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Should I Save This Car with a new Motor?

Interested in what folks on this forum think about this issue.



I have a 2000 Nissan Maxima that has 304,000 miles on it. The car still runs well but I figure pretty soon it will need a new motor. I can’t complain after 304K miles. She is a true road warrior.



I am trying to figure out if I should put a new motor in it or put a bullet in the car and put her down.



I put new struts in at 200K miles; a new radiator at 250K miles; and a new transmission at 275K miles.



The engine still doesn’t use oil and after 304K miles still gets 25mpg on the highway. But I figure it has got to be next. Also I am pretty sure I am hearing noises related to wheel bearings.



If I do this what else should I just go ahead and replace? The body is in great shape. Absolutely no rust on the body. This is the main reason I am considering saving this car.



But I figure every moving part in the car is probably on borrowed time. And I have to think that is still cheaper than buying a brand new car.

Probably a non-issue. If you keep up on maintenance, there’s really no reason to think the engine is going to go any time soon. The transmission is usually what kills a car these days (which probably by all rights should have killed your car at 275k), and most modern engines can, given proper maintenance, run indefinitely for all practical purposes.

However, your contingency plan should probably be to put in a used engine if this one goes. The age of the car (both years and miles) doesn’t really justify a new-new engine, but if the body remains in good shape when the day comes I think it would be worth spending a grand or so to keep the car running.

I would leave things one until the motor actually gives out or when you start to have indications of engine issues (which you don’t). Your trans rebuild should last a way, so leave things alone until you have a motor issue. I would get a diagnosis and repair on the wheel bearings and move on.

Sounds like a missed Cash-For-Clunkers opportunity, if you’re hell-bent on getting rid of this car.

Why not look into the unidentified noise, then fix it, sell the car for the price of repair plus a nice dinner, then buy a used car for the price of the new engine?

Did you ever replace the timing belt/chain thingy? Sounds way overdue and one hears that that is important.

The Nissan Maxima did not qualify for the cars for clunker program. I checked on that last year.

The car has a timing chain and in 2000 when I bought the car Nissan guaranteed the Chain in the Maxima for the life of the car.

But yes I am planning on getting the timing chain, wheel bearings, Ball joints, etc. when I take it to my mechanic this week. Figure I should at least give the car a physical and see what I am up against.

Just filled the thing up and calculated the miles per gallon. This time around with over 304,000 miles it got 27 mpg. And you guessed it; the thing is due for a tune up also.

I think I am just looking for an excuse to buy a new car and this car won’t give me one :slight_smile:

If the timing chain is not noisy let it be. They give warning when about to fail. Also they typically fail due to lax oil change habits, but given age/miles of vehicle you obviously do it properly.