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Two days before christmas I noticed that my engine oil pressure was a little high at normal driving rpms (2-2.5k) and low during idle. The engine ran fine with no noticeable differences noise or performance wise. I took it in for an oil change because it was due for one hoping this might be the source of the problem. It was not. The oil pressure spikes and drops were not as severe but still continued.
Today I finally got the chance to take it in for a diagnostic test. The technician came back with the results showing that my bearings were failing. He then said that it is not a cheap problem to fix and that it generally costs around the same amount of money to replace the engine itself due to the labor involved in fixing the bearings. His advice was to drive it until it failed, basically.
A little background on the vehicle: 2001 Dodge Dakota, 87k miles. Maintenance is pretty regular. Driving is mostly highway. (I only put about 450 miles on it a month and about 380 is on the highway.) Bought from a friend after we came back from Iraq, so it sat for most of the 15 months we were gone, with his brother going out and starting it and driving it around for one day each month, but an oil change and other minor maintenance were performed on it before I bought it.
Now for my questions:
1. Was the technician right? Are the two repairs going to cost about the same? Is the only recourse to drive until it fails?
2. If I choose to fix it, how much should each repair cost? (I have been googling this for a couple hours but can't really get any good estimates. I know next to nothing about vehicles, so estimating the amount of man hours that go into taking apart an engine is near impossible for me.)
3. If I don't choose to fix it/can't afford to fix it, what are some things to watch for when the engine gets close to failure?
Thanks for your help H/A.
"Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit, and your shit is stuff?"--George Carlin