Here is a scenario that strikes fear in the hearts of most men and women who own a car: you have been babying that car of yours for years with one problem after another happening with the engine. You finally take the car in to a mechanic and his only word of advice is to either get a new engine or sell the car as scrap. But you love this car and can’t imagine not owning it. What to do?

Well, your choices are indeed limited and they basically boil down to four:

  1. 1)Buy a new engine
  2. 2)Buy a rebuilt engine
  3. 3)Rebuild the engine yourself
  4. 4)Buy a used engine

Let’s take a look at each option. Buying a new engine is a costly undertaking. There is no way to sugarcoat this option. New engines will cost at least $2000 and probably more depending on the make and model of your car. If you have the cash to spend and you love that car enough then by all means go for it and lay down that cash.

Buying a rebuilt engine in most cases is a cheaper alternative but also a riskier. The wisdom of this choice depends entirely on the capabilities of the mechanic or company that is rebuilding the engine. If you trust them and have spoken to people who have seen their work in the past, then this option might net you a rebuilt engine for under a thousand dollars, again depending on the make and model of your car.

Rebuilding the engine yourself requires specialty tools, a fair amount of knowledge, and the confidence of a cat burglar. Quality standard tools like wrenches, a ratchet and socket set, screwdriver set and gasket scraper are necessary as are specialty tools like a torque wrench, ring compressor, dial caliper, degree wheel, dial indicator and dial bore gauge will be needed and probably a few more as well. Take pictures of every step taken, every part removed, and label them and keep them organized and separate from each other. Study the owner’s manual completely and do research on the web. You might also want a case of beer standing by when this all goes terribly awry.

And finally probably your best option, namely to buy a used engine. Used engines and the replacement parts you will need can be had for a song and a dance (comparatively speaking) from a reputable salvage yard and the used engine will come with a standard warranty AND an extended warranty if you should choose. Used car parts (also known as salvage parts) for most cars can be found at modern salvage yards like All Import Auto Parts and the cost is considerably lower and the parts are guaranteed. If you choose this option all you need then is a good buddy to install it for you. Again, a case of beer would be handy.