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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 2004 Honda Element with 195K miles on it. Took it to the Honda dealer 'cause the Engine light was on. Turns out the #1 cylinder is dead. They located an engine (used) with 32K miles on it. And quoted me about $3950 to exchange the engine with a warranty on the engine of 1K miles. Does this sound reasonable?
 

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Did they bother to diagnose (or tell you) why the #1 cylinder is "dead"? If it's a bad camshaft ...not unheard of when the problem is #1... resulting in burned, cracked or broken valves, then it might just need "a valve job" for half of what you were quoted, or less.

The going price for a used E engine with low-ish mileage seems to be about $1800 from the breaker yards. Figure ~$200 to ship, and you can easily see that the dealer is wanting $2000 to execute the swap. That translates to about 20 hours at a typical shop rate of $100/hr. If it takes a dealership mechanic 20 hours to do an straight out/in engine swap like this, then he/she needs to feed his/her ASE certificates to a shredder and just get out of the business. A pro experienced with the vehicle should be able to do this in a single shift, +/- a couple of hours dealing with surprises.

$3000 to 3200 and you have a deal.
 

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Thanks. It did have something to do with the valves, but since my car has 195K miles on it, they thought it would be better to replace the engine.
 

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In those almost 200k miles, did you ever have the valves adjusted/checked?


If it is a just a smaller valve issue, and the motor has been decently maintained, you might want to just do the valve job.

In any case, I'd look around at some other shops for a second opinion.
 

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You really want to look to options outside the dealership. You can easily get a low mileage engine for this beast for between $1250-$1500 and add another $500-$700 for labor and you're about at half what the dealer wants. Most shops have pretty good relationships with reputable suppliers so I wouldn't worry about them hitting you with any shipping and handling charges.

What I can't understand though is that you drove(?) your car to the dealership for them to tell you the engine was bad? 4 Cylinders will run on 3 Cylinders but it would have been a hell of a ride to the dealership.
 

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Have an appointment for a second opinion tomorrow. Am still driving the car on 3 cylinders back and forth to work (100 m.) - has less power and uses more gas.
 

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Never compared or paid attention.....does the 02-06 Accord motor have the same motor mounts? If so, you can get a longblock from HMotorsOnline.com for $800 plus shipping. Shipping is usually about $200-$250 and all the motors I have gotten from them have been top notch. That original quote is pretty :shock:
 

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Because the retail price of a new engine (short or long block) plus labor to transfer all the "fiddly bits" - sensors and auxiliary components - would cost significantly more than the vehicle is worth, that's why. The $4000 quote for the used engine is already what the entire vehicle would be worth even if it ran OK! A vehicle with 200,000 miles, E or not-an-E, is basically scrap metal, value-wise.

Having just done the research, my advice to the OP is just find somebody to who will give you a few bucks for it for the scrap value. It's just not worth dumping that kind of money (and time, and effort) into. Take the money from the scrap sale, add that to what the new engine would've cost you, and get something with fewer miles on it that's not one step away from the crusher.
 

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Having just done the research, my advice to the OP is just find somebody to who will give you a few bucks for it for the scrap value. It's just not worth dumping that kind of money (and time, and effort) into...
I generally agree, but I still think a second opinion is worthwhile. We don't know why the cylinder is "dead."

What are the codes? Compression test? Maintenance history?

It could be as simple as a bad plug or coil/ignitor....or it could be an expensive fix.
 

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If the E is in good shape it would be worth replacing the engine and if you decide after getting the 2nd diagnose that the engine has a bad hole find out like others have said if its ether the valves or rings. I have seen used engines with low miles going for a low of $600 up to 1500. If you do not want to fix it and sell it put it on this site or Craigslist or Ebay and get the most out of it as there are people like me that will buy it and repair it.
 
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