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2004 Honda Element Replace Engine

10532 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ramblerdan
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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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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