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Engine & Transmission Tips • Issue 27



Which Should You Do? Replace Your Engine Or Your Entire Car?

fraser gm 62l engineFraser Engine Company wants you to make an informed decision before you choose to buy a remanufactured engine from us. Over the next several weeks we will be challenging the one question almost every car enthusiast faces sooner or later: Should I replace my engine or replace my car?

We know there are a lot of considerations to be addressed with that decision, thus we are breaking this important feature into three parts:

Part 1 will tackle the financial and emotional considerations of making that choice.

Part 2 will outline the bonafide, tell-tale signs that your engine is nearing its end of life.

In Part 3, we will take you step-by-step through Fraser’s engine selection process, what our warranty does and does not cover, and how you should get the engine installed.


Financial and Emotional Considerations

There comes a time when many car enthusiasts wonder which is smarter, to replace an engine, or replace the entire car? Fraser Engine Co. often wonders that as well, so we’ve compiled several factors to consider.

The first consideration should be financial. A common scenario is your car’s engine starts smoking a little when you start it up, and a few days later it seizes. You’re without transportation and have to make an urgent decision. DON’T. Haste makes waste. Just think through the following things:

  1. Is your current car or truck paid off? Do you own it outright? If you own your car, and you can afford to buy a new or used replacement without financing, that’s a strong motivator. Sadly, few of us have that luxury. Financing is almost always a critical factor. As is the choice between buying a new car, a used car, or a recently off-lease.
    Also, existing monthly payments are a budget-breaking cost to roll over into another car purchase, with another car loan. Predatory lenders will do that deal in a minute. So, please beware. If you have a long-standing relationship with your bank or mortgage company, lower-cost financing is always available, and there is no hidden BS.

  1. Is the car in great shape, or are you pouring money into it year after year? Most car-owners take care of their vehicles. That bite the bullet for the scheduled maintenance, change the oil regularly, and generally understand maintenance is key. Yet, some car brands, and especially some car models are prone to engine failure. In this case, replacing the engine could give you the extended use of the car long after the amortized cost is satisfied.

  2. uth gran torino engineDo you love your car? This is where the term “car enthusiast” comes into play. Some of us LOVE our car. It’s not a classic, or a muscle car, we just love everything about it. We’ve taken good care of it, and put a fair amount of money into the upkeep. Here, a replacement engine becomes a super-worthy investment, and certainly adds value to your pride of ownership.

  3. Is it about time for a different type of vehicle anyway? There is often an emotional consideration for growing families? Moving from a four-door sedan to a (gasp) minivan, is a fact of life. If it’s apparent your car’s engine is failing, and it makes sense financially, replacing the car might be a wise decision.
  4. What will the engine cost? Fraser offers remanufactured engines that start as low as $2,000,* (*this is an approximate number). Installation by a qualified mechanic can be as low as $700. Often both of these can be financed through a reputable bank, credit card, or even an industry card like BOSCH credit, which offers no-interest car-repairs for an extended period.

fraser gm5360 engine on crate

NOTE: Our thoughts on a local mechanic or shop that offers to rebuild your engine are generally negative. Where we strongly recommend a qualified garage install our remanufactured engines, we believe a shop that does not consistently rebuild engines does not have the level of detailed-expertise to offer you a problem-free post-rebuild experience. Engines vary so greatly between manufacturers, not to mention, between model years, that it’s inevitable a local shop rebuild will not be exactly up to par. Additionally, the cost of a complete rebuild, which does require removing the engine and replacing it when done, often exceeds the cost of simply installing one of our fastidiously-crafted engines. Which, importantly, comes with a full-warranty.

That being said, the most important thing to remember about deciding to replace your engine or replace your whole car, is not to let emotions dictate your actions. And, don’t let your ride decide for you. All of the considerations above will point you in an informed direction. Decide wisely, considering first, the long-term “financial” costs and “emotional” benefits.

In Part 2, you’ll learn about engine-specific noises and behaviors that are indicative of a failing motor. You’ll also learn what to do if your engine fails (stops) while you’re driving.



According to Yahoo Finance, the 20 most costly cars to maintain, over a 10-year period, are:
  1. Chrysler Sebring – $17,100
  2. BMW 328i – $15,600
  3. Nissan Murano – $14,700
  4. Mercedes–Benz E350 – $14,700
  5. Chevrolet Cobalt – $14,500
  6. Dodge Caravan–  $14,500
  7. Dodge RAM 1500 – $13,300
  8. Audi A4 Quatro – $12,800
  9. Mazda 6 Series – $12,700
  10. Subaru Forester – $12,200
  11. Acura TL – $12,100
  12. Nissan Maxima – $12,000
  13. Chrysler 300 – $12,000
  14. Ford Mustang – $11,900
  15. Audi A4 – $11,800
  16. Volkswagen Passat – $11,600
  17. Ford Focus – $11,600
  18. Chevrolet Impala – $11,500
  19. Honda Pilot – $11,200
  20. Mini Cooper – $11,200
According to, here are the American car makers’ highest 10-year cost of maintenance:
  1. Cadillac – $12,500
  2. Saturn – $12,400 (Car maker is out of business)
  3. Mercury – $12,000
  4. Pontiac – $11,800 (Car maker is out of business)
  5. Chrysler – $10,600
  6. Dodge – $10,600
  7. Ford – $9,100
  8. Chevrolet – $8,800
  9. Buick – $8,600
  10. Jeep – $8,300
  11. GMC – $7,800


Fraser Engine Rebuilders specializes in remanufactured engines. Any diagnostic computers in your car will operate exactly the same with our products. Visit our home page to find the right engine, if yours is ready to retire. They’re less expensive than you might think and come in different options and warranties!

Thinking about building a replica with an american-made engine? Fraser has the right engine ready for you!