95

At 202,000 miles, my 2002 Saab 95 engine went out – the motor clanks and spews clouds of smoke. I want to replace the motor with a CarFax verified low mileage engine because I plan to keep the car for a few more years and give it to my son. My mechanic will charge around $900. But the engine prices vary on miles, of course. The lower mileage has higher prices, etc. A 35,000 miles motor is roughly $2,000. An 80,000 miles motor is roughly $1,700. At $17 per mile, using the low mileage motor, an 80,000 miles motor should be closer to $1,400.

My question is this – which motor should I purchase?



No reason that prices would vary by $17/mile. I’d get the motor with the best guarantee.

But then I wouldn’t put a motor in a 200k Saab.

Thanks for the response. Why would you not put a motor in a 200K Saab? maybe I should re-think my decision.

At 10 years and 200k other things will start to break, and they won’t be cheap on a Saab. But I’d have the same opinion about a Camry with 200k. But it could work. Few cars get much past 250k miles because of major failures, engine or transmission. Of course, more probably end up totaled in an accident.

Was this the one where the lady drove it w/o a muffler, then most likely burned up some exhaust valves?
I wondered why the knee-jerk reaction to change the entire engine?
I had a very leaky head, water and oil seeping out of an old Escort engine. Easy enough to fix since I pulled the head myself. Then gave to shop.
They could do the same on her car.
Pull the head, inspect for damaged valves etc., fix, replace. Might cost $200 per head, but who will pull and install it, that’s the expensive labor.

If the car is straight, no rust, and is in good shape other than the engine then I’d go with the 35k miles engine if I were going to do this at all.

SAAB builds great engines and transmissions and I’m wondering why your current one went belly-up at 200k miles? Any history behind and leading up to this?

No history of engine problems. Turbo replaced 30,000 miles ago (170,000). I recently had oil change, so driving within the 3,000 miles schedule. I’m religious about oil changes. So, while driving on the interstate, a plume of smoke leaves exhaust pipe after I hear what sounded like running over metal debris on the road. Then oil light and warning light both come on. Engine loses all pressure. No oil on the dip stick. Put in two quarts. Engine started but made terrible grinding sound and just smoked badly from the exhaust. I had it towed home and have been assuming it needs a new engine. I haven’t taken it to the mechanic yet.

If the car is a manual transmission I would not worry too much about more miles.

If this is an automatic that will be another $1500-$4000 repair you are facing.