Just bought a lemon. Seized engine.

1.8-liter VVTL-i (2ZZ-GE) and VVT-i (1ZZ-FE) engine, transmission, exhaust, intake, and performance tuning discussions
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DanS
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:50 am

Just bought a lemon. Seized engine.

Post by DanS »

Got a 2006 Vibe with automatic transmission and 164k miles for $3800. New tires, exhaust, ice cold A/C, no rust, Very nice car except the engine seized up on highway 30 minutes into a trip to an inspection station last Friday. First, oil light started to flicker. Few minutes later a rattling noise at which point I quickly pulled over to the nearest gas station (5 minutes after I started hearing the noise). Oil level was almost full. Added pint of oil, started the car, surprisingly quiet, got back on the road and 1/4 of a mile later the rattling came back, instantly intensified and the car stalled right away. Local mechanic will get me prices for rebuilt engine with 3 year warranty and used 75k miles with one year warranty. Sounds like used engine might be a safer bet but I read that rebuilt engine could be as good as OEM. Any thoughts? Also why would the engine run like a champ during the test drive and a 15 minute trip home. Was the problem possibly masked by the seller's mechanic? Did the oil pump fail? $4k is a lot to swallow...not sure what to do honestly.
Update on the price- $5400 installed used engine 71k miles
SSizler
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:06 pm
Location: Urbandale, Iowa

Re: Just bought a lemon. Seized engine.

Post by SSizler »

Welcome to genvibe!
Sorry to hear about the problem with your new-to-you Vibe.
Sounds like your oil pump pickup may have gotten clogged?
There have been a couple of other posts about this issue recently.
$5400 seems a bit high for an engine replacement.
I would probably search for another Vibe for $5400 or less.
There are still nice ones out there to be had.
Keep us updated on the your decisions.
2003 Vibe Base / Frosty Mono / Moon & Tunes / Auto / Well equipped / 200k mi
2006 Vibe AWD / Lava Red Mono / Loaded w/Leather and Sport Pkg / 141k mi
Many other 2 & 4 wheel toys :mrgreen:
39 years with a wonderful woman / 2 adult kids
DanS
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:50 am

Re: Just bought a lemon. Seized engine.

Post by DanS »

My coworker hooked me up with a mechanic who will rebuild (hopefully remanufacture) the engine for $2500. I can only trust my friend's recommendation and the mechanics expertise.
About the seized engine...yes I heard rattling and knocking that lead it to stall. The engine temperature never spiked though and oil level was ok. So was it really lack of lubrication? I doubt the oil pump failed. Thinking something got loose 🤔? The current mechanic said he saw metal particles in the engine oil.
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