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2012 Buick Lacrosse / Dealer says engine is blown. How can I be sure?

Ken Vol Fan

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2012 Buick Lacrosse
Help an old guy out here if you can. Local GM/Buick/Chev dealer says the engine is blown.
2012 Lacrosse V6.
I was driving 70 mph and the engine just quit. Coasted to a stop. Would not restart.
Warning message "Service Battery Charging System" came on.
Tried a jump start. No luck. Got one click each time I tried to start, but the starter would
not engage. Battery is still good, fairly new. 50 miles before this, the "Stabil Trac Service" light came on. (May not be related.)
Towed to the dealer. Mechanic said he finally got it started, and the engine was "clunking"
terrible. He first said all the oil was out of the engine, but we looked at the dipstick and it
appeared only 1 qt low.
There is no oil leak signs on the engine, no oil spill where I broke down.
There was no unusual noise or engine vibration when the motor quit on me.
Does this sound right? With an estimate of $7K for a used engine on a car worth less
than $10K total (96K miles on it), I'm not inclined to replace the engine.
Should I have it towed to another dealer/shop for a second opinion?
You would think I could trust a high volume GM dealer, but this whole thing sounds
fishy to me.
 

MelsRegal

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Seems like you're only choice if you dont trust them is to tow it to a private shop that you trust where the labor rate is lower to determine the problem.
 

EDSELRANGER

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Sounds "fishy" to me too.

Pretty hard to determine what went wrong with your engine from behind this keyboard. The mechanic says the "engine is blown". Sounds like what he's really saying is that he can't fix it because he's not exactly sure what's wrong with it.

One thing is for sure... either the engine had oil or it didn't. You say the mechanic told you that "all the oil was out of the engine" but the dipstick showed only a quart low. Who are you gonna believe... the dipstick or the mechanic? (Actually this may be a case of one dipstick's word against another.)

Better find another qualified mechanic for a second opinion.
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ThatsNotABuick!

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2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo M6
Sounds like the mechanic is the dipstick! I would never have a dealer replace the engine, they charge too much. I saw a 2012 engine with only 7500 miles (almost brand new) for $1200. A decent independent shop should be able to put it in for less than $2K.
 

Davidayackle

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Sounds like the mechanic is the dipstick! I would never have a dealer replace the engine, they charge too much. I saw a 2012 engine with only 7500 miles (almost brand new) for $1200. A decent independent shop should be able to put it in for less than $2K.
Awesome you say this... I just love when people think dealers are too expensive. I agree some are, You have to do some shopping around. What if I told you I know a Buick dealer that charges $97 a hour labor. All day long everyday they work on the same make and model car you drive. This motor swap calls for 7.9 hours labor... Call it 8 hours and that's $776 in labor from a actual GM certified tech that can do the work blindfolded. Or go to Joe blow down the street for your 2k.
 

MelsRegal

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Awesome you say this... I just love when people think dealers are too expensive. I agree some are, You have to do some shopping around. What if I told you I know a Buick dealer that charges $97 a hour labor. All day long everyday they work on the same make and model car you drive. This motor swap calls for 7.9 hours labor... Call it 8 hours and that's $776 in labor from a actual GM certified tech that can do the work blindfolded. Or go to Joe blow down the street for your 2k.
You actually have GM dealers in the same geographical area that have different hourly rates?
Havent seen 97/hr in decades. Current rate for the only dealer left is 130/hr.
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Mad*Max

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2010 LaCrosse CXS, 2019 Corvette Stingray, 2018 Cadillac ATS AWD
Awesome you say this... I just love when people think dealers are too expensive. I agree some are, You have to do some shopping around. What if I told you I know a Buick dealer that charges $97 a hour labor. All day long everyday they work on the same make and model car you drive. This motor swap calls for 7.9 hours labor... Call it 8 hours and that's $776 in labor from a actual GM certified tech that can do the work blindfolded. Or go to Joe blow down the street for your 2k.
Forget the hourly rate...their lies can get very expensive.
 

ThatsNotABuick!

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2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo M6
Awesome you say this... I just love when people think dealers are too expensive. I agree some are, You have to do some shopping around. What if I told you I know a Buick dealer that charges $97 a hour labor. All day long everyday they work on the same make and model car you drive. This motor swap calls for 7.9 hours labor... Call it 8 hours and that's $776 in labor from a actual GM certified tech that can do the work blindfolded. Or go to Joe blow down the street for your 2k.
Well most dealers are too expensive. Good for you that you have one that is reasonable. Unfortunately, people have limited choices in their immediate areas. That $7K quote was ridiculous for a used engine! I would be expecting a brand new engine for that much. Just because someone is a certified tech, doesn't mean they can't make mistakes. I promise you that can not do it blindfolded and beat book time! Most guys just want to pump out as much as they can. Sure there are some tricks that save time, but any competent non-GM mechanic should be able to pull out and install an engine with no issues. I pull and install transmissions for one brand all the time, but would not have a problem with another make. The basics are the same and you just have to pay attention to the differences. We have people on our FB forum that does it faster than that book time and they don't even have a lift!
 

HotZ28

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1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU
Help an old guy out here if you can. Local GM/Buick/Chev dealer says the engine is blown.
2012 Lacrosse V6.
I was driving 70 mph and the engine just quit. Coasted to a stop. Would not restart.
Warning message "Service Battery Charging System" came on.
Tried a jump start. No luck. Got one click each time I tried to start, but the starter would
not engage. Battery is still good, fairly new. 50 miles before this, the "Stabil Trac Service" light came on. (May not be related.)

fishy to me.
Have you had the battery load tested? If the alternator has failed, it can not keep a new battery charged! If battery voltage drops below 11-v it would be very hard to "jump" start the car. Yes, there is something "fishy" going on here!!
 

2007LucerneCXL

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2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
The clunking noise is not as serious as a banging noise, but more serious than a tapping noise. I would recommend just buying a new vehicle and be done with all technical noise mumbo jumbo issue as that would be the easiest route for the service center.

If they can't give you more details on the specific problem, remember you paid them for their service, ask what process they went through to come to this decision. It very well may be a dropped rod, broken rocker, bad piston, timing chain, etc but it's in the details of the problem that help in deciding what is your next step will be.

Look on the bright side, these people decided on the automotive field and not the medical field LOL.
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