Whether to re-build or buy new engine?


Asked by May 20, 2015 at 12:11 PM about the 2001 Subaru Forester L

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

A friend has a 2001 Subaru Forester engine blew.  The mechanic told him it needed to be re-built.  Current mileage is over 150,000 but under 160,000 miles. Should he have the engine rebuilt?  How much for a new engine if it is possible to get?

11 Answers


Well.. what exactly happened? Did the timing belt break? Did a bearing spin? Was it clicky / ticky / piston slap / other issuse? I would say, depending on what happened will put you in a range between rebuild or buy used. Generally, you can go to salvage yards and pay 500-1000?ish depending on what mileage. And much more if you want them to install it but depending on their warranty of the engine would depend on IMO if I would have a yard do it or not. I think you can use short block 99-04 but it's been a few years since I've done the research. And long block maybe 99-02? That's a huge guess so check around. Keep in touch :)

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Hi Mark, The timing belt broke and the piston slapped on my friend's Subaru Forrester. He decided to rebuild the engine. The body and interior is still in good condition. The mechanic is charging $1,900 though. Thank you for responding. Carol


Hi Carol, $1900 is probably not bad, considering removal and install, complete rebuild, valve job, hopefully new seals and gaskets all around, decking and new parts.. not to mention labor and special tools. Best regards, Chris


Hi Mark, Here's what you should base your decision on. Do you ever plan to resell your car? How much more life do you want from your car? What other problems can be foreseen with this vehicle? If you plan to resell or trade in. To rebuild an engine can depreciate the value greatly, making them worth as low as $500.How long has this engine been sitting, and what was the life of it before the vehicle went to the scrap yard. And if you purchase a new engine, and resell or trade in your vehicle you will be loosing money because the features in the car will be the only thing taken into consideration. If you replace it with a used one, how long do you have before that one needs to be replaced again? My advice to you would be to sell your current vehicle to a mechanic, thats who it is worth the most to currently. Nextly purchase a used vehicle, however check the car facts. Base what you want to pay for your new ride on features of the car, not just body and miles. Check to see if it has leather, a sunroof, power, windows (just power or one touch down), doorlocks, mirrors. Does it have overdrive? Check Edmunds.com to see with other vehicles similar are going for with comparable features. Subaru Consultant Tiara K. Booker 908-686-6160

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A proper rebuild is not cheap. If I were planning on keeping the car I would have a first rate job done which means boring the engine, surfacing heads, turning the crank, new pistons a complete head rebuild with upgraded head gaskets and head bolts all done by a specialty shop with a first rate reputation. $1,900 will likely get you rings and bearings but not a first rate job. Not all rebuilds are equal. If you just want to drive it for a while or sell it, consider a crate engine with a warranty.

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I know this says that it was "2 months" ago.. but I believe it was actually a year or two ago. It's very odd.. I've seen some weird things with some questions. Good reply tho FoR ;)

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Thank you for your answer. I'm sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. My friend decided to rebuild the engine but from what was written he really needs to ask some more questions. Carol

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Ask away Carol. Might I add, the NASIOC and other subaru forums may be much much MUCH more valuable this one depending on how specific your needs are. I've seen a split case but I've never looked into splitting one. All I've read up on is getting down to the heads.

1 people found this helpful.

Walth & Full_of_regrets Thank you for all information. I'll check into Subaru the website/forum. My impression of Subaru vehicles in general is that they can run for a long time putting a lot of miles on the engine, like over 200k so I know my friend will probably keep the car. However, Mr. Full_of_Regrets gave me fuel for more questions. All good stuff. And I will add my bit of car trivia just in case you're stuck in a slow elevator. You probably know this already but its new to me, Subaru in Japanese means 'unite'. And the logo of the seven stars, represent the seven stars in the constellation of Tarus. Take care, Carol


Actually Subaru is the seven sisters or the Pleiades which is a star cluster that some people see as 6 stars and some 7.

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