In an industry like ours this is a question I get asked on a daily basis sometimes twice a day if i'm lucky. ( lol )
Clients call me and asks the pro's and the con's of which way to roll the dice on their vehicle's future. After lengthy conversations with people it becomes a hard question to answer.
Here is the reason why, sure as someone who has been in the automotive industry for 20+ years in many different rolls and multiple trade roll's later. I know why the clients engine has failed and to secure my client is not going to face the same miss fortune of a blown or damaged engine in the near future, I would love to say sure " RECONDITIONING YOUR ENGINE IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO ! " for my business and what we do this is what keeps my staff and myself employed.
But from my clients point of view it may not be exactly what they can afford at the time or the overall vehicle may not be worth the price of the engine they are about to have reconditioned. it may not hold its value to re-sell.
Other things that are commonly bought up is the vehicle has given the person that much grief in the lead up to it failing or been miss diagnosed as other parts causing its faults then replaced and cost excess of unnecessary money that they just hate the car in general and want it gone. ( this is more than fair cause we have all been their with a car, truck, piece of machinery or equipment, even the humble family PC. ) ( throw that thing out the window grrrrr ! sorry got side tracked. lol )
So as the person with the blown engine: Then We look at "ok" the wreckers got a GOOD SECOND HAND ENGINE down the road for just under half the price. " that's cheap " cool lets roll with that. wow we even get 3 month warranty for an extra 50 bucks, cool she'll be right. ( thumbs up win. )
Now we have got the second hand option at a price I can justify, which is great there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (say $3400.00 of light for comparison reasons) But before I have hit this light I need it installed, ok there's $1000 - $1500 remove and refit time on top of my 2nd hand option. (depending on make and model these prices can vary). Oh and wait it needs an oil filter, new oil, new coolant, spark plugs and a thermostat so another $280.00-$350.00.
Vehicle starts runs and drives like it did before all of the drama . this is an 85% chance. so a rough total: $5200.00
Other scenario is:
It's now in the car my mechanic has just gone to start the vehicle, but called me and said that it will not fire its trying but wont hit the spot, so now everyone is stressed. After another 3 hours of research its found that the engine was out of a model up, same engine code same numbers etc but different year, cam chopper wheels slightly vary between models so cam sensor is pulsing the ECU at the wrong time which is pulsing spark and fuel at the wrong time. So long story short the correct motor is required, there's another remove and refit cost. $1000-$1500.00 that is if things really turn to crap, there's a possible $6500.00 total.
not very cool. (don't forget the road worthy inspection to change the engine number with department of transport also.)
Ok now we look at the engine reconditioning option. Total Quote to recondition your existing engine was $7900.00.
This included the following :
Removal of your existing engine, stripped and block cleaned, cylinder head fully machined and reconditioned. engine block bored out and honed, deck surface machined, connecting rods machined (resized) crankshaft machined to next undersized to suit bearings.
Engine is then re assembled with new pistons, yes pistons not just rings: (the old days of just slappin a set of rings and bearings in an engine and saying she'll be right mate are long behind us with new technology.)
So pistons, piston rings, bearings big end and main bearings, timing chain kit, or belt kit, full gasket set new head bolts, new water pump. now its re installed with the new spark plugs, oil, oil filter, coolant and thermostat, plus the radiator has been sent to the radiator guys and cleaned out, fuel injectors have been serviced cause they were the same age as the engine.
Your car starts and is ran in with our professional running in procedures.
The best part of all is the engine block still has the same matching number to your vehicle that it has always had and it went back in perfectly cause that is where it originally came out of.