I had to be towed home last night. My 60 plate, 2 litre diesel Mondeo
developed a rattling sound; I pulled over as quickly as was safe to do
so, only to find that there had been a catastrophic oil leak. A garage
has looked at the car today (fixed leak, added new oil and replaced
filter) and said that it idles ok but the engine rattles above
Their computer says it will take 12 hours to take out the engine and
fit a new one. To strip the existing engine will be 29 hours but the
concern they have with doing this is that they do not know what damage
they may find and how much it may cost to fix it.
A new engine (reconditioned with warranty) will cost £2,500 before any
labour charges. They are also suggesting that it would be worth
changing the flywheel and clutch while it is all in pieces.
They said the car is only worth £4000, so is it worth spending another
£4000 to fix it?
What do you think I should do? I think there are three options: get a
new car, replace engine, or repair existing engine?
Thanks, that's what everyone seems to be recommending.
What do you think it is: the big end? It's frustrating not knowing.
Would I get anything for it as a part exchange? Won't the noise put
They tend to go by a recommended book price.
The most likely scenario for the damaged engine is that it would need
a crank grind and shells to make it quiet again, but from there there
may be all types of other damage which could not be guessed at until the
whole engine is apart and inspected. It is rarely worth taking one
apart these days, best option if you want to fix it is a genuine
exchange engine. few rebuilders will be able to repair a modern engine
to as good as new standard, and if you can find one please let me know.
No. Because even with a brand new engine it will still only be worth 4
The obvious cheap way would be to fit a used engine from a crashed etc
car. But if you can't DIY, flog it to someone who can (Ebay etc) and put
that money plus the 4 grand towards another.
*If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.*
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
On Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:57:14 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Plowman (News)"
Whilst I would love to have a go at DIY because doing is the best way
of learning, I don't have the kit and space at home to do this and I
am suddenly feeling trapped, as its the only car in the household.
If the rest of the car is known to be in really good condition it may be
worth getting a second opinion on fitting a replacement (used) engine.
Google might be your friend here, e.g. I found this site without trying too
Indeed - a mate had a 'new' engine fitted for under a grand. In this
case, though, it was only the bottom half (and the trouble could be in
in the top half of the OPs), and 'new' in this case was something of no
Place I use for getting welding done (£40 a patch) had a Diesel Pug in
for engine swap. The car had been bought recently from a trader and they
had agreed they were liable for the engine so supplied a complete 2nd
hand engine. But the replacement engine was useless. At this point the
vendor had stopped talking to the buyer.
I bought a 2nd hand Nissan CA18DET engine and gearbox off E-bay for
£400. It was complete with turbo and alternator. Fitted the engine and
have done over 10K miles. I have since bought a few "spares", none for
over £300. One came with loom and ECU. I suppose I should go do leak
down tests on them before I need to fit one - it's always the day before
the MOT is due..
My worry about getting an unknown second hand one is that it could
blow up a fortnight later and I would be back to square one but with
even less money. Also there is the logistics of getting the new engine
I think, if it was me, I could get an engine supplied and fitted locally
with a 3 month guarantee for under a £1000 I'd get it done. Worth a
couple of phone calls? Otherwise, as a couple of posters have suggested,
px at a car supermarket, or ebay (faults declared).
I exchanged a car at a car supermarket a few years back. It had been
diagnosed as having a failed DM flywheel at the last service. If asked,
I'd have told them. But I wasn't asked, and the mechanical inspection
didn't go beyond the salesman starting the car, letting it run for 5s,
and turning it off. He did spend about 5 minutes inspecting the interior
and the bodywork.
What was the cause of the oil leak BTW? You say there was a sound, but
no other warning?
I'm not sure if they might hear the noise as I drive on/off the
I wonder whether it would be cheaper for a car supermarket to repair?
I remember having a car that had a dent and I asked whether I would
get a better price for the car if I got the dent repaired; they said
that it would be cheaper for them to repair it as they could get the
repair at trade prices. Of course, that might just have been them
wanting to offer me a lower price for it!
OTOH if they employ someone to work on all of their cars, I suppose
they have the mechanic in place, so there is no additional labour
cost, just the engine, which again they get at trade price, and
hopefully can cover that and still make a profit with the margin they
get on selling me a new car and reselling mine afterwards.
Or am I trying too hard to justify this course of action?!
Someone told me that they had this problem a long time ago and
replaced the oil with gearbox oil to hide the noise. I have had a
google and it says that gear oil is the same as 10w40. While it may
have worked a long time ago, from what I can read, gear oil is acidic
and will do more harm than good in the engine. Perhaps best to use
10w40 instead (it has 5w30 in at the moment).
Other google finds suggested additives such as STP but I thought these
were all snake oil?
Well, a scrap yard says it has an engine from a car that had a fire in
the rear. They will sell it for £750 inclusive of VAT and delivery but
it has done 79,000 miles. Mine had done about 81,000.
As it is not a reconditioned engine, I don't think there will be any
guarantees with it and it could come with or develop other problems.
I have used google to find various engine re conditioners. They seem
to be selling engines for around the £1400 mark.
If I had the equipment, space, time, a second car, and a friend that
was mechanical, it would be nice to try and do some DIY but sadly I
don't have any of these things!
So I would have to add labour on to the cost of the engine. Then there
are the extra costs of getting a new clutch and flywheel while it is
all in pieces and I worry how the turbo will be having had no oil. I'm
told a new turbo could be another £750-£1000
A couple of the web sites say they will take the car away, recondition
the engine, and bring it back for just £200 on top of the engine
price. They claim they make their money on the engine. The problem is
none of these garages are local, so I don't know whom I am dealing
with and how good they are and they are a long way a way if I have
problems, particularly if I have no working car!
Regarding part exchange price, I had an over the phone valuation for
Well the car went to the garage with DPF problems recently. They cured
that by forcing the car to regenerate. I thought this was completely
unrelated. The manager is now saying that the engine could have been
burning oil and this may have fouled the DPF. I am not convinced of
this. The regeneration appeared to have been successful and the engine
light had gone out.
The oil leak was caused by failure of the seal around the filter
housing, which is embarrassing as I changed the oil. It is true that I
did have some problems getting to the filter but that was some months
ago; if I had fitted it incorrectly, surely it would have failed
before now? I have driven thousands of miles since then. Perhaps it
was a dodgy seal, I guess I'll never know.
In the early 1980s I had a company Astra. It went for a service, then I
drove it around Europe on holiday - some 3,000 miles. Came back on the
Dieppe-Newhaven ferry and drove to see my sister in Seaford.
In Seaford, one spark plug blew out as I was driving along!
I suspect the service garage had not tightened the plug properly - but
for it then to take 3,000 miles before coming out was a bit of a surprise!
I forgot to say, no warning. I had driven 100 miles that day. There
was no oil on the drive, so there was not a slow leak. I was driving
along a dual carriageway when there was a rattle. I pressed the clutch
down and the rattle stopped, I lifted the clutch and it reappeared, so
I pulled over (luckily I was just approaching a junction). As I
stopped the oil light flashed on. I was driving for less than a minute
with the rattle. When the car was recovered there was a puddle of oil
under the car (I waited 90 minutes to be recovered), so I think the
seal failed very quickly. It was dark so I never saw anything from the
bonnet nor the rear view mirror.
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