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Should I repair the engine of my 2001 Volvo S80 engine, or junk the car?

First, let me say that I know nothing about cars, and I am an idiot for not checking my oil between oil changes. That being said, I will attempt to tell you what I know about my car. I have two mechanics telling me different things and I am thoroughly confused.

The current engine has 255,000 miles on it. Apparently there is no oil in the engine, and a timing belt slipped and a rear cam seized up, resulting in a lot of bent valves. One mechanic says that he should be able to rebuild the head, and that would be a lot cheaper, but he doesn’t have the time and is too far away. The mechanic at the shop where the car is currently wants to replace the engine with a used one, and has quoted me $3000. When I asked him about rebuilding the head, he didn’t want to do that, but is supposed to be getting me a price on a new or used head. But he is concerned about whatever caused the engine to run out of oil. The car also needs brakes and tires. And I don’t have a lot of money. Should I just junk the Volvo? Or if not, what is the better repair option? I would appreciate any and all input. I don’t have anyone here with any expertise to advise me.

Junk it is my opinion

A 255K 13 year old car with engine damage isn’t worth fixing

No offense intended to anybody who thinks otherwise

We’re all entitled to our opinions

There’s no way a cylinder head repair should be done on an engine that has been run out of oil and especially considering the high mileage.
Why is he concerned about why it ran out of oil? That’s obvious; a quarter million miles of piston ring wear, hardened valve seals, etc, etc.

Combining the high miles with the need for brakes and tires it may be time to say goodbye to the car and look for something else. If the car was super clean, brakes and tires were not an issue, and if the transmission is known to be excellent then a stab with a used engine might be viable.
There’s a lot of ifs there…

Thank you so much for your input. :slight_smile:

I’m late, but I definitely and absolutely agree with the others. An engine that’s been run out of oil to the point of camshaft seizure is history. There’ll be way too much internal damage to be rebuildable.

I’m a mechanic and there is no way I would try to repair anything on an engine that has logged 255,000 miles and has had something seize up due to lack of oil. That’s a fool’s errand.

$3000 isn’t a lot of money in car terms. What’s the rest of the car like, and how much do you like it? Can you find another car that suits your needs for $3000 that needs brakes and tires too?

$3 grand for engine and maybe another grand for brakes and tires, will that get you car that you can drive for another year or 2? If so, that’s not a bad choice to make. Sales tax and license on a new car will approach the $3000 for a used engine for this one.

On the other hand, if you have been contemplating another car and have grown tired of this one, here’s your excuse.

Whatever you do, don’t fix this engine.

Junk it,dont throw good money after bad money-Kevin

Junk it!!! Don’t throw good money after bad!

To asemaster: I do love the car. The only other thing that I know of that’s wrong with the car is that the front windows won’t roll down–I’ve been quoted $600 each to fix those. So you think that if I replace the engine, I would get another year or 2 out of the car? I was hoping for more life than that. I really don’t want to go through the hassle of getting another car, but in browsing through ads I have seen some that look decent in the $2000 range. But who knows how much life they would have in them? My money is limited and I need to go with whatever will last me the longest, I guess.

@donna1068 If you have limited funds you should never own a Volvo. You need a very basic car such as a Hyundai Accent or other compact or sub-compact that is easy and cheap to sercvice.

The Volvo is equivalent to a spendthrift husband or a parasitic relative.

donna1068 wrote:
So you think that if I replace the engine, I would get another year or 2 out of the car? I was hoping for more life than that.

You could get lucky and have no major expenses for a while, but unfortunately it wouldn’t be surprising at all to have other expensive issues pop up soon. As Docnick says, a 13-year-old Volvo is really not the car you want to be in with limited funds. I think your expectations for this car were somewhat unrealistic, I’m afraid.

I am in the same boat as you are, having a 13 year old car, after spending about 3k on it last year hoping to get more life on it. I decided to part way with it for a smaller and fuel efficient car. It will save me gas and repair cost in the long run. You can also get a used newer car that has reliable rating and good fuel efficiency.

Since it’s an old Volvo - it’s a little hard to say. But if I have a car that meets my needs, then I keep up on maintenance and repairs and have no trouble dropping the occasional large chunk of $$ on it for something like an engine. I drive a Ford Escort wagon with 350K showing on the odometer. At about 223K I dropped $1500 on it to put in a used engine & trans from a parts car that I bought. I later replaced the cylinder head on it (at about 300K). No one I know would have ever advised me to do this. “Spending more than the car is worth…” or things like that.

Well, what it’s worth in “exchange value” on the market is probably about $250 in scrap metal. But for my own life what it’s worth to me for its “use value”? A lot. On the whole I don’t have to spend very much money on it (no car payment, dirt cheap insurance & property taxes) and it is wildly functional for my own needs.

I think I’d hesitate more about a Volvo. They can turn into money pits moreso than something like an Escort. But in any case, I don’t think it’s nuts to keep the devil you know on the road if you’d have to spend the same or more to get into a devil you don’t know. You do, however, want a mechanic to help you evaluate near-term expenses so that it doesn’t end up a money pit.

A $2000 used car will most likely be crap

Perhaps somebody’s trying to get rid of their POS and is telling you what a great car it is . . .