Replace engine or junk car

The engine has gone out on my 2001 honda accord which has only 116,000 miles. I am struggling to decide if I should junk this car or get the engine replaced. Honda dealer is asking for $3-4,000 to replace engine.

There’s no real reason to go to the dealer on a car that’s a few years old and out of warranty-- an independent mechanic will do just as well, and cheaper, especially considering that they will have access to a wider range of engine rebuild options. A used engine may be the best bet.

The only thing that would make me a little leery is that if the engine went out because the car had been generally neglected, the transmission (a bad point on Accords of this vintage, assuming it’s an automatic) may not be far behind. But if the car is in generally good shape, it’s probably worth at least a used engine.

Thanks for the help. The car overall is in very good shape and would hate to loose it. Transmission is fine.

What are the key things I should look for in identifying the right mechanic for this job? Also what is the difference between used or rebuilt engine? Which one is better and do they come typically with some warranty.

A rebuilt engine is an old engine that has been gone over by a machine shop and had the parts that wear out replaced. The quality of the rebuild varies, but usually they’re as good or sometimes even better than a brand-new engine (which is probably what the dealer was going to sell you, or else some makes sell “factory-rebuilt” engines). Rebuilds from reputable rebuilders will usually come with a warranty comparable to a new one.

A used engine is just that-- it’s an engine that was in a car, which for whatever reason was scrapped (a crash, a blown transmission, or a lot of used engines for Japanese cars come from Japan where inspection laws encourage relatively new cars to be prematurely scrapped). They usually come with at most a 30-day warranty, basically just enough to tell if the engine is DOA (the junkyard gives them a cursory inspection, but stuff does sneak by). For the money, used engines are usually pretty decent bets, especially on cars like these Accords that typically have pretty long-lived engines.

As for finding a mechanic, finding a friend with a regular mechanic they like is usually a good way to do it. There’s a database of mechanic recommendations on this site somewhere called the Mechan-X-files, but some of them are pretty old (as you might surmise from the “x-files” reference) and there has been some controversy here because you can’t leave any negative reviews on it.

Thanks a lot, really appreciate your guidance.

I hate to come across as too critical here but an '01 Honda should not have a dead engine at 116k miles.

If you bought the car new, a failed engine at this low of a mileage points to abuse; either driving habits, poor maintenance habits, or running the car out of oil, severe overheating, etc.
If you bought the car used and have not done the above then it could be the problem was caused by the previous owner, or owners.

A reman engine is better UNLESS you can find a good used one that:

  1. You can hear run before purchasing it.
  2. Whoever is selling this engine is willing to stand behind it; both as to the engine cost and the labor. Good luck with the latter.

Maybe the timing belt didn’t get changed?

I would prefer a USED engine from a reputable salvage yard…Otherwise, a Honda Factory long-block replacement engine. Honda’s use an alumasil block that are expensive and difficult to “rebuild” properly. The designers of this engine never intended for it to be “rebuilt”…

Excellent point. Wonder if this engine out thing is not really a complete engine failure but just a top end problem.

I would look at the used engine route and then decide.