Walk away or repair?

I just had the engine in my 2000 Ford Windstar go south and I’m in a quandary. With the way the economy has been and business being slow I am very reluctant to take on a new car payment.

The van has about 115k on it and has been very reliable up until this point. I am the original owner and really don’t want to part with it. I have done the research and a remanufactured engine with a 3yr/100k parts and labor warranty will cost $2300 with the install kit (belts, plugs, water pump, etc) and then an additional $1700 in labor (15 hrs) making the all in cost $4100.

I really don’t want to spend at least $1700 on a used engine of unknown origin, so to me the reman is the only way to go if I keep the van. I could roll the money into a used car, once again, no guarantee. Dad alway said when you buy a used car you’re buying someone elses headache.

We had planed to get another 3 years out of this car until the other car was paid off because it looks practically new. What say you all???

I don’t think that a 2000 Windstar in very good condition would fetch $4100. The transmissions weren’t the best on this year Windstar. I did own a 2000 Windstar which I sold to my son and at 160,000 miles, it is still going. However, it did require $1500 worth of transmission repair.

I’ve owned half a dozen automobiles that I bought as used cars. I thinkyou should move on at this point.

I’d look for a used Toyota Sienna. You have more options than a brand new car or this 2000 Windstar.

My dad said let the first owner take the huge depreciation hit.

If the engine is a 3.8 there are lots of cheaper salvage ones out there. Check out http://www.car-part.com for one near you.

What Rolls Royce dealership have you contacted to do the installation @ $113.33 an hour? Look for another shop. There are some that specialize in installations. Some salvage yards will install what they sell too. Check it out. Spending $4100 on a 2000 Windstar is too much. Half that is reasonable if you intend to keep it.

And your dad was a very wise man.

Can you explain go south? Perhaps it is something you, some time and a few wrenches and parts could fix. Maybe there is less of a problem than a new engine, more facts better answers.

The engine now resides in Alabama.

Sorry, I had to.

I hear ya and all my exes live in texas!! I had to to 22 tutu whatever.

Unfortunately $98/hr is a typical rate here in the new York metropolitan area. Add tax and it gets up there. I may have been off a bit on my recolection form my notes as well. Also I’m assuming that a using a Salvage will raise the labor as well.

You have to figure how long you will need to keep it to get your money out of it again. If you could get a cheaper engine maybe but its 10 years old plus like what was said there may be other major repairs. I think I’d use it as an opportunity to trade up.

The thing about depreciation in a new car is that it is totally funny money unless you sell the car. Just like owning a stock that went down in value but didn’t sell. Just plain doesn’t matter unless you smash it up. Over the 3-5 years you will own a new car, the total depreciated value is what you have to look at, not the first weeks depreciation. Plus with a new one, you pick exactly what you want, break it in properly, get the benefit of 3-5 years of warrenty, and not have to worry about where it came from. Maybe some people like the challenge of shopping for a car but not me.

My mechanic pronounced it doa. I was greated with loud metallic noises and a puddle of mixed fluids under the engine after the tow truck removed it.

I’ve been using this guy for over 10 years and I have no reason to doubt him.

And… I was thinking more along the lines of Brazil…

Bing, my feelings exactly. I have a tendency to drive the car until the wheels fall off it. It’s merely a tool to get me from a to b in a modicum of comfort. For what it’s worth, this is only the forth car I purchased over the course of 30 years of driving in a two car family. Depreciation just isn’t an issue to me.

“I’ve been using this guy for over 10 years and I have no reason to doubt him.”

@ $113 or even $98 an hour, I think he’s been using YOU to make his boat payment long enough. Ask around. Engine installations are not rocket science. What do you bet he can knock this puppy out in one day?

Windstar Engine…Not only will you get a decent engine, but the entire van comes with it!


You should replace your used van with a newer used van or car.
Your dad was right to a point. You don’t want to buy from a private seller because chances are that the car has been giving the owner too many problems and they want to maximize the resale value (vs. trade in) by selling the car themselves. Not a good deal for you. And even a certified used car is just a glorified trade-in that has been inspected and which offers the limited value of the remainder of the car’s original warranty, at much higher cost. My suggestion is this:
MY dad used to buy his used cars from Avis. Rental cars can’t get too old, or no one will want to rent them. I think Avis sells their cars after two years. And they do take care of the cars in their fleet - it’s cheaper to maintain them than to go rescuing angry customers when their rentals break down. And contrary to popular opinion, renters don’t beat the crap out of rental cars. They are more likely to be careful with them. Just don’t buy a sports car from a rental company.
Each rental car company has an inventory available in many areas nationally, so you can check them all and see if there are any good deals.
I would look for 2005 and later Toyotas for around $7,000 that fits your needs.

My dad bought a 1994 Mercury Sable from Avis in 96, and the car is still on the road.

This van is no where worth $4100. I wouldn’t put the money into it. According to KBB…at best it’s worth about $2,000.

It’s time to walk. Sell the vehicle for parts and start shopping for another.

Lucky for you, the wheels just fell off your Windstar.

Isn’t that the same Ford minivan that is having massive recalls because the rear axle rust away until it breaks, and then the wheels actually do fall off the car? Here’s the link:

Yeah, you NEED to get rid of that thing.
Stick a fork in it. It’s done.


Since you have a $1,700 estimate for the labor, you can count on it costing more than that. You can’t trust the shop to stay legal with you. The anticipated overcharge is the reason to find another vehicle.

Add the usual transmission failure to that and you can’t afford the Windstar. The transmission problem will be due to bad luck but you can just feel THAT truck bearing down on you.

Walk away.

Actually make that run away…