Should I have my BMW 525 SE's engine rebuilt at great expense or scrap it?

I have owned my BMW 525 SE automatic since new in September 2001. I have fastidiously maintained it, including recently even changing the so-called for life gearbox oil. It ran perfectly reaching 160,000 miles until last week, when there was a massive rupture in the radiator, which has now been replaced, but my independent BMW garage tell me that although I switched off quickly the engine is damaged. They strongly suspect a cylinder head gasket failure. In their experience the head will be warped and the studs will have stretched, so any repair will be expensive. They recommend that I should try and find a salvaged engine from a breaker.

My choices are: 1) Walk away from her; offered £300 which will just about cover cost of new radiator. 2) buy a salvaged engine and take a chance that it is OK. I have been quoted £1050 which, with transport and installation costs, will work out at about £1500. 3) Get the engine remanufactured at cost of £1800 including transport and installation. 4) Get my local specialist BMW garage to strip it down and repair it at whatever the final unknown costs are. My head says option 1 but my heart says option 4. She's in lovely condition despite the mileage and age. Am I bonkers to spend more?

Asked on 19 June 2010 by BMWluver

Answered by Honest John
Sadly I'd say walk away. It's very difficult but that is the only rational thing to do. Even when repaired more will go wrong because of the age of the car.
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