Maintaining your vehicle according to the schedule in your owner’s manual is the best way to avoid costly repairs. Sometimes engine failures happen, however, regardless of how well they are maintained.
Major engine failures are often caused by just one of many parts in a unit. Head valves and rod bearings, for example, are small, simple, inexpensive engine components. But if one of them fails, the cost of labor to replace it will be much greater than the cost of the part itself. Should you repair the engine, or replace it?
Repair the Engine
If the cost of repairing an engine is lower than replacing it, repairing it may be your best option. An engine that is in otherwise good shape may just need a re-ring or a few seals and gaskets replaced. Perhaps your engine has been discontinued, and used, high-mileage replacements are all that are available. In these cases, a repair or rebuild may be your best choice. If done properly, they can offer the reliability and longevity of a new unit.
Replace the Engine
Sometimes, it is better to replace a faulty engine than repair it. This may be the case if the cost to repair the engine approaches the cost of a new or low-mileage replacement. You may also want to replace your engine if it has been rebuilt before. When an engine is rebuilt, the rebuilder will shave down or flatten some of the surfaces to make up for slight deformations that have occurred over time. Multiple rebuilds will result in excessive material being removed from the engine’s surface.
Other factors to consider are warranties. Some shops offer warranties on their parts and labor, and the initial higher cost may be worth it in the long run.