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I found out a few days ago that my '95 Chevy Lumina car (3.1, 8th digit of the VIN is "M", for what that's worth) is about to throw a rod. It has 130,000 miles on it, and I'm a bit shocked it didn't last longer, though I bought it used. My mechanic, who is competent and trustworthy, recommended trading it in, rather than sinking more money in the car.

After thinking about it, and because money is very tight right now, I believe I am going to replace the engine. I don't have a lot of knowledge on this topic, but after a couple of hours on the phone and on the internet, I'm getting quotes of $2100 to $2500 to install a rebuilt or re-manufactured engine with a 3-yr/36K warranty.

So my questions are:

1. What is the difference between rebuilt and remanufactured? Is one better than the other, or are the terms interchangeable? I get the impression there is a bit of snake-oil when I hear one mechanic saying rebuilt is better, and another says remanufactured is better, depending on what they sell. One shop that I am considering describes their remanufacturing process here. Is this any better or worse than a typical re-build?

http://www.enginehouse.com/index.html (Click on "engine exchange to the left)

2. Most of the quotes I'm getting include a few hundred for misc stuff, like new oil pump and/or water pump, plugs, gaskets, radiator flush, etc. However, the list of included stuff seems to vary quite a bit. Which items should I expect to be included?

3. As long as the engine is being replaced, are there other items that you recommend replacing at the same time to save labor charges, such as alternator?

4. Any general tips on such a process, or common complaints that I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance.
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