Cheaper to Replace a Suburban Engine or Just Buy Another One?

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Chevrolet Suburban

If your Suburban needed a new engine but you could buy a newer one for cheap, which option would you go with?

When you own a vehicle for a long time and rack up tons of miles, you inevitably get to the point where tough decisions must be made. Do you continue to sink money into repairing said vehicle, or just cut your losses and buy another one? And that’s exactly the point Chevrolet Forum member tpass reached with his Chevy Suburban lately. But instead of relying on his gut to choose the best path, he wisely leaned on his fellow members for advice by posting this thread.

“I have a 2009 Suburban LTZ with 208,000 miles and the engine needs to be replaced. I’ve been quoted $7,800 from the Chevrolet dealership and $6,800 from a local mechanic. However, there’s a 2015 Suburban LTZ with 100,000 miles at a price I’m comfortable taking a loan at.

My question is, should I replace the engine or should I buy the used Suburban instead? Is it worth the upgrade, or is it really just a money thing and the engine is the cheaper option? My current Suburban is paid off, so I would be entering into a new loan. I’m at a loss as to what to do and I don’t know how much longer this engine is going to hold up.”

Chevrolet Suburban

On the surface, this seems like a pretty tough choice. But fellow member SabrToothSqrl helps break things down with some tidy and logical math.

“Here’s some easy math that doesn’t take into account a loan. But you can factor it in using the monthly car loan payment. If it’s $500 and your old truck takes $7k to repair, it would need to last 14 months to break even. Not taking into consideration the interest on the loan. Of course, most cars are depreciating assets, so you lose money no matter what you do. Me? I’d be replacing the engine myself if I had another car to drive in the mean time. I can’t do it in a weekend myself.”

Chevrolet Suburban

Fellow member in2pro agrees, and also notes that there will inevitably be additional costs that arise later on.

“Consider what you would be paying for several years versus a one-time payment for a repair. If you are going to keep it for 2-3 more years, I say go for the new engine. Bear in mind that the transmission could be needing repair on either vehicle and that could be another 3k down the line.”

So far, the OP has received some pretty great advice on his Suburban dilemma. But we want to know what you think. So, head over here and tell us (and the OP) what you’d do if faced with this kind of decision!

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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