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Csosz74

2003 Ls430 Overheated

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Hey everyone,

my boss was driving to LAX, when lost coolant, the car stopped and had to be towed to a repair shop nearby. The mechanic said he was driving without coolant for a long time, the engine has been severely overheated. Probably thermostat, water pump, radiator failure, he does not know. He says the compression is 25 in the cylinders. He suggests to change the engine. My question: is it usually better the swap the engine then repair? He gave an estimate for $6000 with labor, new engine tune up, change misc. parts which need to be replaced (obviously the radiator, maybe some tubes, etc). The 'new' engine has 45000 miles in it, or at least that's what they say. I guess that's a very good price.

Thanks, best regards

A

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So the mechanic knows that the engine is destroyed, and yet is unable to find or diagnose the coolant loss? Big alarm bells. He's apparently able to find and remove the spark plugs to do a compression test. He should have done a wet test - added oil - and re-tested the compression. If it comes up, install the plugs, and add coolant and fire the engine up. Then, and only then, would one be able to condemn the engine.

Lexus does not supply oversize pistons, just stock pistons and rings. If the engine is truly badly damaged, then installing a good used one is the way to go - except that it should be installed by a competent mechanic.

There are cases of fraudulent people repairing engines they condemn and then representing the engine as new or replaced. It's quite profitable for them.

He needs to make the case a bit better for $6k. And your boss should visit the shop during the job to see the engine out of the car and the "new" one as well.....

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Yeah, lots of red flags with this mechanic. Time to seek a second mechanic's opinion before proceeding with a replacement engine.

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Ok, here is an update. There was no overheating, but there was smoke coming into the cabin from under. The car has been towed to another mechanic. It turned out the timing belt broke. He took the engine apart and put it together, everything's fine, except cylinder number 1-3-7 has misfire at higher RPM. So they are working on that now, but other than that, the engine is strong as before. And he paid around 2500.

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