Well, I would say that if your Sentra had been completely reliable, with the exception of the engine, then I would probably rebuild the engine. Although, I would probably want to get a second opinion, if that is possible. You would have a better peace of mind knowing that the car you had is reliable and you already know the ins-and-outs. But, if it wasnt very reliable, brakes, steering, etc., then you might want to consider at least looking for a used car.
You could also rebuild the engine, and then sell it, for at least lets just say 5 grand. Then you might be able to afford a better/newer used car. Just another option.
As to the engine breaking components outside of the car/engine bay, I would say that there shouldnt be much to worry about that. The most likely scenario would be that the lack of oil created too much friction in the engine and the pistons and other components started "chewing" at the engine. Which would probably explain why it needs to be rebuilt. But again, I would recommend getting a second opinion as there could possibly be cheaper ways of getting the car running.
Hi CNET pals:
I wrote exactly 2 1/2 months before in this forum that my 97 Sentra (117K) is using the engine oil. It has not used the engine oil entirely before. But, this last time after 1000 miles of oil change, it lacked engine oil while I was driving on the interstate ...the dashboard light for engine oil pressure blinked a few times and the engine just gave up within 5 minutes. The mechanics say I have to get the engine changed. It would cost me $ 1500 - 3000 depending on whether I chose to get a used/ rebuilt engine. (The body is in good shape). They are not able to say why it broke down.
Before it gave up, the Malfunction indicator light was coming on and off for the last 10 k miles. I should say that I neglected that though I got it tested a few times with the autozone, advanced autoparts etc....they couldn't diagnose any problem.
I changed the break pads, alternator, in the last 3 months.
My real dilemma is WHETHER to get a NEW ENGINE or CHANGE MY CAR? If I think with the changed engine the car could get me till another 100 K, I AM WORRIED the engine breakdown has been caused by any problem outside the engine??? If I spend 3000 $ and buy a used car, I will have to get the parts in that car changed after I buy that because hardly will I get a good car with that amount.
Your advice is valuable to me. Please offer suggestions.