Originally Posted by JS1970
My daughter is off at college a few hours away and drives a 2007 Honda Accord 4-cyl. She puts ~20K a year on it because the family is scattered about, so it now has almost 200,000 miles on it. I was hoping it would last her another two years. It died on her yesterday. She took it to a shop today and they said the engine had no compression, no coolant, and no oil. He also said they couldn't find a source of a leak and there was no oil on the motor. The seal on the oil filter was good and she had the oil changed pretty recently, probably within the past month. As far as I know, the car was not smoking nor did a check oil light come on until maybe after it died. The mechanic admitted he was mystified. Now tomorrow I guess I'll have to pay for ANOTHER tow to have a more experienced mechanic look at it, but I am expecting the worst.
I am no expert or even close but I am guessing it could be a head gasket, cracked block, or simply a seized engine. I looked it up and the blue book value is around $2,000. If it turns out to be as bad as it sounds, would you put in a replacement engine into this car, or just go ahead and start shopping for a replacement vehicle? I know a replacement engine is cheaper than a decent used car but at 200,000 miles I am struggling with whether to put more money into it--plus I'm worried about what kind of damage may have been done to the engine if there was no oil in it (I'm unsure on this though). She needs a reliable car that can make 4-6 hour trips every couple of weeks. Thoughts? What would you do?
Is there any idea on whether it lost all of it's oil first? Or did it loose it's coolant first? Just asking, as somethings not adding up. A loss of oil would have brought on a warning light (low oil pressure), or at a minimum a rod knock.
Loss of coolant should have been noticed by the temp guage, and the lack of a cooling fan (once the level drops off), as the sensors for both are liquid operated (I wanted to say liquid cooled, but it really doesn't quite work like that). But even still, the operator should have noticed something wrong before it happened. Also, an overheated engine will cause the piston rings to stick to the pistons, causing no compression. I ran into that a couple of years ago on a Chevy S-10 V6, and pulled the engine and rebuilt it once I found the rings stuck to the pistons. That engine was still full of oil, but had no coolant in it.
At this point, I'd first get a 2nd opinion, and then look thru Craig's list for a possible replacement vehicle. I only say that, as you're going to want an idea of what replacing the existing vehicle will cost, and see if repairing the existing vehicle will be worth it in the long run. What you might find out is rather than rebuilding the existing engine, you might be better off replacing the engine in it's entirety, and keep using it. It's really hard to say one way or the other without knowing your budget, or what cars are selling for in your area.
I know this isn't as much help as you'd like to get, but I hope it does help.