One of the most common complaints we hear when motor vehicles come through our doors and have major, major failures is that it’s not worth fixing, and while this sentiment is often true in vehicles that are more than 15 or 20 years old or oftentimes very, very costly to repair, we often agree and may even recommend to the owners coming in that this isn’t worth their investment.
However, there are some times where vehicles come through where we know that the rest of the vehicle is in good, solid running shape and that the only problem occurring is this specific one issue. Sometimes, when those situations arise, we will do a free inspection of the entire vehicle to make sure that the rest of the vehicle’s condition truly justifies the cost and time involved in a major repair and that if a major repair is performed, no other anomalies will be found along the way.
In the case of what we’re working on today, we have a 2004 Jeep Liberty. The vehicle is 12 years old, has 145,000 miles on it and has lived a fairly successful life here in Colorado. However, the original owner now has a son who is of college age, needs a true four-wheel drive vehicle to be able to get around here in Colorado, and wants to be able to give his son a reliable vehicle, the downside being that for him to purchase a new vehicle may cost $20-, $25-, $30,000 for his son. At the same time, brought us their Jeep Liberty that has had a failed engine for over a year now and just asked, “What would it take? How can we do this? Can this vehicle be put back on the road for the long run?”
Ourselves, along with our partners at Jasper Engine Remanufacturing, partnered together to find a good solution for this vehicle. Not only will it be getting a complete crate remanufactured engine, but the engine has actually been redesigned so that the same failures that occurred when it was brand new will not happen again. Specifically, there are several types of engine failures from the timing chain falling apart on this engine. We can actually see, on our old engine block that we have ripped open right now, it is still intact, but there is some serious wear that has occurred throughout the entire engine.
Even the basics of the lobes on the camshaft, where we see this discoloration and heat spotting, this is from excessive, excessive heat inside the engine, and truly determined that this engine was not reparable. While repowering this vehicle, we did our complete inspection, and we found several other small problems that needed to be addressed at the same time. The vehicle has a manual transmission, and the bearings where the transmission engages with the motor, were rotting, corroding and making noise. The radiator that sits in front of the engine, that provides cooling for the engine, was deteriorated, partially clogged and filled with particulate, as if somebody may have added a stop-leak-type solution to it in the past.
So, as part of our recommendation, we are replacing the engine as an assembly, installing a new radiator, installing a new clutch kit and actually ended up replacing the intake manifold on the top of the engine, because we found pieces of the old engine’s metal fragments wedged inside it. Had we not been this thorough, it’s possible that another shop may have reassembled this, put that old part on, and then done damage to that new engine because of such. At Saul’s Automotive, we are extremely thorough in making sure that the repair done to your vehicle is the one and only repair done to your vehicle, that it is done right the first time every time, and that your vehicle does not need to come back in our doors for service for a very long time.
If you have a vehicle that you’re considering repowering, and you don’t know if it’s worth the time, investment or funds associated, we would be happy to give you an honest opinion so that you can make an educated decision with a good overall perspective of your vehicle. That way, there’s no questions of what may fail in the future, what additional expenses you may be looking at, and we can guarantee that your vehicle will be on the road for years to come. This gentleman can send his son across the country in this vehicle and know that there will be no issues of any kind, and that thanks to our work to repower this entire drivetrain, should not need to come in for service for years.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should repower, replace or resell your current vehicle, please let us give you an opinion. We’d be more than happy to take a look at the vehicle, perform an inspection of any and all concerns you may have, so that you can make an educated and informed decision before you spend a penny of your hard-earned money.