The pick and pulls are full of that vintage Civic. It might take a couple trips to a couple different yards to find the right donor but LKQ, for instance, charges $275 for a long block. Civics aren't exactly the hardest cars to work on so pulling the engine should be doable for a 5/10 skill set person. I've put 4cyl long blocks in big trunks and small hatches so if you can get someone to give you a hand you don't even really need a truck to pick it up (but having them drop in in the bed IS the easiest). Just a long afternoon at the pick and pull and a weekend or two in the garage at home.......
If 3-6 weekend days out of your life isn't worth the savings / spend just dump the car and move on!
That's optimistically an $1800-2k car if the engine wasn't blown. As it sits, $500 at most. There is an endless sea of 200k+ mile Hondas on their last legs that are one month away from ending up just like this car.
The only option that doesn't suck is to DIY swap a known, running engine into the car. Not some eBay special, or a reman, just the best local runner you can find for under $500 which is completely possible. I bet you can find a complete running car for close to that amount with body damage/dirty title/etc and pull the engine.
As for the swap itself, it's an older Honda; This is a two day job for a DIYer with no special tools needed besides something to lift the engines. Borrow a cherry picker, string a come-along to the rafters in a garage, get creative with ropes and pullies. Seriously, I've pulled engines with much less. Pull in some favors for help if you need it and you can easily get this done.
Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.
TCL voted as a stack being $1,000 but that's because that's all they can afford.
“But no, it couldn’t be that simple. Dad wants to fix it, furthermore, he wants me to help. What have I done wrong?!?!?!”
Check around FB to see if any local mechanics do extra jobs at home.
Sometimes you find somebody that will do jobs like that at home for a greatly reduced rate.
And they may know where to find a good cheap engine.
At this point just a good engine is all you need- not a low mileage premium price engine (which doesn't guarantee it's a good engine anyway. You can kill an engine really fast if you avoid maintenance.).
as an aside.
My 85 RX7 (and 04 RX8)had a low oil level light (about a quart low), low coolant level light... simple sensors and lights that tell you there is a fluid issue LONG before it can cause damage.
Why was this not made standard across all vehicles?
Cost.. and they don't care if you destroy the engine as long as they don't have to pay for it.
Last edited by BRealistic; 02-14-2020 at 12:16 PM.
It is possible the oil light was burned out, thus OP's daughter didn't know there was an issue. Op would have to confirm if this assumption is correct or not.
Regardless the driver should be checking the oil level periodically and if low top it up. As I said earlier, lots of lessons to be learned from this adventure, hopefully the OP's daughter doesn't forget them.