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Old 08-01-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
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Engine died. Seeking advice.

Wife's 2009 Rav4 just died. Engine went kaput and a used engine with 100k + labor + taxes will likely come out to $4k.

I checked the black book value of the car and it's around $5700 - $8000. Any recommendations on what I should do?

I'm not looking for tech advice. More like financial alternatives. There's body damage on the exterior, so we're likely fetching the lower end of the black book price. Is it worth sinking 4k into it?

If I choose not to fix it, what value can I get out of it (ie. trade in, cash for clunker etc.)? Zero?

Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:34 PM   #2
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The value wouldn't be zero. Tow trucks will pay you to tow it away for scrap metal value... $200?
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:21 AM   #3
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Have you had an opportunity to have the engine diagnosed, or get a second opinion on the engine swap? $4K for an engine swap is a bit atrocious.
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:54 AM   #4
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We had it towed to a dealership and that was the diagnosis - engine siezed. No second opinion.

The used engine from what my wife said costs around 2500. So I guess 1000+ for labor (at staff rate). Not sure what the market price is for an engine swap, but wife knows the service department pretty well, so I'd assume they'll quote her a reasonable price.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the swap. It's our second car, so not really a necessity since we don't use it on a daily basis (I prefer transit and wife has a company car). I use it maybe once a week. It's more of a car we provide the inlaws to haul the kids around, and they're not the most careful drivers out there. So it makes little sense to buy new and see it abused. If given a choice, we'd prefer a (used) larger SUV or van so we can use it for road trips. So we'll likely fix it up and trade it in when the right one comes around.

Does the engine swap depreciate the car even more?
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:39 AM   #5
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Ah, okay. So that puts things into perspective. It doesn't sound that bad, especially when it is dealer shop rates.

You would want to ask the dealership where the engine is from, whether it is a used motor pulled out of a wrecked car, or one that was just sitting around the shop from a previous customer's vehicle. I would take it a step further to inquire more about what caused the engine to seize, and what parts are damaged. You could even get the engine rebuilt for $2500 depending on what is actually broken. Dealerships tend not to take on engine rebuilds, but this is typically on a per-case basis.

Regarding the engine swap depreciating the car even more, this really depends. If the engine has lower mileage than the original one, and has a properly documented history to prove the engine swap, then some people out there may overlook it, while others may run away from it, thinking it is a lemon. Being that it's a Toyota, most people would run away simply because of the demographic; these are typically non-car people. It would take a unique individual to see real value out of that, maybe someone like fliptuner.

I think you and your wife need to have a serious discussion on what you want to do with the car. You'll both need to come to an agreement on whether you guys want to keep it for a while, or if you want to get something else in the near future and weigh the pros and cons. Only you can answer this question because we don't know your personal circumstances and any other variables in life that can make or break our day. If this is a weekend car, and it's something you use to haul your kids around in, and you don't care about having the next newest car and the latest gadgets, perhaps worth considering to keep for a while and suck up the costs.

Rare to hear about a Toyota engine seizing. But that could be any car/make/model. I grew up on Toyota and still own one today. Saddens me to read about problems like this.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:25 AM   #6
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sell it to flip

he'll bless it
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:58 AM   #7
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:07 PM   #8
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3S-GTE engine swap.
https://rav4gtt.wordpress.com/2013/0...ine-swap-tips/

Think about the look on your inlaws face when they drive it and the turbo spools at 12 mph.

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Old 08-02-2018, 01:00 PM   #9
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^ that's for the wrong gen Rav. If you want more power out of an I4 3rd gen you'd just V6 swap it.

I'd think about what you could get that would fit your needs for the equivalent amount of money. If the Rav is a good fit, I'd fix it since you know a bit of the history and won't have to pay 12% tax on the replacement vehicle. If you don't need to use the car for a bit you could toss it up on CL for a few grand and see what happens. Since you figure yours is worth the lower end of the scale then 5700-4000=1700 is effectively what it's worth to you as-is, so list it for 2500-3000 and see what happens.
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Old 08-02-2018, 04:47 PM   #10
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Just curious, as we have a 2009 Toyota (although not a Rav4) as well. What engine, how many miles and what caused it to seize?
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:35 PM   #11
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Just curious, as we have a 2009 Toyota (although not a Rav4) as well. What engine, how many miles and what caused it to seize?
Not much details on what caused it to seize. But it's the 4-cylinder engine. Had about 180k+ on it.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:28 PM   #12
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^Since you figure yours is worth the lower end of the scale then 5700-4000=1700 is effectively what it's worth to you as-is, so list it for 2500-3000 and see what happens.
it's an ubiquitous econobox that doesn't run
if you can get more than $600-800 for it you should be more than happy
i'd cut my losses...even if you bought brand new it worked out to be a few thousand in car costs annually after 10 years and carried your family around for almost 200k
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:56 AM   #13
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There's the option of scrapping it and combine it with the electric car rebate for a total of 11 grand to use against a Nissan Leaf.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:57 PM   #14
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I think you can sell it for a few thousand as-is and fully disclose that the engine seized as opposed to scrapping it. That would be the absolute last option to take.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:40 AM   #15
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sell it to flip

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Sell it to frip for 2.5k

hell sell it back at 6k'

3 weeks tops!
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:55 AM   #16
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take the black book value of it, subtract the cost of replacing the engine, then post it for that price on Craigslist.

Someone will buy it and do the work themselves

car is worth $8000 black book.
subtract $4000 (cost of repair)
list for $4000 on craigslist
let it go for anything over $2700
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:47 AM   #17
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the other option is to put it up for sale as a mechanics car. some mechanic will probably buy it, do the engine swap themselves to save labour, and put it back up for sale.

it is, your 2nd vehicle, so this might be an option as its not the best financial, but lease headache.
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:31 PM   #18
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it's an ubiquitous econobox that doesn't run
if you can get more than $600-800 for it you should be more than happy
i'd cut my losses...
That's my point, if repairs cost $4k and it's worth $5700 running then unless they're getting more than $1700 for it they're better off fixing it and then selling it.
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:36 PM   #19
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Don't forget, that price is just for a used engine. You'll spend more after belts, fluids, gaskets, AC recharge, etc.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:26 PM   #20
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aren't these engine a dime a dozen, probably can get one for 500 bucks. u don't need a toyota dealer to do this, go to any other shop. probably 2k tops.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:10 PM   #21
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I, too, agree that these engines are a dime a dozen, but I believe the OP is looking to see what options he has simply from a financial perspective considering his circumstances. I would pony up to get the work done at an independent mechanic, as opposed to having it done by Toyota.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:11 AM   #22
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Rare to hear about a Toyota engine seizing. But that could be any car/make/model. I grew up on Toyota and still own one today. Saddens me to read about problems like this.
How often did OP maintain this car (assuming never, since it was "hardly driven")? Regardless of the make, an oil change is the least costly maintenance you can do.

If OP can't/isn't willing to do such minor maintenance, maybe it's time to only have one car and rent/borrow the second one when needed.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:16 PM   #23
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^ We did regular maintenance on the car. Staff rates aren't bad in terms of cost either.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:48 PM   #24
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Yea 4 grand sound a bit steep. Always shop around
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:22 AM   #25
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Call it the wife appeasement premium.

It's really her car. So whatever gives her less stress and ease of mind. I just took in most of the advice here to provide her with options. So thanks for all your input.

Should get the car back this week.
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