What to do with a cracked engine block? Here's what you need to do:
- Calculate total repair costs
- Compare repair costs to your vehicle’s value
- If repair costs are close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, it's not worth fixing this vehicle, and you should sell it
- Understand your options
- Get rid of the vehicle and buy a better car
Unfortunately, dealing with a cracked engine block is as serious as it sounds. However, it is a critical problem that costs you a lot of money on the repair. That's why most automotive experts recommend stepping back and evaluating the situation before spending a penny fixing a cracked engine block.
This article will give you an overview of what to do with a cracked engine block. It will highlight the main causes and symptoms of a cracked engine block so you can detect it as early as possible. Also, it will give you an idea about how much it will cost you to fix a cracked engine block this way; you can't evaluate whether you should fix or sell your vehicle with the cracked engine block.
How much does it cost to fix a cracked engine block?
To help you better understand what to do with a cracked engine block, you must get an idea about expected repair costs. Once you understand how high it is to fix a cracked engine block, you think twice before spending your money trying to fix this vehicle.
According to recent statistics, fixing a cracked engine block should cost you at least $1500! Yes! There are some instances where you might need to replace the entire engine, and it could cost you up to $10,000 in some luxury vehicles.
Note that repair costs might differ depending on where you get the job done. For example, if you decide to get the job done at the dealership, you must consider the high. As compared to small independent shops
The other thing to consider is the level of mechanical experience. Since you are dealing with a cracked engine block, you'll be looking for highly skilled mechanics who can fix the issue without causing other problems that could cost you thousands of dollars by mistakes. That's why many owners of luxury cars still get their vehicles repaired at dealerships, even though it will cost them much more than independent shops.
What to do with a cracked engine block?
Now you understand that it's very expensive to repair a cracked engine block, the question that you have to ask yourself is what to do with a cracked engine block? Well, obviously, you can pay the repair costs and get your vehicle to work. However, is it worth it?!
Well, it depends heavily on your circumstances, and there are some other questions that you have to ask yourself before proceeding with repairs:
1. Are there any other problems with my car?
The repair cost is not limited to fixing the cracked engine block. If your car has other major problems, you should consider those and add to the total repair costs. If you realize that repair costs are piling up and approaching 75% or more from new vehicles' value, it's not worth the repairs that instead, you might want to sell your car and use its money to buy a better vehicle.
2. Do I want to keep this vehicle?
In some instances, people might get bored of their current cards. Therefore, before spending your money fixing this vehicle, consider how long you're planning to keep this vehicle because you might want to upgrade to another one.
3. Does this car serve my needs?
Also, you might be getting into a new stage in your life, and that stage requires a different vehicle style or type. For instance, if you expect kids, you might want to upgrade to a bigger car that fits the family's needs. Of course, this also goes to switching your lifestyle from being a student to getting a full-time job that might give you the flexibility to buy a better vehicle.
What causes a cracked engine block?
The cracked engine block is a serious problem requiring very high repair costs. Therefore, it is important for you as a driver to familiarize yourself with the different causes that could get you to this point. Once you have an idea about these causes, you should also plan and prevent these cases from happening in the first place, so you don't deal with major repair costs.
Let's look at the common causes for a cracked engine block:
1. Improper coolant level
In general, your engine must operate within a specific amount of coolant to bring its temperature down when it exceeds the maximum threshold. Running at low coolant is one of the biggest mistakes any driver could make. When the engine doesn't have enough cool lines, it will deal with excessive heat that will cause the engine compartment to expand and get cracked at some point.
Therefore, one of the best recommendations to advise any driver is to maintain a proper coolant level to prevent major engine damages.
2. Overworked engine
Every engine is designed to withstand a specific stress level, and when you overwork your engine, you increase the chances of causing a cracked engine block. You must follow it specified in your vehicle's owner’s manual and what was mentioned by your automaker. Overstressing your engine causes it to expand and might cause cracks around the engine compartment.
Many ways could lead to overstressing your engine, like holding more loads than it can handle or towing a trailer or boat that your vehicle cannot withstand. Thus, you must review your vehicle's owner’s manual and get an idea about the maximum towing capacity. Also, it's worth checking with your mechanic about whether you can haul a certain element or not.
3. Design problems
It's not rare to deal with cracked engine blocks because of an issue with the original manufacturing process. That's when you'll hear some recalls from major manufacturers for certain model years because of some problems. For example, Honda Civic recalled several vehicles from the 2006 model year due to a problem with the design that led to significant issues in the engine, causing cracked engine blocks.
4. Excessive temperature
Finally, it's not rare to deal with cracked engine blocks because of excessive temperature. Therefore, you must maintain parking your vehicle in locations not exposed to extreme temperatures that could lead to engine overheating and cracked engine blocks.
What are the common symptoms of a cracked engine block?
Since a cracked engine block is a very serious problem, you must keep an eye on any symptoms indicating that you're dealing with this issue as soon as possible. While in most scenarios, repair costs are going to be very high, in some instances, you might fix the problem at a lower price before dealing with complete engine damages.
Therefore, as part of understanding “what to do with a cracked engine block?” you need to familiarize yourself with the different symptoms.
Let's take a closer look at some of the common symptoms that you will experience when you have a cracked engine block:
1. Engine overheating
One of the first and most common symptoms of a cracked engine block is engine overheating. Overheating happens because of an internal coolant leak within your engine compartment. If the engine block is cracked, it's very common for the coolant to leak internally and cause engine overheating.
2. High-temperature gauge reading
When dealing with engine overheating, you'll also notice that the temperature gauge is at the red sign indicating very high values. The temperature gauge is responsible for communicating with you and letting you know your current engine temperature. When this reading is very high, it indicates a major internal problem that requires immediate attention.
3. Reduction in the engine's overall performance
When the engine block is cracked, you'll immediately notice that your engine is not acting as it should. In other words, the power generation will take more time, and your vehicle won't accelerate as it should. In addition, a lot of the internal energy might escape through the cracks, which directly impacts the fuel economy.
4. Blue or Gray smoke from under the hood
Another common indicator that your vehicle is dealing with a cracked engine block is when you notice some blue or Gray smoke underneath the hood. But, of course, you won't get to this point unless you're dealing with other major symptoms that will grab your attention even before you see these clouds of smoke.
5. Mixed fluids
A cracked engine block results in mixing fluids inside the engine. As you already know, the engine has coolant running around it to bring its temperature down, oil to prevent friction, and fuel. So, when the engine block is cracked, you'll notice immediately that fluids might be mixed. A quick way to check this is by opening the oil cap and looking underneath it. If you notice a Milky substance or probably a white gunk, it could be that the coolant got mixed with the oil.
6. Fluid leaks
It's hard to tell where the crack is happening within your engine compartment. Therefore, there's a very high chance that some of the fluids might escape, and you'll see them in the form of fluids dripping underneath the vehicle.
Keep in mind that most of the mentioned symptoms might not be linked to a cracked engine block. Therefore, you can't immediately say that your engine has a major issue unless you confirm with your mechanic. The mechanic should have specific tools that help him perform a thorough inspection and confirm the real culprit.
What to do with a cracked engine block? Your options
If you confirm that it's not worth fixing your vehicle, you might be wondering what to do with a cracked engine block and who to select two?
Honestly, dealing with a cracked engine block doesn't allow you to find a long list of potential buyers. In other words, most private buyers are not going to look for a vehicle that has a cracked engine block, and instead, you should consider one of the following options:
1. Sell your car to a mechanic
There are plenty of mechanics who might be looking for project cars with some major problems, and they can train their staff on these cars. Therefore, you might want to look locally for mechanics workers who purchase your vehicle, knowing that it has a cracked engine block.
2. Post your car as a project vehicle
If you didn't find local mechanics interested in purchasing your car, you might want to post it on classified websites like eBay Motors or Craigslist. However, you want to be clear about your vehicle's major problems and probably describe it as a project car so people can understand immediately that it has major problems. This way, you don't waste your time or the buyer's time.
3. See if dealerships can accept your car
There are rare situations where dealerships might be looking for vehicles like yours even though your car has major problems related to a cracked engine block. However, dealerships won't pay you as much as you could imagine if your dealerships are known for underestimating vehicles. Therefore, you won’t make a good amount of money from your car if you go with dealerships.
4. Sell your car to cash cars buyer
The good news is that cash cars buyer is one of the few U.S. companies that will buy your car no matter what, and whether it has cracked engine blocks or other major damages, there is always some offer that you will like and will be fair. For your vehicle!
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