$5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

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bogler52
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$5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am

Looking for community input on how I can minimize my financial damage and rest easier at night given this situation.

I purchased a 2013 Acura TL with 70k miles (now 80k miles) in September '19 that now needs $5k-$7k to replace the engine. It's a known manufacturing defect I'm working with Acura to try and get them to fix.

The purchase price of the car was $13k and I did some proactive work (timing belt and 100K mile service for ~$2k) early because I planned to keep the car for a long time.

I took out a $10k loan on the car so I could keep cash to invest vs. paying for the car outright. I owe $8k on the loan at a 4% interest rate. It's a 36 month loan I have been paying extra towards. I'm thinking of paying off the loan and getting something else.

While fixing the car is less money out of pocket and gets me a running car, I'm concerned about what else may go wrong and being a slightly older vehicle it will need more work in the future.

If Acura pays for the engine (or at least covers the labor) I will either keep the car for a while longer, or sell / trade it for as much as I can get.

If I replace the Acura I am looking to purchase a used car with some warranty (existing, CPO, or after-market) or possibly lease for the luxury of it.

The plan was to buy a car I could pay for in cash and to pay off the loan in <3 years. I have $5k set aside currently for this repair, and a down-payment fund I would prefer not to tap into. I love cars and driving so a 60 month loan on something more expensive is scary, probably unwise, and I don't want to find myself in a similar situation.

To calculate my budget I used 10% of my salary before taxes. I'm in sales and earn commission that puts me in to $100k+ annual income, and my base is currently $70k. Always budget off your base.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your input.

bogler52

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Outer Marker » Sun May 10, 2020 12:07 pm

Bummer that it went out just slightly over the powertrain warranty. How is Acura responding? I would be very persistent in getting them to stand behind their product. "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." So, try that first. But firmly and persistently escalate if you don't get satisfaction by writing demand letters, posting negative reviews on car websites, BBB, and perhaps pay an attorney a few hundred buck to write a demand letter and/or file pro se yourself in small claims court. By effectively complaining, you can make it less expensive for the Company to pay you off and make their problem go away.

If all that fails, consider having the engine overhauled and rebuilt rather than buying new. Somewhere around $2,500-4500. https://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/Shoppin ... -an-engine. At anything north of $4000, I'd tend toward getting a replacement vehicle. With such major surgery your car will be regarded with skepticism by any potential buyer if you want to sell it down the road.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Outer Marker » Sun May 10, 2020 12:10 pm

P.S. might also shop around at salvage yards if you can find a good, used engine that has been cleared of this underlying defect. Something totaled in a rear-end accident, etc.

inbox788
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by inbox788 » Sun May 10, 2020 12:28 pm

bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am
The purchase price of the car was $13k and I did some proactive work (timing belt and 100K mile service for ~$2k) early because I planned to keep the car for a long time.
What did you get for $2k besides the timing belt?

You might consider and compare costs of leasing new vehicles as an option.

Teague
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Teague » Sun May 10, 2020 12:30 pm

First, Welcome! :happy

The purchase price is irrelevant at this point.

The current loan and its details are irrelevant.

Your potential future car loan and its details are irrelevant.

Your proposed percentage of salary toward car payments is irrelevant.

What's left is that for $5-7k, maybe less if Acura comes through, you will have a running Acura TL with 80,000 miles, and you know the history of that car. You need to decide if that's worth it.
Semper Augustus

oldfort
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by oldfort » Sun May 10, 2020 12:38 pm

I would never pay $7k to fix a vehicle worth $13k or less. If it's a manufacturing defect, Acura should fix this. If they won't, treat the vehicle like it's been totaled.

02nz
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by 02nz » Sun May 10, 2020 12:51 pm

Teague wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:30 pm
The purchase price is irrelevant at this point.
Yes, irrelevant to the question of what to do with the car. But taking a car loan at 4% really means OP took a loan at 4% to invest, probably back when it seemed markets would only ever go up. And that was a bad idea. Pay it off ASAP even if keeping the car.

T4REngineer
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by T4REngineer » Sun May 10, 2020 1:01 pm

What exactly is the problem that requires a engine replacement? I did a quick google search but came up empty handed. Also curious what the 2k got you, Most OEMs a 100k service would be a timing belt which you always replace the idler pulleys, water pump and coolant while you are in there. So that coupled with likely spark plugs and then maybe the engine oil, filter - 2k seems steep

My guess is you are overpaying/getting upsold

I would have a hard time paying 7k for a car worth 13k

You certainly had the right idea - used car, reliable brand (generally) but it always comes with risks and it sounds like this one burned you.

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Watty
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Watty » Sun May 10, 2020 1:28 pm

T4REngineer wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 1:01 pm
My guess is you are overpaying/getting upsold
+1

If this is at a dealership many of them are notorious for overcharging and bloating repairs.

It that is the case then I would have a independent mechanic look at it and even if they agree with what needs to be done they would likely be dramatically less expensive.

sd323232
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by sd323232 » Sun May 10, 2020 2:37 pm

dang, acura that needs a new engine, i dont think i will live to the day i will see something like that, looks like i will cross acuras from my buying list, that will leave only toyota on there

mhalley
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by mhalley » Sun May 10, 2020 2:38 pm

I have read two rules of thumb on when to pay big bucks for auto repairs. CR has said its ok to pay up to the value of the car, and Clark Howard has stated to pay up to half rather value. So it’s kind of a coin toss up here, depending on how well you like the car and which rule of thumb. I have a 2012 to and consider it one of the best cars I ever bought.
One anecdotal engine failure shouldn’t cause you to nix a whole car manufacturer.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Outer Marker » Sun May 10, 2020 2:44 pm

bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am
I purchased a 2013 Acura TL with 70k miles (now 80k miles) in September '19 that now needs $5k-$7k to replace the engine. It's a known manufacturing defect I'm working with Acura to try and get them to fix.
What is the specific nature of the "known defect"?

Why is is not possible to correct the problem without replacing the entire engine?

As others have suggested, it is definitely worth getting a second opinion from a reputable independent mechanic if you have been using the dealership . . .

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eye.surgeon
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by eye.surgeon » Sun May 10, 2020 2:56 pm

Tough one. You're probably stuck fixing it. I'd probably fix it as cheap as possible and sell it personally. Bad luck as Honda products are considered reliable.

If buying used, focus on 2-3 years old. That's the highest value for money in terms of cost vs remaining reliable life.

This of course is just my opinion. Good luck.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett

Topic Author
bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Sun May 10, 2020 3:39 pm

Outer Marker wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:07 pm
Bummer that it went out just slightly over the powertrain warranty. How is Acura responding? I would be very persistent in getting them to stand behind their product. "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." So, try that first. But firmly and persistently escalate if you don't get satisfaction by writing demand letters, posting negative reviews on car websites, BBB, and perhaps pay an attorney a few hundred buck to write a demand letter and/or file pro se yourself in small claims court. By effectively complaining, you can make it less expensive for the Company to pay you off and make their problem go away.

If all that fails, consider having the engine overhauled and rebuilt rather than buying new. Somewhere around $2,500-4500. https://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/Shoppin ... -an-engine. At anything north of $4000, I'd tend toward getting a replacement vehicle. With such major surgery your car will be regarded with skepticism by any potential buyer if you want to sell it down the road.
Hi Outer Marker,

The problem with my engine is there is a crack in the aluminum cylinder wall. This cylinder is built into the block at the time of manufacturing. I inquired about getting it "re-sleeved" by an independent shop and they said it would be cheaper to replace the engine. I went to the Acura dealer myself to see the engine and it is indeed cracked. They could fix the engine block or replace the engine. Replacing the engine black is actually more expensive because of the labor involved.

I've been talking to Acura for the past 5-6 weeks. It took them over 2 weeks to get in touch with me after my case manager was assigned (she left me a voicemail and then I could never get back in touch). I'm going onto my 4th case manager as they keep telling me they can't help me, but as you suggested, I am persistent.

I also have an issue with Acura of Boston (where my car is now) because I would assume they would know that there is a VIN-specific issue with my car (and about 5,500 other TL's) where the remedy is to replace the engine block. I had to do my own my research to learn about this and the oil consumption issue that also is known to affect these engines more broadly. I may end up contacting the BBB and attorney general on this.

Topic Author
bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Sun May 10, 2020 3:41 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:28 pm
bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am
The purchase price of the car was $13k and I did some proactive work (timing belt and 100K mile service for ~$2k) early because I planned to keep the car for a long time.
What did you get for $2k besides the timing belt?

You might consider and compare costs of leasing new vehicles as an option.
Hi,

I had 2 separate jobs done. First was the 100k mile service (since I was the new owner of the car and wasn't sure when the last major service was performed) and the second was the timing belt and water pump, oil change, and I had my summer tires put on. It all may have been less than $2k, but more than $1k so I rounded up.

Topic Author
bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Sun May 10, 2020 3:41 pm

oldfort wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:38 pm
I would never pay $7k to fix a vehicle worth $13k or less. If it's a manufacturing defect, Acura should fix this. If they won't, treat the vehicle like it's been totaled.
Agreed. That is what I'm thinking if I can't get the car fixed. There will be additional maintenance in the future and I don't know what else could go wrong with a transplanted engine.

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bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Sun May 10, 2020 3:43 pm

02nz wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:51 pm
Teague wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:30 pm
The purchase price is irrelevant at this point.
Yes, irrelevant to the question of what to do with the car. But taking a car loan at 4% really means OP took a loan at 4% to invest, probably back when it seemed markets would only ever go up. And that was a bad idea. Pay it off ASAP even if keeping the car.
Would you always buy a car in cash? What what % interest would you think it's worth to take a loan out?

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bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Sun May 10, 2020 3:44 pm

Outer Marker wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 2:44 pm
bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am
I purchased a 2013 Acura TL with 70k miles (now 80k miles) in September '19 that now needs $5k-$7k to replace the engine. It's a known manufacturing defect I'm working with Acura to try and get them to fix.
What is the specific nature of the "known defect"?

Why is is not possible to correct the problem without replacing the entire engine?

As others have suggested, it is definitely worth getting a second opinion from a reputable independent mechanic if you have been using the dealership . . .

Hi,

The problem with my engine is there is a crack in the aluminum cylinder wall. This cylinder is built into the block at the time of manufacturing. I inquired about getting it "re-sleeved" by an independent shop and they said it would be cheaper to replace the engine. I went to the Acura dealer myself to see the engine and it is indeed cracked. They could fix the engine block or replace the engine. Replacing the engine black is actually more expensive because of the labor involved.

02nz
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by 02nz » Sun May 10, 2020 3:51 pm

bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 3:43 pm
02nz wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:51 pm
Teague wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:30 pm
The purchase price is irrelevant at this point.
Yes, irrelevant to the question of what to do with the car. But taking a car loan at 4% really means OP took a loan at 4% to invest, probably back when it seemed markets would only ever go up. And that was a bad idea. Pay it off ASAP even if keeping the car.
Would you always buy a car in cash? What what % interest would you think it's worth to take a loan out?
Many on this board say only buy in cash, but my advice would be 1) never use a loan to buy a car you can't really afford; and 2) take the loan only if the interest is less than what you can earn, after tax, in a savings account/CD/money market. That will vary a bit for each person but up to 1 or 1.5% is probably fine, and 2% is probably ok too even though you're paying a bit to have more liquidity (which is worth something). Manufacturers often have loans that are in that range (they're effectively subsidized to boost sales), but make sure you're not giving up cash incentives by taking the subsidized financing.

MathWizard
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by MathWizard » Sun May 10, 2020 4:00 pm

02nz wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 3:51 pm
bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 3:43 pm
02nz wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:51 pm
Teague wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:30 pm
The purchase price is irrelevant at this point.
Yes, irrelevant to the question of what to do with the car. But taking a car loan at 4% really means OP took a loan at 4% to invest, probably back when it seemed markets would only ever go up. And that was a bad idea. Pay it off ASAP even if keeping the car.
Would you always buy a car in cash? What what % interest would you think it's worth to take a loan out?
Many on this board say only buy in cash, but my advice would be 1) never use a loan to buy a car you can't really afford; and 2) take the loan only if the interest is less than what you can earn, after tax, in a savings account/CD/money market. That will vary a bit for each person but up to 1 or 1.5% is probably fine, and 2% is probably ok too even though you're paying a bit to have more liquidity (which is worth something). Manufacturers often have loans that are in that range (they're effectively subsidized to boost sales), but make sure you're not giving up cash incentives by taking the subsidized financing.
If you have a loan on a car, especially at a low interest rate, the bank will require comprehensive insurance.
I only have liability, medical and other insurance that is required by the state.
Self insurance has paid for itself over the years.

Also, the very low interest rates are only for a 3 year term on a brand new car.

I have not had a loan on a car since grad school.

This may be because I paid huge rates when I did, between 12 and 18%. Ugh.

JPM
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by JPM » Sun May 10, 2020 4:51 pm

If you have been using the dealer for your maintenance work, ask the service shop chief mechanic if he or she can help you get a reasonable deal on a replacement engine. The mechanics in the service shops have been dealing with TL engine problems for years and can often help customers with replacing the engines on the 2009-14 TLs. The case managers' job may be to discourage customers and save the company money, but the dealer's mechanic shop has an incentive to keep you as a loyal customer. Your share of the engine replacement and related work may be in the $1500-2000 range, maybe less if they are willing and able to help you. The shop gets the cash and that's part of their incentive to help you.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Outer Marker » Sun May 10, 2020 5:04 pm

bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 3:39 pm

The problem with my engine is there is a crack in the aluminum cylinder wall. This cylinder is built into the block at the time of manufacturing. I inquired about getting it "re-sleeved" by an independent shop and they said it would be cheaper to replace the engine. I went to the Acura dealer myself to see the engine and it is indeed cracked. They could fix the engine block or replace the engine. Replacing the engine black is actually more expensive because of the labor involved.

I've been talking to Acura for the past 5-6 weeks. It took them over 2 weeks to get in touch with me after my case manager was assigned (she left me a voicemail and then I could never get back in touch). I'm going onto my 4th case manager as they keep telling me they can't help me, but as you suggested, I am persistent.

I also have an issue with Acura of Boston (where my car is now) because I would assume they would know that there is a VIN-specific issue with my car (and about 5,500 other TL's) where the remedy is to replace the engine block. I had to do my own my research to learn about this and the oil consumption issue that also is known to affect these engines more broadly. I may end up contacting the BBB and attorney general on this.
Sounds like you are on the right track. I would try being nice at the start of the week - but politely let them know it has been dragging on too long. If It hasn't been resolved by COB Wednesday I would put them on notice that you are contacting the BBB and the AG - and begin posting google and yelp reviews. I would also write a letter to N. American Acura headquarters about your dissatisfaction.

A used engine from a salvage car outside of the affect VIN run is potentially a viable cheaper option.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Outer Marker » Sun May 10, 2020 5:40 pm

Did you buy the car from the same dealership that is handling the service issue or someone else?

harrychan
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by harrychan » Sun May 10, 2020 5:50 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 2:37 pm
dang, acura that needs a new engine, i dont think i will live to the day i will see something like that, looks like i will cross acuras from my buying list, that will leave only toyota on there
I dunno why people like honda / acura so much. I know 3 people who had problems with various honda / acura including engines and transmission issues on 5 year +/- cars.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Outer Marker » Sun May 10, 2020 6:12 pm

harrychan wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:50 pm
I dunno why people like honda / acura so much. I know 3 people who had problems with various honda / acura including engines and transmission issues on 5 year +/- cars.
Of course YMMV, but I've owned three Hondas starting with my '85 Prelude, a 92 Civic and and a 2010 Odyssey. All three went into the multiple hundreds of thousands of miles with nothing more than oil changes, spark plug, and wiper blade replacements. By contrast, my 2007 BMW 328i has been an expensive indulgence, though it is a joy to drive. I never spend less than $1,000 a year, and sometimes it is over $4,000. But cheaper than a new car that delivers that kind of performance and driving experience.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by SteadyOne » Sun May 10, 2020 6:37 pm

bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am
Looking for community input on how I can minimize my financial damage and rest easier at night given this situation.

I purchased a 2013 Acura TL with 70k miles (now 80k miles) in September '19 that now needs $5k-$7k to replace the engine. It's a known manufacturing defect I'm working with Acura to try and get them to fix.

The purchase price of the car was $13k and I did some proactive work (timing belt and 100K mile service for ~$2k) early because I planned to keep the car for a long time.

I took out a $10k loan on the car so I could keep cash to invest vs. paying for the car outright. I owe $8k on the loan at a 4% interest rate. It's a 36 month loan I have been paying extra towards. I'm thinking of paying off the loan and getting something else.

While fixing the car is less money out of pocket and gets me a running car, I'm concerned about what else may go wrong and being a slightly older vehicle it will need more work in the future.

If Acura pays for the engine (or at least covers the labor) I will either keep the car for a while longer, or sell / trade it for as much as I can get.

If I replace the Acura I am looking to purchase a used car with some warranty (existing, CPO, or after-market) or possibly lease for the luxury of it.

The plan was to buy a car I could pay for in cash and to pay off the loan in <3 years. I have $5k set aside currently for this repair, and a down-payment fund I would prefer not to tap into. I love cars and driving so a 60 month loan on something more expensive is scary, probably unwise, and I don't want to find myself in a similar situation.

To calculate my budget I used 10% of my salary before taxes. I'm in sales and earn commission that puts me in to $100k+ annual income, and my base is currently $70k. Always budget off your base.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your input.

bogler52
Sometimes filing a complaint with state consumer protection office or state attorney general makes things move faster
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun May 10, 2020 9:25 pm

If you bought the car used at an Acura/honda dealer you should send an email to both the owner and general manager of the dealership. Assuming you did your part and maintained the car per the book (and it sounds like you did), politely but firmly let them know via email that you expect the car you bought from them should not need a new engine within 8 months of purchase.

Request that they repair the engine on the car they sold you for $13k so that you have a running reliable car or you will file complaints with local and federal government agencies, BBB, as well as notifying local print and TV media that they are not dealing with you in good faith or standing behind their product, etc. Politely tell them that you don't want to do so, but that you are 100% prepared to go to WAR if they do not step up and correct this unacceptable situation. Also let them know that until the situation is resolved you will have the car towed and parked in front of the dealership with appropriate signage indicating blown engine and defective piece of junk, etc.

Assuming they care about their local reputation this usually gets their attention.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Outer Marker » Mon May 11, 2020 6:44 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 9:25 pm
If you bought the car used at an Acura/honda dealer you should send an email to both the owner and general manager of the dealership. Assuming you did your part and maintained the car per the book (and it sounds like you did), politely but firmly let them know via email that you expect the car you bought from them should not need a new engine within 8 months of purchase.

Request that they repair the engine on the car they sold you for $13k so that you have a running reliable car or you will file complaints with local and federal government agencies, BBB, as well as notifying local print and TV media that they are not dealing with you in good faith or standing behind their product, etc. Politely tell them that you don't want to do so, but that you are 100% prepared to go to WAR if they do not step up and correct this unacceptable situation. Also let them know that until the situation is resolved you will have the car towed and parked in front of the dealership with appropriate signage indicating blown engine and defective piece of junk, etc.

Assuming they care about their local reputation this usually gets their attention.
All good suggestions --- but a letter, not an email - with cc's to the BBB and Honda N. America. People forget the power of the written word. A signed letter speaks differently than and email. As a very successful attorney, I promise you that's true.

carolinaman
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by carolinaman » Mon May 11, 2020 7:02 am

I am sorry about your situation. I have 2 thoughts:
1- I have always heard that replacing one part of the power train in an older car may cause failure of other part(s), i.e. transmission or read end. The reason is that the power train has aged together and weakened to some extent. Putting a new strong engine in may put more pressure on other parts and cause failure. I am not a mechanic so this may not be true. But if it is, it suggests not replacing engine.

2- If this was a known defect, it seems to make Acura more liable to repair. I suggest you be persistent and aggressive. You may want to talk with an attorney if they continue to stonewall you. You may have a good legal position.

3. One more thought. My son is a very good mechanic and has replaced car and truck engines and transmissions multiple times. He is not batting 1.000 in outcomes which I believe is par for the course. There is a lot that can wrong and sometimes does in complicated repairs like this.

Good luck in resolving this!

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Jags4186 » Mon May 11, 2020 7:12 am

harrychan wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:50 pm
sd323232 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 2:37 pm
dang, acura that needs a new engine, i dont think i will live to the day i will see something like that, looks like i will cross acuras from my buying list, that will leave only toyota on there
I dunno why people like honda / acura so much. I know 3 people who had problems with various honda / acura including engines and transmission issues on 5 year +/- cars.

I know people who have had problems with Toyotas, Mazdas, and the Subaru my wife drives hasn’t been that great either. No manufacturer is perfect.

You hear about problems with Honda because they sell so many cars. They might not be no. 1 for reliability but they are way up there. I think all of their cars look and drive better than the equivalent Toyota models FWIW (well at least Civic and Accord vs Corolla and Camry. All of which I cross shopped).

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by ncbill » Mon May 11, 2020 7:14 am

Outer Marker wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 6:12 pm
harrychan wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:50 pm
I dunno why people like honda / acura so much. I know 3 people who had problems with various honda / acura including engines and transmission issues on 5 year +/- cars.

Of course YMMV, but I've owned three Hondas starting with my '85 Prelude, a 92 Civic and and a 2010 Odyssey. All three went into the multiple hundreds of thousands of miles with nothing more than oil changes, spark plug, and wiper blade replacements. By contrast, my 2007 BMW 328i has been an expensive indulgence, though it is a joy to drive. I never spend less than $1,000 a year, and sometimes it is over $4,000. But cheaper than a new car that delivers that kind of performance and driving experience.
Odysseys (and other 6-cylinder Hondas) only a few years older than yours were notorious for eating transmissions...one poster I read needed three new transmissions before their Odyssey hit 100,000 miles...IIRC, the last two on their dime.

As for the OP, I'd replace the engine if the dealer/Acura pays at least half of the price posted.

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bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Mon May 11, 2020 7:24 am

JPM wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:51 pm
If you have been using the dealer for your maintenance work, ask the service shop chief mechanic if he or she can help you get a reasonable deal on a replacement engine. The mechanics in the service shops have been dealing with TL engine problems for years and can often help customers with replacing the engines on the 2009-14 TLs. The case managers' job may be to discourage customers and save the company money, but the dealer's mechanic shop has an incentive to keep you as a loyal customer. Your share of the engine replacement and related work may be in the $1500-2000 range, maybe less if they are willing and able to help you. The shop gets the cash and that's part of their incentive to help you.
The case manager's job is definitely not to help me... Are you suggesting that I ask the Acura mechanic to help me source an engine and they don't do the work? You're correct on the range of price for a replacement engine ($1.5k - $2.5k) it's the labor that is expensive.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Mon May 11, 2020 7:27 am

Outer Marker wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:40 pm
Did you buy the car from the same dealership that is handling the service issue or someone else?
I bought the car from a Mini dealership in NH (I live in MA). I had it pre-purchased inspected by the Acura dealer nearby. This Acura dealer I have not worked with before, but they have seen the car before with the previous owner. I am very suspicious that they had a good idea of what was wrong before they took the car apart.

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bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Mon May 11, 2020 7:29 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 9:25 pm
If you bought the car used at an Acura/honda dealer you should send an email to both the owner and general manager of the dealership. Assuming you did your part and maintained the car per the book (and it sounds like you did), politely but firmly let them know via email that you expect the car you bought from them should not need a new engine within 8 months of purchase.

Request that they repair the engine on the car they sold you for $13k so that you have a running reliable car or you will file complaints with local and federal government agencies, BBB, as well as notifying local print and TV media that they are not dealing with you in good faith or standing behind their product, etc. Politely tell them that you don't want to do so, but that you are 100% prepared to go to WAR if they do not step up and correct this unacceptable situation. Also let them know that until the situation is resolved you will have the car towed and parked in front of the dealership with appropriate signage indicating blown engine and defective piece of junk, etc.

Assuming they care about their local reputation this usually gets their attention.
Unfortunately, I didn't buy the car from a Honda / Acura dealer. I had it PPI from an Acura dealer, but not the one it is at now. I am prepared to do all that you mentioned above and have let Acura Corp. know this. Thanks for the input

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bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Mon May 11, 2020 7:30 am

Outer Marker wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 6:44 am
jabberwockOG wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 9:25 pm
If you bought the car used at an Acura/honda dealer you should send an email to both the owner and general manager of the dealership. Assuming you did your part and maintained the car per the book (and it sounds like you did), politely but firmly let them know via email that you expect the car you bought from them should not need a new engine within 8 months of purchase.

Request that they repair the engine on the car they sold you for $13k so that you have a running reliable car or you will file complaints with local and federal government agencies, BBB, as well as notifying local print and TV media that they are not dealing with you in good faith or standing behind their product, etc. Politely tell them that you don't want to do so, but that you are 100% prepared to go to WAR if they do not step up and correct this unacceptable situation. Also let them know that until the situation is resolved you will have the car towed and parked in front of the dealership with appropriate signage indicating blown engine and defective piece of junk, etc.

Assuming they care about their local reputation this usually gets their attention.
All good suggestions --- but a letter, not an email - with cc's to the BBB and Honda N. America. People forget the power of the written word. A signed letter speaks differently than and email. As a very successful attorney, I promise you that's true.
Thank you!

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by researcher » Mon May 11, 2020 9:29 am

bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am
I purchased a 2013 Acura TL with 70k miles (now 80k miles) in September '19.
The purchase price of the car was $13k and I did some proactive work (for ~$2k) early because I planned to keep the car for a long time.
I took out a $10k loan on the car so I could keep cash to invest vs. paying for the car outright. I owe $8k on the loan at a 4% interest rate. The plan was to buy a car I could pay for in cash and to pay off the loan in <3 years.
I'm concerned about what else may go wrong and being a slightly older vehicle it will need more work in the future.
If I replace the Acura I am looking to purchase a used car with some warranty or possibly lease for the luxury of it.
You've expressed some rather odd and contradictory rationale in your post...
- You bought a 6-7 year old car with the intention of "keeping it for a long time." Yet you are concerned about it "being a slightly older vehicle" that "will need more work in the future"?
- You spend $2K in maintenance 30K miles before it is called for?
- You finance this vehicle at 4% interest rate to "keep cash to invest", even though your plan was to "buy a car I could pay in cash"?
- And now you're considering leasing a brand new car, which is the complete opposite of your intended plan.

Regardless of the engine issue, you need to decide what your car ownership strategy is, as you currently are all over the map on this issue.

I personally would find an independent mechanic to replace the engine for 1/3 - 1/2 the price you've been quoted by the stealership, and drive the car until you hit 150K miles or so.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon May 11, 2020 10:02 am

If may get no assistance from Honda as you bought it used from a non brand dealer. If it were me I would then call around to independent shops asking them for best price on sourcing and install a running junk yard engine in the car. Car is basically worthless unless it runs and drives. As soon as I got it running I'd trade or sell the car or keep it for a few years based on the mechanics recommendation in terms of future health of the replacement engine. Personally I'd almost certainly get rid of it as soon as I got it running. Chalk up your repair expenses to an expensive education on buying future cars.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by AverageInvestor1982 » Mon May 11, 2020 10:36 am

I would press Acura (Honda) to address this as politely and firmly as I could. Even after their cars are out of warranty, they will usually at least pay for a percentage of the repair. They design and test their with the expectation they will go 200,000 mi, so I think they would be willing to pay up to 60% of the cost.

Keep in mind, its not the dealership that will pay the cost, it's Honda. The dealership will be applying to Honda to get the cost re-reimbursed. The dealership will make money on the labor, so they will generally be willing to at least try. Talk to the sales manager directly first and tell him your story. "Hey, I just bought this thing. I had it inspected. I'm really hoping Honda/Acura will stand behind their product. I'm not saying I deserve a free engine, but certainly considerable help."

Honda/Acura are generally higher reliability and Honda does about as good of a job of standing behind their product as anyone. You go online and find posts for any company or any car where "I had one (or knew someone) and died! I will never buy again." Ignore anecdotal advice.

How much do you like the car in general? Is it SH-AWD or FWD? One has a 3.7 liter engine, the other a 3.5. I ask because the 3.7 has some known issues that have driven up repair claims. They have addressed a lot of the issues, so if things go well, and you can get a new engine block through Honda, you would likely end up with a very reliable car for a long time to come. I have a 2014 TL with the 3.7. It had a small oil leak when it was under warranty. Acura dealership replaced the whole block free of charge and gave me a 3 week MDX loaner.

If Honda/Acura won't do anything for you at all (i'd be surprised if they didn't), then go to an independent mechanic. Overall cost would be much cheaper. Hit me up if you are near Central Ohio, i have a line on a good one.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by onourway » Mon May 11, 2020 10:47 am

What is the nature of the defect, and what is the possibility of rebuilding the engine rather than replacing (with either new or used?)

It may turn out that having the engine rebuilt gives you a more reliable engine than replacing it with another on which the defect has not been repaired. This would generally run somewhere closer to the cost of having an independent mechanic replace with a used engine than the cost of a dealer installed new. Most engine rebuilds can be done for $2-5k on normal vehicles.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Teague » Mon May 11, 2020 11:10 am

onourway wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:47 am
What is the nature of the defect, and what is the possibility of rebuilding the engine rather than replacing (with either new or used?)

It may turn out that having the engine rebuilt gives you a more reliable engine than replacing it with another on which the defect has not been repaired. This would generally run somewhere closer to the cost of having an independent mechanic replace with a used engine than the cost of a dealer installed new. Most engine rebuilds can be done for $2-5k on normal vehicles.
OP addressed that above. Cracked cylinder liner, not cost effective to repair compared to remanufactured crate engine.
Semper Augustus

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Watty
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Watty » Mon May 11, 2020 11:57 am

bogler52 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:04 am
The purchase price of the car was $13k and I did some proactive work (timing belt and 100K mile service for ~$2k) early because I planned to keep the car for a long time.
One more thought, what would the car really be worth if the engine was OK?

The used car market may have shifted a lot since you bought it and it is possible that you paid a high price when you bought it.

I just looked on Autotrader and it showed this 2013 TL for with 92K miles for about $10K but you could likely negotiate and get it for less than that.

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... pe=listing

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by UALflyer » Mon May 11, 2020 12:37 pm

Outer Marker wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 6:44 am
jabberwockOG wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 9:25 pm
If you bought the car used at an Acura/honda dealer you should send an email to both the owner and general manager of the dealership. Assuming you did your part and maintained the car per the book (and it sounds like you did), politely but firmly let them know via email that you expect the car you bought from them should not need a new engine within 8 months of purchase.

Request that they repair the engine on the car they sold you for $13k so that you have a running reliable car or you will file complaints with local and federal government agencies, BBB, as well as notifying local print and TV media that they are not dealing with you in good faith or standing behind their product, etc. Politely tell them that you don't want to do so, but that you are 100% prepared to go to WAR if they do not step up and correct this unacceptable situation. Also let them know that until the situation is resolved you will have the car towed and parked in front of the dealership with appropriate signage indicating blown engine and defective piece of junk, etc.

Assuming they care about their local reputation this usually gets their attention.
All good suggestions --- but a letter, not an email - with cc's to the BBB and Honda N. America. People forget the power of the written word. A signed letter speaks differently than and email. As a very successful attorney, I promise you that's true.
The suggestions are fine, and the OP should and is following all of this. In reality though, all manufacturers are very used to hearing that people are "100% prepared to go to WAR" (whatever that means here), etc... I do very much sympathize with the OP's situation and hope that he gets a decent goodwill offer from Acura, but he bought a used car when it was 6 years old with 70K miles and did so from a non franchised dealer. From their perspective, these are strong, negative factors that frequently result in a denial of a goodwill repair request, which is the request the OP has made.

At this point, the car is 7 years old and has 80K miles, so the warranty is obviously long gone, and, given the OP's and the vehicle's purchase history, as far as goodwill repairs go, this is a pretty weak request. Perhaps the previous owner always maintained the vehicle at the same Acura dealer, which could help, but it's still not amazing here. In other words, while I do hope that the OP gets something from Acura, I wouldn't hold my breath. If Acura denies his goodwill request, they'll tell him about the above factors and also say that this is the very reason that they offer extended warranties.

I will say that in this situation, a claim that Acura "is not dealing in good faith" would be completely counterproductive and would cause the person making it to lose credibility. These types of claims are only effective when the person making them has sufficient grounds to back them up. A purchaser who acquired a 6 year old vehicle with 70K miles from a non-franchised dealer, which vehicle is now 7 years old and has 80K miles, cannot make an effective good faith based argument that the manufacturer must cover the repairs. He can and should be arguing about the manufacturer's long term reputation, consumer loyalty, etc..., but threatening them with a good faith based claim is only likely to backfire.
Last edited by UALflyer on Mon May 11, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by wriley4409 » Mon May 11, 2020 1:08 pm

There is a "hidden" warranty related to excessive oil consumption that has not expired yet. This warranty covers repairs for this issue for eight years or 125k miles.

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/ ... 7-0001.pdf

randomguy
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by randomguy » Mon May 11, 2020 1:18 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 7:12 am
harrychan wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:50 pm
sd323232 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 2:37 pm
dang, acura that needs a new engine, i dont think i will live to the day i will see something like that, looks like i will cross acuras from my buying list, that will leave only toyota on there
I dunno why people like honda / acura so much. I know 3 people who had problems with various honda / acura including engines and transmission issues on 5 year +/- cars.

I know people who have had problems with Toyotas, Mazdas, and the Subaru my wife drives hasn’t been that great either. No manufacturer is perfect.

You hear about problems with Honda because they sell so many cars. They might not be no. 1 for reliability but they are way up there. I think all of their cars look and drive better than the equivalent Toyota models FWIW (well at least Civic and Accord vs Corolla and Camry. All of which I cross shopped).
It might be more accurate to say Honda WAS way up there. Those 90s honda's were as good as anything out there. The evidence is the last 5-10 years of products are not remotely up to that standard. They aren't horrible but more of a just above average rank. And the average car these days is pretty darn solid.

ValuationsMatter
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by ValuationsMatter » Mon May 11, 2020 1:32 pm

Simple:

What is the value of the car without engine? i.e. sell car now as-is
What is the value of the car with engine? i.e. fix car and sell at market value

If the difference between the two is more than the cost of repairs, then fix. If not, then sell as-is.

The only caveat to the above advice is emotional value to you. Only you can decide what that's worth.

You can absolutely find more reliable cheaper transportation. You can absolutely spend more and find something more "fun." A litany of options is out there for you to choose between. Those options were there before your predicament and will be there regardless of your decision going forward. It is my personal belief that if you cannot pay off a loan immediately on a depreciating asset, you should be in the cheapest, most reliable transportation you can afford. But, opinions are just that.

Good luck!

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Jags4186 » Mon May 11, 2020 2:31 pm

randomguy wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 1:18 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 7:12 am
harrychan wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:50 pm
sd323232 wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 2:37 pm
dang, acura that needs a new engine, i dont think i will live to the day i will see something like that, looks like i will cross acuras from my buying list, that will leave only toyota on there
I dunno why people like honda / acura so much. I know 3 people who had problems with various honda / acura including engines and transmission issues on 5 year +/- cars.

I know people who have had problems with Toyotas, Mazdas, and the Subaru my wife drives hasn’t been that great either. No manufacturer is perfect.

You hear about problems with Honda because they sell so many cars. They might not be no. 1 for reliability but they are way up there. I think all of their cars look and drive better than the equivalent Toyota models FWIW (well at least Civic and Accord vs Corolla and Camry. All of which I cross shopped).
It might be more accurate to say Honda WAS way up there. Those 90s honda's were as good as anything out there. The evidence is the last 5-10 years of products are not remotely up to that standard. They aren't horrible but more of a just above average rank. And the average car these days is pretty darn solid.
Consumer Reports gives Honda a “72” score in reliability. Toyota, which one would assume reading around here are indestructible, is given a score of “73”. Audi, a bad word around here, is given “77”. Porsche, which you assume requires putting a lien on your firstborn before accepting delivery, is number 1 at “86”. Subaru, ranked #3 overall, has notorious oil burning issues. My wife’s car has it. My in-laws vehicle has it, everyone I know who owns a Subaru has oil problems.

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bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Mon May 11, 2020 3:04 pm

AverageInvestor1982 wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:36 am
I would press Acura (Honda) to address this as politely and firmly as I could. Even after their cars are out of warranty, they will usually at least pay for a percentage of the repair. They design and test their with the expectation they will go 200,000 mi, so I think they would be willing to pay up to 60% of the cost.

Keep in mind, its not the dealership that will pay the cost, it's Honda. The dealership will be applying to Honda to get the cost re-reimbursed. The dealership will make money on the labor, so they will generally be willing to at least try. Talk to the sales manager directly first and tell him your story. "Hey, I just bought this thing. I had it inspected. I'm really hoping Honda/Acura will stand behind their product. I'm not saying I deserve a free engine, but certainly considerable help."

Honda/Acura are generally higher reliability and Honda does about as good of a job of standing behind their product as anyone. You go online and find posts for any company or any car where "I had one (or knew someone) and died! I will never buy again." Ignore anecdotal advice.

How much do you like the car in general? Is it SH-AWD or FWD? One has a 3.7 liter engine, the other a 3.5. I ask because the 3.7 has some known issues that have driven up repair claims. They have addressed a lot of the issues, so if things go well, and you can get a new engine block through Honda, you would likely end up with a very reliable car for a long time to come. I have a 2014 TL with the 3.7. It had a small oil leak when it was under warranty. Acura dealership replaced the whole block free of charge and gave me a 3 week MDX loaner.

If Honda/Acura won't do anything for you at all (i'd be surprised if they didn't), then go to an independent mechanic. Overall cost would be much cheaper. Hit me up if you are near Central Ohio, i have a line on a good one.
Hi Jags4186,

It's a SH-AWD with a 6-speed manual and has the 3.7 liter engine. Cosmetically in great condition (thought that doesn't help if it doesn't run!).

Was the warranty within the first 5 year / 70k miles? Acura extended the warranty on these to 8 year 125k miles for the oil consumption. However, they are saying that since I authorized the head of the engine to be taken off and they can see the damage they can't do the oil test because they know it will burn oil. I really feel like Acura of Boston and Acura Corporate are taking me for a ride here.

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by mhalley » Mon May 11, 2020 3:04 pm

I got a letter regarding a class action lawsuit regarding TLs using oil. I tossed it as mine doesn't seem affected, but perhaps bringing it up will help your negotiations. I am usually not a fan of these as the lawyers get $$$$$ and you get $, but might be worth looking into:
https://margarianlaw.com/acura-engine-d ... stigation/
Looks like they extended the wauranty to 8 years 125k miles.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Acura/comments ... nsumption/
O, here is a copy of the lawsuit paper:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Acura/comments ... n_lawsuit/

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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by whodidntante » Mon May 11, 2020 3:08 pm

oldfort wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:38 pm
I would never pay $7k to fix a vehicle worth $13k or less. If it's a manufacturing defect, Acura should fix this. If they won't, treat the vehicle like it's been totaled.
Do you regularly recommend to light 6 grand on fire or just in this specific instance?

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bogler52
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Mon May 11, 2020 3:11 pm

wriley4409 wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 1:08 pm
There is a "hidden" warranty related to excessive oil consumption that has not expired yet. This warranty covers repairs for this issue for eight years or 125k miles.

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/ ... 7-0001.pdf
Hi wriley4409,

Yes, my car would be covered under this oil consumption warranty. When I brought this up to Acura they said that since I authorized the dealer to remove the head of the engine after their suggestion so they could see what's going on inside, they now know that it will burn oil because they can see the damage and won't do the test.

I believe that Acura of Boston would have had a good idea that this could be the issue since they are Acura master mechanics and they would also have access to this service bulletin: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2013/ ... 4-9222.pdf

That service bulletin is VIN specific and does affect my vehicle. I would be surprised if they didn't know about this, too. I've found all this through my own research.

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