Okay TFL. Here's the scenario:
My daughter bought a 2004 Civic EX coupe in Sept. 227K miles but the guy who sold it to us is a "Master Mechanic" at our local Ohio Dept. of Transportation. Seemed like a good guy. He likes to flip cars on the side. I looked over the car before she bought it. Almost no rust, just a few minor scratches. Said the motor is from another Civic and the transmission is rebuilt. I took it for a spin (5-speed manual) and it drove great. And the interior is a 9/10. Everything works. She paid $2500 for it which I thought was fair.
Four months later, the engine is seized. I even checked the oil in October. No idea where all of oil went. Now we don't know what to do. Maybe it's my daughter's age and that she didn't see the oil light come on. I don't know. I called the guy who sold it to me and asked if he would consider looking at it and even offered to pay for his time. He's busy until the end of March. The shop it is currently at wants $2600 for a warrantied engine and installation.
I have considered buying a used engine on Ebay or through an engine refurbishment company and pulling the old one and installing a new one. That's going to take me several weeks and on a scale of 1-10 I'm about a 5 when it comes to wrenching. A newish engine is $800. On top of that for tools and a hoist, jacks, etc it's going to push $1200 easily. Plus, she borrowed $1000 to buy the car after she sold her '96 Jeep GC that was starting to have issues so she's on the hook for around $800 (which she will pay back regardless. One rule in my house: kids pay for their own cars, insurance and phones). So in the end she will have to borrow the funds for this project from the wife and I.
The other option is to sell the car as-is. I figure we could get $1500 for it? That takes care of the car loan and puts $700 in her pocket towards a new one.
What would TFL do?
TL;DR Daughter has a broken car with a seized engine. Car body, transmission and interior seem to be worth saving.