Engine Maintenance

An important factor to consider

Engine Maintenance. If your car or van is 10 years old or less, and you really like it, or you can’t afford to buy another vehicle at this time, your best choice is probably to repair or replace your engine. Vehicles depreciate rapidly as time goes by, even if they are not driven much. By the time your vehicle needs an engine, its trade-in value may be so low that sinking more money into the vehicle does not make economic sense. Consequently, if your car or van is worthless than about €2000, think long and hard before you put any more money into major repairs. Your money would be better spent on a newer vehicle. On the other hand, if your vehicle is more than 10 years old, or you don’t like it that much, or you are looking for an excuse to buy another vehicle, don’t spend any money on your old vehicle. Forget repairing or replacing your old engine. If your old engine has a lot of miles on it (over 150,000 or more), and it is burning oil, running poorly, making noise or has locked up, overhauling Engine Maintenance will be expensive:

A high mileage engine that needs rebuilding often requires boring out the cylinders to accept new oversized pistons. This adds a lot of expense because of the parts and machine shop labor. The engine block may also have to be line bored to restore the alignment and roundness of the crankshaft main bores. The deck surfaces on the engine block may have to be milled to restore flatness and the proper surface finish.

Resurfacing of cylinder heads will have to be done, replacing the exhaust vavles, if it’s an aluminum head the valves may have to be checked, and the overhead cam bores may need to be line bores also to restore the bearing surfaces and cam bore alignment. In addition to the machine work, the engine will have to be completely disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and checked forcracks or other damage that might render the block or heads unrebuildable. If the block and heads are good, the crankshaft will probably have to be reground to undersize and restore the journal surfaces. A new camshaft and lifters or followers may be needed if the old parts show too much wear.

Other new parts that will be required include new main, rod and cam bearings, a new timing chain and gear seta new oil pump, and any other parts that are damaged or worn too much. It all adds up to a very expensive repair. Because of all the parts and labor that are required to rebuild a high mileage engine, many repair shops and dealers recommend replacing your old engine with a new or a “remanufactured” engine. As for used engines, they can be risky. An engine from a low mileage wreck at a salvage yard is probably okay. By low mileage, we mean less than about 60,000 miles. And if the salvage yard will guarantee the engine is good, it would probably be much less expensive to buy the used engine and have it installed.