Hello, hope I've come to the right place to ask this! I've searched for advice, but I think everyone's situation may be unique and may not be appropriate for my own situation so I've decided to take the plunge and post.
Vehicle in Question: 2006 Cadillac SRX 3.6L - 111K miles
Financed in 2012 for $13500, still owe $5900.
Dealer states the engine needs replacement (loud clanking, no power, stalls, and metal fragments in the oil pan).
Dealer quotes $2300 for engine, 26 hours @ $99/hour for labor.
Also I need to consider the cost of 4 new tires, replacing a tie-rod, and a power steering hose for it to pass the yearly Maine state inspection which is also due. I'm figuring this to all add up to more than I owe left on the vehicle.
I do need a car though (public transport in Maine doesn't really exist), so I'm posed with the decision of what to do next. Here are some options I have thought of, maybe there are others I haven't thought of...
I have about $5000 cash on hand to work with...
I may have a hard time right now getting a new loan because I last year I left my job to become self employed. I already checked with the Credit Union that currently finances me, and they stated that I need a minimum of 2 years of proven self employment income to get a new loan.
I guess let's presume a new loan is out of the equation for now. I am fine with a cheap 'beater' car for a year if I have to, until I can get a new loan though.
I guess the main question now is... do I replace the engine or not?
If I do replace the engine, is the quoted $2300 for parts and $2600 for labor a fair deal? I know dealership labor is typically the highest price, so what might I respect at a non-dealer repair shop? Can anyone recommend a good repair shop in Southern Maine? Should it be possible to get the repairs, tires, around my $5000 cash in hand?
Or is replacing the engine foolish for some reason?
If I don't replace the engine... What would folks recommend instead? I'm assuming before I can junk it or trade it in or sell it for parts I'd need to pay off the loan to get the title, but this does not leave me in a good situation to get another car, ie: no cash on hand and no new loan ability. Maybe just spend my cash on another car instead, and keep the SRX until I'm able to pay it off (maybe 6 month to a year) then try and Sell It, Sell parts off it, or Junk it?
All help is welcome!
Response From Discretesignals
Have you tried getting estimates from some of the licensed and insured independent shops in the area? Ask friends and neighbors where they have their vehicles serviced.
Response From rpurinton
On my to-do list for tomorrow
Response From Tom Greenleaf
Check around as said for reasonable options. I'm somewhat familiar with Maine inspections that are strict on even tires rated for the car's ability or could fail new!
Must be spot on with all that stuff.
Again, quite familiar with Maine being from MA w family and friends from Portland and inland around Shapleigh. Of course the best dealer help for a Cadillac will be closer to the larger cities but should or ask about heading inland a bit away from the popular coastal vacation spots, full up about this time of year as you know,
Response From rpurinton
So I called about a dozen shops yesterday, only 3 of which said they would do this type of work. Best quote I got was for $1575 on a used engine with 114k. They quoted $1600-1900 on top of that to cover labor and quoted to include a replacement water pump, plugs, and 2 timing chains. This was from a very reputable local company that does alot of engine and transmission replacement type jobs. The other 2 shops sounded 'not sure' but provided slightly higher labor quotes and a higher cost for the motor. The tires I can probably get done for about $1000.
So it seems the bottom line is around $4200-4500 for repairs.
Considering, and considering I still owe $5900 on the loan, and I will have a hard time getting a new loan. And with only about $5000 cash on in savings, then I guess my only option is to repair it?
Response From Tom Greenleaf☆☆☆☆☆Top Rated Answer
Understand the shops declining and many don't do whole engine jobs if they are busy enough don't even want to take up the space and time on just one job which is a lot.
IDK - Have you considered either NH near Nashua, Manchester or Concord? Some known decent labor rates and qualified work out of the Lowell, Dracut and Chelmsford area of MA too - just N. of I-495 towards NH boarder. Can't name one for you right now.
Tires are just speed rated on the side wall and door jam should say what the rating is. If this car was designed for sustained speeds of over 80 MPH legal or not to drive that fast the tires must meet that in Maine. Friend in Saco (Portland) got stuck with that on perfectly good tires. Just right size and ratings. Shop for price and brand if fussy,