I have a 2002 4dr front wheel drive honda dx it has 180000 miles on it 150,000 highway put on in the last 5 years 300-600 miles every weekend with a 20-40 mile commute during the week. This past weekend the end of a 700 mile trip home ended with the car over heating, after having to towed to a mechanic it was determined that the radiator failed and the engine was hot enough to warp allowing oil to seize the motor. The estimate to make all of the necessary repairs is $3400.00 including a radiator, motor and the work. I now walk to work most days and rarely drive more than 60 miles a week around town. Is it worth it to make the repair and how long can I expect the car to last if all of the necessary repairs are made?
Personally, I wouldn’t bother with a new engine on a car this old.
Fortunately, when the radiator went on my 1998 Civic DX (it had about 188,000 miles), I noticed the leaking coolant and replaced the radiator before the engine had a chance to overheat. Perhaps when you get your next car, you should check under the hood more often. It might save you some serious money by preventing this kind of thing.
I’d shop around for somebody that could put a used or rebuilt engine in this Civic for less money.
How does a radiator fail? Did it spring a leak somewhere so you lost all the coolant, or was it too plugged up to allow enough cooling?
Does that price cover a new engine or a rebuild with a good warranty? A new Jasper rebuild will run $2953 plus installation, and that doesn’t even cover the radiator.
I would never spend that much on a used engine.
If it was a rebuild with a good warranty, and the car was otherwise in very good shape and worth at least $4000 KBB private party in good condition then yes, I would replace the engine. The problem is that if you have a manual, its only worth $3100 in good condition, and $3500 if it has an automatic. So best case, you’re putting as much into the car as it will be worth - ie, you’re assigning no value to it at all in its current condition, but it is worth something, even as scrap. If the car lasts at least a couple months before needing another repair, then it might still be worth it.
BUT I do see one big potential problem - this Civic is right smack dab in the middle of the run of Civics where they had severe problems with second gear clutch packs failing. If you have an automatic, it needs careful inspection before you put any money into the car, because it is prone to failure, and that means another couple thousand could be lurking in your near future. That won’t be covered by any warranty.
All in all, although I like the idea of rebuilding it and giving it a second life, I do not think it is the wisest move financially speaking in this case…