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I have a 2006 Honda Pilot LX with 150,000 miles on it. I had the timing belt replaced at 80,000 miles so it is coming up to a new one. The engine leaks oil really bad. It takes about a week before I get no oil on the dipstick. I am down to about 12 miles per gallon (I just replaced the plugs). I also recently replaced the struts and brakes. I had the transmission fixed a few years ago. The only other thing wrong with the Pilot is the automatic key fob doesn't open the doors automatically (I have changed the batteries as well as the receiver unit) A new timing belt will cost me close to $1,000. I have no idea where the oil leak is. Different mechanics have told me different things. I have been told I need a new VCM valve as well as valve cover gaskets.

I got a quote today for a completely rebuilt engine (I am not sure if they are rebuilding mine or will buy put in another one.) It is $2,850 with tax. It comes with a 3-year warranty (I don't have all the details of the warranty yet).


Should I do it?
 

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Engine replacement in my book is always a last resort. A fel-pro gasket set for the valve covers will likely stop a lot of oil if that's never been done.
Have you done a compression test?
Have you replaced all the things that can cause your engine to run poorly?
 
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I have to disagree with nail grease. In your case, if $2850 will get you a fully rebuilt engine installed and guaranteed, by an honest, competent shop, then I would say, do it. The reason is that you have been running your engine down to no oil on a regular basis. Your main bearings and rod bearings are probably shot. The rings are worn, and everything is worn down to the edge. It's past the point of new gaskets, there is probably just too much overall wear. Plus you are talking a new timing belt. If you can really get a good rebuild installed for that price, and you trust the shop, then go for it. And do a better job of maintaining the Pilot after you spend all that money. No one should let the oil level go to zero. Watch the level, add if it needs it, and change oil more frequently.
 

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I have to disagree with nail grease. In your case, if $2850 will get you a fully rebuilt engine installed and guaranteed, by an honest, competent shop, then I would say, do it. The reason is that you have been running your engine down to no oil on a regular basis. Your main bearings and rod bearings are probably shot. The rings are worn, and everything is worn down to the edge. It's past the point of new gaskets, there is probably just too much overall wear. Plus you are talking a new timing belt. If you can really get a good rebuild installed for that price, and you trust the shop, then go for it. And do a better job of maintaining the Pilot after you spend all that money. No one should let the oil level go to zero. Watch the level, add if it needs it, and change oil more frequently.
I don't think we disagree.
 

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@martyk4321, it sounds like you pay for the work to be done by a mechanic/shop. Thus, by the time you spend the money for somebody else to do all the work that needs to be done on your current motor, including the TB service, you're likely to spend at least $1500 and possibly $2k to fix the engine with 150k miles. If you're paying for the work - then from a cost-benefit economic basis - definitely get the rebuilt with the 3yr warranty.

No oil on the stick doesn't = no oil, and it sounds like the oil level is getting checked/added on a regular basis, so the condition of your engine worries me less than the money trade off. But it's still a significant amount of money to spend on a car that's 15 years old...

So, the other thing to consider is selling your Pilot and get something different. Even with the motor in its current condition, you could probably advertise/sell it for anywhere from $1500-3000. The $ you get from the vehicle sale, plus the $ you were going to pay for the motor, likely gives you ~$5k towards a different vehicle - and this is a decent amount of change, especially considering the low finance rates banks and dealers are offering right now for new and/or certified vehicles.

In essence, I'm reinforcing NG's comment - if you're considering a rebuilt you should look at it as a 'last resort' strategy, and therefore the discussion of getting a completely different and/or new vehicle should also be in the mix...
 

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Engine replacement in my book is always a last resort. A fel-pro gasket set for the valve covers will likely stop a lot of oil if that's never been done.
Have you done a compression test?
Have you replaced all the things that can cause your engine to run poorly?
$2850 sounds like a deal but sometimes you get what you pay for. I’d address the cause of the oil leak issue before moving on to a replacement motor. Didn’t read where the engine is running poorly so there’s a chance the oil leakage repair could put this Pilot back on the road and delay the TB for another year or two.
 

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Didn’t read where the engine is running poorly
OP said the Pilot’s only getting 12mpg. Gotta think with it being that bad that there’s more than just an oil leak going on. I would suspect the oil also may be getting burned via bad rings or valves.

With that said, replacing the heads may also be a decent/cheaper alternative than an entire motor
 

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  • The engine leaks oil really bad. It takes about a week before I get no oil on the dipstick.
  • I am down to about 12 miles per gallon (I just replaced the plugs)
  • I have no idea where the oil leak is. Different mechanics have told me different things.
  • I have been told I need a new VCM valve as well as valve cover gaskets.

- I am not sure if they are rebuilding mine or will buy put in another one.
I agree with every suggestion made so far.

However.

It seems apparent that a competent mechanic has not yet touched this vehicle. The problems could be minor (valve cover gaskets & air starvation, for example) or complex.

I think that until these "don't know / been told different things" issues are worked out, doing anything is a shot in the dark. Sure, $3k for a new engine from a good mechanic is indeed a good deal, but it doesn't look like there's a good mechanic in this movie yet.

I suggest either finding someone new who is competent for an legitimate analysis and second opinion and take their advice, or taking the shot in the dark and hoping it works.

Until then, check your oil more frequently and at least keep it on the dipstick.
 

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$2850 sounds like a deal but sometimes you get what you pay for. I’d address the cause of the oil leak issue before moving on to a replacement motor. Didn’t read where the engine is running poorly so there’s a chance the oil leakage repair could put this Pilot back on the road and delay the TB for another year or two.
He mentioned poor fuel economy, So I'm thinking MAP, VVT, along with the easier maintenance stuff like air filter, possible cracked intake hose.
 
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