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Engine Overhaul vs. New Vehicle: Things to Consider

You may need an engine overhaul or a new vehicle if the engine in your car is worn out or you blew it up. Or, maybe you just want something with more horsepower or torque. When making that decision, you have many considerations to look at. Depending on the reason for the new engine, an overhaul may be more beneficial – and in other cases, a new vehicle may be more beneficial.


Considerations for Your Engine Overhaul or New Vehicle Decision

The biggest consideration in your decision is money. An engine overhaul is much less than the cost of a new vehicle unless you purchase a used vehicle with a ton of miles on it. In that case, you may be at this junction in your life once again.

Considerations include:

  • Cost: A new vehicle will cost you monthly over the span of the vehicle loan unless you have the cash to purchase a new or used vehicle.
  • Condition of Your Current Vehicle: If your current vehicle is pretty raggedy, you might consider a new vehicle. There are some cost-prohibitive repairs. While repairing rust or putting too many new parts on the vehicle to make it safe is still less expensive than a new vehicle, sometimes it’s just better to give up and get a new vehicle, as an old beater will most likely nickel-and-dime you to death.
  • Insurance: Check into the cost of insurance. If your current vehicle doesn’t have full coverage, you’ll have to get used to a higher insurance bill.


Engine Overhaul Benefits

If your vehicle is in good condition, even if it has a lot of miles on it, it’s much cheaper to rebuild the engine. You will need to find a certified engine builder you trust. Replacing accessories such as the alternator, water pump and radiator are recommended unless they are newer.

You will have to replace the drier and expansion block or orifice tube, even if you don’t replace the air compressor. Once you open the system, those pieces become contaminated with moisture from the air.

Another benefit from an engine overhaul is in most cases, you have more horsepower. If the machinist has to bore the block, you have more cubic inches, which means more horsepower and torque.

With an engine overhaul, not only do you have a brand new engine, but it now has zero miles on it – just as if you were to install a crate engine or buy a new vehicle.


New Vehicle Benefits

A new vehicle only has benefits if you can afford the high price for it and if you’re not attached to your current vehicle. When overhauling an engine, it’s just like it’s brand new again. And of course, you get that new car smell, but that’s overrated, since it doesn’t last that long.

Other benefits of having a new vehicle include less repairs for the first couple of years. However, that is only a benefit if you didn’t take care of your old car. If you kept up with maintenance and repairs on your current vehicle, a new vehicle won’t give you much in the way of benefits in this area.


Adding New Accessories

When getting an engine overhaul, we recommend replacing any accessory that is over four to five years old, including the radiator, fan clutch on manual fans, power steering pump, alternator, and air compressor. While many of them may last longer than four to five years, they are wear-and-tear parts that will eventually need to be replaced.

If you are not sure if they were ever replace or when they were replaced, discuss replacing them with your engine builder. He or she can often tell if the parts are in poor condition.


Shop Mac’s for Engine Accessories

When you need engine accessories whether for an overhaul or because something malfunctioned, visit Mac’s to choose top-quality radiators, air conditioning parts and more.



Mac's Radiator is the best mechanic to help you with all of your mechanic needs!  Let Macs help you - we are located in 6 convenient locations, for when you need us close to home, or when you're on the road.




Portland, OR      (503) 777-4706
Beaverton, OR  (503) 646-2943
Bend, OR            (541) 382-6963
Boise, ID            (208) 344-1722
Eugene, OR        (541) 344-0253
Salem, OR          (503) 364-7129

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