Ask Bark: The Element of Surprise

Phil writes:

Hi Bark,

My 2003 Honda Element is in need of a new engine due to a burnt valve. The vehicle is in otherwise good shape, with both the body and interior holding up well. I would like to keep it. However, my Element’s 240,000 miles and the quoted $2,800 price for a 70,000-mile replacement engine give me pause. I have another newer vehicle, so transportation isn’t a problem.

Should I fix the Honda and keep it as a sometimes commuter — or move on?

Ah, sentimentality. I’m going to answer your question in a bit here, but allow me some poetic license first.

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Hyundai (Finally) Recalls Sonatas Over Engine Debris Issues

Hyundai, looking down the barrel of a class-action lawsuit, has finally agreed to recall 2011 and 2012 model year Sonatas for engine issues resulting from metallic debris.

According to Automotive News, the issue affects Sonatas equipped with both naturally aspirated 2.4-liter and turbocharged 2.0-liter engines due to debris not being properly removed from crankshafts when they were manufactured.

Hyundai will also extend powertrain warranties on the engine sub-assembly for affected models.

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  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
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