Was New engine necessary?

Bought a 2004, 4cyl, Saturn Vue this past August with just over 105,000 mile.I put on approx 1200 miles, then engine died while exiting freeway approx. 3 weeks ago. Tried to start it but was not getting any spark at all. towed it to used car dealer where I bought it, they said they tried just about everything, but had no success in getting it started. They were going to then send it out to an auto electrical place, but told me they would try one more thing - a compression test to see if the engine was any good. After apparently performing the test, they told me it failed and that the engine was no good and they would need to replace it. They then replaced the engine and low and behold, they could not get it started after doing so. It was not getting any fuel or spark (seems to me like the same problem as before the new engine went in). They then said they would need to bring it to the auto electrical specialist. They did so, and a few shorts were found and then the car started. Was there a need for a new engine? How should I approach this with the used car dealer? I believe they misdiagnosed the problem and put another engine in unecessarily. If the problem was the engine, then after replacing it, it should have started. Any feed back would be helpful.

aha yeah…I was suspect even b4 i read that the new engine wouldnt start. Did dealer sell you car with some sort of warranty or are you paying him like any other mechanic. compression test is easy. You could have done this yourself

The warranty is a 50/50 one. They pay half and I pay half. They say the engine job is a total of about $1500. I would have to pay $750

As soon as a mechanic has one hint of trouble getting a car too start a compression test is called for, but your guys did it last, strike 1. Next low (or even no) compression will not prevent spark,strike 2. Next they put an engine in and had the same problem,you know what is comming,strike 3 these guys are out (and you are too, of about $750.00 it looks like).

By the way you tell the story it certainly sounds like major trouble,with the “mechanics” that is. No engine replacement called for.

There’s not enough info known about this to know whether or not you needed a new engine or if this vehicle has multiple problems.

The compression test is always a first step and without knowing those numbers it’s impossible to say.
Low compression will not cause an engine to die suddenly short of some freak occurrence.
If something happened inside the engine (failed timing chain, etc.) and the compression is zero or close to it then an engine can die instantly.

If the compression numbers are even half decent then it’s unlikely this caused the engine to die suddenly, but low numbers could be a sign of a worn engine.
That 50/50 on another engine that sounds suspiciously low in price kind of raises my eyebrows a bit too.

As a previous poster noted, engines don’t just suddenly lose compression unless something breaks catastrophically. If the dealer is telling the truth, the only theory I can come up with to explain a sudden loss of compression is that a timing belt or chain broke and a piston hit a valve inside the engine, causing the engine to stop suddenly, with loss of compression in one (or more) cylinders. They should have told you why the engine suddenly failed a compression test when it had been running fine just before it died.

If that’s what happened, though, it would explain why they put a whole 'nother engine in. But it doesn’t explain why they can’t get the “new” engine to run…which is a whole different problem.

By the way, you’re not getting a brand-new engine for $1500. That’s a used engine…which may be part of the reason they can’t get it running.

It was an electrical problem. Computer is my first guess

But then why did the dealer say it was a compression problem and replace the engine? They had a huge incentive NOT to replace the engine because of the cost to them…so I can’t imagine them replacing the engine unless there was clearly no way around it…which can’t be explained by a computer failure.