Niagara Gazette — Option 2: Partially rebuild the old engine: This option was a little cheaper. However, I had some legitimate concerns. For instance, if we rebuilt the lower half of the engine (crankshaft, piston rings, bearings, etc), we would still have a problem with the top end. By restoring the compression to the bottom end and not doing anything to the top, we would still end up with loss of compression because the top end had sustained the same wear as the bottom. Taking into consideration that Suzie wanted to keep the car for some time, this option was a ‘no-go.’
Option 3: Install a “new rebuilt” engine: Too costly. Period.
Option 4: Install a used engine: This option was the ticket for her.
Now my challenge was to find an engine that had mid- to low mileage, was in good shape mechanically, didn’t smoke, use oil, knock, tap or had any other problem that could/would leave her stranded (and cost a lot of bucks down the road). And it had to fall within her budget!
I found such an engine and got the job done within her price range. The car ran for a long time after the repair and Suzie was a happy customer. The solution to her problem was a result of communication. An assessment of her needs and what she could afford helped me determine the best ‘fix’ for Suzie’s car. The perfect solution mechanically is not always the best solution for the customer. Each situation is different. Various factors come in to play when deciding the direction to go for some car repairs.
Another example: Let’s say that the brakes on your car are bad. You need both front and rear brakes, and the hydraulics have worn out as well (the rubber seals within the system). Your service adviser suggests that you replace the master cylinder with a new one because the old one is showing signs of seepage. Based on his experience, when hydraulic systems are refurbished without replacing the master, the original master usually goes bad shortly after. You have more than enough money to fix the brakes, but not enough to install a new master cylinder. He tells you that he cannot guarantee the job without replacing the master with a new one. Is there any option? The service adviser could consider replacing the master with a good quality rebuilt (less money), rather than insisting that a new master must be installed.