TTAC Commentator cc-rider writes:
Hi Sajeev- I am a huge fan and advocate of TTAC. I have a co-worker and friend in dire need of some good advice from the best and the brightest. She has a 2002 Jeep Liberty with 110,000 miles. Last week her car had to be towed to her mechanic. She found out the engine is toast.
Turns out it is a victim of engine sludge. After the fact, it seems that this is a fairly common issue with the Jeep 3.7 V-6. It seems that a new engine would be $3,000 in parts and at least another $2,000 to be installed.
In my opinion, it seems pointless to spend that sort of money on a car that’s maybe worth $4,000. She doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on another car- maybe $2,000 at most. She doesn’t put many miles on in a year and goes mostly to and from work. I am very familiar with the Nissan SR20 engines and am partial to them. I was recommending she find a used 1st generation Infiniti G20. They seem to give a huge bang for the buck at that low price point.
I’d love to hear everyone’s take on her situation. By the way, she is in the NYC metro area for anyone with a cheap ride for sale.
So she’s just a “co-worker and a friend.” And you’re only “partial” to SR20 mills? Uh-huh.
I call shenanigans! The first-gen Infiniti G is a wonderful car that’s over 13 years old. When a dude recommends an ancient ride to a girl that (probably) has no feelings for it, there’s more than meets the eye. Recommending an old car makes you an instant caregiver: you probably enjoy that person’s company, and they’ll occupy more and more of your time quite soon.
Sorry to bust chops: I won’t recommend my favorite cars to my…uh…friends who happen to be women. And nothing more than that, of course. But if a girlie rolled up in Fox Mustang (Fox anything, for that matter) and wanted my digits, I wouldn’t show her the door. Word is Bond.
Ok, seriously. The Liberty is a goner because of the reasons you correctly stated. Unless she really loves the beast: get a used motor from a junkyard (like LKQ or car-part.com) for about $1000, and spend another $1000-ish for labor. It has a warranty, low miles and probably won’t sludge up: if you run a motor flush and religiously change synthetic oil from here on out. There are 3.7L motors that run fine with proper upkeep in brutal urban traffic, I’ve seen that personally.
Otherwise, yes, dump the Liberty and seek alternative transport. You should help her make that decision, yet narrowing down the field doesn’t mean recommending antique Nissans. Once that’s done, find a clean example of whatever ride she likes and buy her dinner to celebrate her new set of wheels. And if someone finds out they are “partial” to more than SR20 engines after a few sips of vino, so be it!
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