Replace engine or fix head gaskets

Asked by Jan 30, 2016 at 12:03 PM about the 2005 Nissan Altima 2.5

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2005 nissan altima the car
want start. I was told that the head
gaskets are blown and there's
water in my oil. Is it better for me to
replace the engine or fix the
gaskets and whatever other
problems I may have? I don't really
know anything about cars and
repairs so could you please give me
some insight.

7 Answers


How many miles are on your car?

Little over 200,000

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Do yourself a favor and replace the car. If you have the original transmission, that's likely the next thing to fail. Is it the original transmission? Most cars can easily make it to 200,000 miles, BUT, if you replace the engine, I'm sure that you will not feel as if you're getting your money's worth unless you hit that milestone. There are only two reasonable options, repair the engine and drive it for another few years, or donate the car. You can't sell it in the condition and get a good price. Are you really ready for a rocky road on more repairs?


If you really like the car you could put another engine in it and drive it for another 200,000 but keep in mind that the rest of the car is getting old too. My choice would probably be to do the head gaskets if the rest of the car was in good shape and the head gasket job was not too expensive. You need to see what the car is worth when fixed and compare that to the cost of replacing the head gaskets. The car is only worth $200 to $500 not running.


By the way, don't do an engine exchange, they're generally garbage. Rebuilding your engine is the best way. Engine exchanges mean you don't really know what was done.


It is hard to find a quality engine rebuilder these days due to the popularity of crate engines. There are good and bad crate engines so do your research and find a good source that warranties their engines. The quality sources will tell you exactly what they do when rebuilding an engine.


Look, you're OVER 200,000 miles, don't throw good money after bad, get yourself a replacement car. When you have this many miles, its just a matter of time for remaining major system failures. Find a good independent mechanic if you really want to keep this car and analyze just how many more years you expect to keep this car. The shorter the time, the less likely this makes sense. Good luck.

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