is it better to replace the engine when the head gasket is blown or replace the gasket and the parts needed.


Asked by Jul 02, 2013 at 08:33 AM about the 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

i have someone fixing my car but a couple of people have said i'll come out cheaper just
buying the parts but the guy fixing it is saying it's cheaper to buy a new or used engine.

13 Answers

Hell no it's not cheaper to buy a new crate engine. It's easier for the mechanic to install.. And when you buy a used engine, you don't know what you are getting. Why is it that all used engines have 20,000 miles on them? They always say that. 20,000 miles. And there is no way to know unless you see the car it came from. And there is no way they are going to show you the car either, forget the used engine. But if you can afford it, a new crate engine would be better but more expensive.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

Thank you DavidH25 i'm no car expert but i didn't believe that also he told me he would fix my car for free. he also said that the used engine would probably be around 800.00. but someone else told me the gasket would run me 100.00 and a water pump would be 45.00 and the most i would spend by buying the parts would be 250.00 to 500.00 .

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Yep, it's not just a head gasket but an entire gasket kit with all gaskets needed for the job, And the are lots of them. That is why the gaskets are so expensive, there are dozens of O rings, gasket, seals, needed to do that job.. And fix it for free? Is he a friend or something, what is up with that" If you don't really know this guy he is not going to anything 'free/ There has GOT to be a catch somewhere. Unless, like I say, he is a close fiend, it is a LOT of work and offering to do it free there is something missing here. Unless you are a woman and he is your boyfriend.....or wants to not accept free work. He will want something in return. If you are female. I don't even know. Catch my drift?

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

$800 for a use engine is a little steep..nnot much but they can be had for $500, $600. A long block rebuilt engine, and rebuilt really is as good as new, and long block meaning includes heads already in engine, about $1200. Plus labor, opps I forgot, free...but labor would be about $500 up to $1000 depending on your location, so for say, somewhere around $2000 to $2500 you can get a new engine But please keep in mind, this car is 14 years is worth it?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

yes he's a family friend i've known him for years yes he likes me but i only see him as that a family friend. but i do question him sometimes because he tells me anything when it comes to my car. because i really don't know but i just needed to know is it cheaper for me to buy the head gasket kit instead of a used engine. he was saying that i might need a new radiator also . although since i blew the head gasket he hasn't even looked at it. someone else did and said if i could get someone to do the job and just buy the parts i would save money.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Thank you you've been very helpful

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Well, it's possible that the radiator is clogged and that overheated the car, and that is why it blew the head gasket in the first place. Maybe. And sure, it's always cheaper to get free work and you buy parts. Labor is usually the largest part of engine work cost

You're welcome

Robert Walsh

A head gasket is like Cancer. It depends on when you catch it. It caught early, you may get away with only the gasket. The further along it goes is when you have o replace more parts. The key is catching it when you take the car for regular service. A good mechanic will do a full inspection as part of that service. For example, I just recently had my 2008 Nissan Altima done, and the serpentine belt was discovered to be wearing, so I had a new one put on.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Thank you Robert for the advice i've decided to just buy a rebuilt engine.

Voitek Klimczyk

I actually got myself and my sister a brand new engine replaced free of charge. I recorded a YouTube video about it. Check it out on the Proven Helper Channel, search for free engine if the link below doesn't work. I'm new to this site.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Blake Volkan

1997 maxima 3.0 v6 154xxx gasket and seals $150 parts . labor $200 because he's my friend. Regular labor $300 took 5 hours . queens NY . that's including the sparks also

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Currently pulling heads off a 2000 3.0 ford Ranger. Head gasket for sure . pulling both and going to take them for inspection> I have time just not a lot of it, and not too much cash. The guy I had do a timing chain cover replacement,(chain and gear too) screwed me because the thing overheated a second time. Then had gas in, and loss of coolant/backpressure. Not all mechanics even NAPA cert. have clear integrity. They should've detected the #2 cylinder loss and water circulation problem. Do it yourself and better to rebuild. Remember YOU ALREADY HAVE IT. Better to fix than try to replace. Plus patience is a virtue.

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