Does my Car Really Need a New Engine?

I need some advice. I have a Saab which has been garage kept and is pristine other than the minor detail that I need a new engine. (I know, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?) 2 mechanics have told me that the culprit is sludge, which I don’t understand since the car has 140,000 miles on it and I changed the oil faithfully.

Anyway, it’s paid for, and I like not having a car note. What are the best methods for me to find a low mileage engine and someone reputable to install it? Would you recommend this as an option? What would be a fair price for the engine and the labor? How long should I expect the transplanted engine to last?


Hi there,

One small thing you forgot to mention…..why does it need a new engine, does it not run, runs bad, smokes out tailpipe, sounds terrible, has low oil pressure etc. etc. etc. I know you said it has sludge, but what is the main reason for getting a new engine? Just because it has sludge inside?

I seldom see Saabs in my shop…..ok, almost never, so I am not all that familiar with them. Which is my point, you need to find a shop that IS familiar with them and is competent in overhauling your engine or someone else’s engine and installing it in your Saab.


Hey there,

Going to the wrong shop, even a large sophisticated shop like mine will only cost you lots of money and get you poor quality service. Most shops in my immediate area would not be a good candidate for engine overhaul or rebuilding on this vehicle. They are different machines than what most U.S and Japanese mechanics are used to working on.

So, in my opinion I would either consider a Saab dealership and preferably buying a Saab rebuild engine with a Saab warranty OR try to find a low mileage Saab in the junk yard and buy the engine and have your mechanic install it. Installing it is not that complex, rebuilding and overhauling the engine is the hard part.


Austin Davis

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Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."