Will a Jeep lose value with a new aftermarket engine installed?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 2001

Dear Tom and Ray:

My son took his 2000 Jeep Wrangler in to the car dealership for its 10,000-mile checkup. When he went to pick it up, he drove it across the lot, and it died. He restarted it, and it died again. The mechanic took it back in, and it had no oil in it. It turned out that he had drained out the old oil but hadn't put any new oil in. Not good. The dealership says it might have to replace the engine. But I'm told that a car gets "tuned" to its own engine, and that with a new engine, the Jeep's value will drop $10,000. I fail to understand the logic. Can you explain? -- Bill

TOM: No, we can't. This sounds like complete bull feathers to us, Bill.

RAY: If you get a new engine after 10,000 miles, you've basically been given 10,000 free miles. So what's the problem?

TOM: And if your son sells the car with 60,000 miles on it, he can advertise it as having only 50,000 miles on the engine. That's a plus that should net him at least an extra 50 bucks in the transaction.

RAY: If you're worried about this becoming a collectors' item or some such thing, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. This is not a '56 T-bird or a '63 Corvette. Heck, it's not even a 2000 Toyota RAV4.

TOM: And in all my years of working on cars, I've never seen an engine tune itself to a particular car. It's not like a heart transplant, where you have to take immunosuppressants to keep the body from rejecting the organ. The engine will take, trust me. And you should take it. Trust me on that, too. It's a good deal, and the dealership has done the stand-up thing by replacing the engine for you.

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