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Discussion Starter #1
Made a series of unfortunate mistakes and now I'm between a rock and a hard place. Bought an '09 EX-L with 109k miles. (To replace my '04 w/ 165k that I loved, but someone wrecked when it was parked) After 3 months and about 1000 miles, found oil in the coolant.

Mechanic is advising one of two options:
1 - Rebuild the head/replace gasket, etc. with the caveat that there's no guarantee that the problem isn't in the engine block, and so I've done all that work for nothing and need to still do option 2. (about $5500)
2 - Replace motor with an '11 motor with 55k miles and 6 mo. warranty parts & labor. (About $8500)

Notes:
- Costs may seem high, but both jobs involve multiple other costs (e.g. new radiator, timing belt, multiple engine flushes, new plugs, some hoses, etc.) that baseline about $2500.
- I know that there are much cheaper engines out there. The one he's recommending is an '11 with 55k miles, and the warranty that will cover labor for $4300.
- Also don't think this guy is taking advantage/ripping off, just think he's extremely thorough and conservative, and labor isn't cheap and this situation needs plenty of it. i.e., he is giving good advice for someone who loves their car, values the investment, and wants to do the right job to fix it properly and maximize the life of the car. I've only had this 3 months and haven't developed the same attachment I had to my '04 that served the family dependably for many years.
- I don't drive much. Live in the city and use it regularly during the summer, then only on the weekends, about once a month on average rest of the year. (Did 1k in my "peak" summer season)
- Body/interior in great shape.

At this point, I'm so fed up with the lemon that I'm thinking of investing the bare minimum to get it road-worthy and just sell it (writing off any losses). Given how little I drive, I can go car-less until next summer.

However, if I do continue to invest in this car:
Is it worth it to spend the extra ~$3k to get a new engine with only 55k and 6 months of warranty?
What is the likelihood of a block problem vs. just head?
Is it worth getting a 2nd opinion from a mechanic who isn't as thorough and conservative.
It's clear that the previous owner didn't do any maintenance (yes, I made MANY mistakes here) so is investing in either solution worth it - what else might go wrong down the road?

Please don't judge my careless/naive mistakes in getting into this situation, just offer your thoughts on the path forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mechanic said he checked transmission - no coolant. Flushed engine and ran it again - saw coolant in the engine.
 

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I would take a look around you being from NYC ...sounds like that mechanic is still being a little shady... Just looking online i have found engines with 47k on them for bout 3k . Still even at 55K you don't need the Timing belt and water pump done etc not until 105k .. It sounds like he is trying to justify to you on why your paying a high price . Besides you usually move over all your existing accessories with the new block anyways. Making mistakes is always involved in the cost of ownership of any vehicle.. welcome to the club! :)

If you're leaking coolant into the Engine or vise versa your mechanic should solve that issue first ..repairing a head gasket usually runs for another 100k easily if they use a good set.
 
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