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Ok. I'm super new here. Please help. I recently inherited a 2006 Mazda 3 when my mother passed away. I had the engine light come on followed by the AT light, did some research and figured I needed a new TCM. Had to take it to work the other day and it died on the highway... everyone I've talked to is pretty sure I threw a rod. It makes a god awful sound when you crank it on. Tow truck driver told me I have a really pretty lawn ornament. My question is, would it be worth replacing the engine and the transmission? I love the car and everything else is mint. Even have a new deck and all kinds of upgrades. It's got 350+ km on it. Just wondering what thoughts people might have before I take it into a shop.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Depends what value you place on it as your mother's car. If you threw a rod there'll be heaps of metal particles in the oil and a loud banging when you crank it. In Australia, if I wanted to keep it, I'd be looking for a second hand replacement engine.

If your not certain of the problem I'd do a compression check or if you don't know how to do that get a mechanic's opinion. Rod's don't usually let go unless you are flogging the crap out of the engine - no warning light monitors the condition of the rods.
 

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Wow, that's over 200k miles...good job! Replacing the engine is a good thing to do on this Gen1 version of the Mazda3. With the '06-'09 versions, going from a 2.3L Mazda engine to a 2.5L Ford duratech engine is the way to go.

Do you have the 2.3L (S model) or the 2.0L (i model)? And what country are you in?

I replaced my daughter's '07 2.0L engine with a '12 Ford Fusion 2.5L engine and have no regrets. Her engine blew the head gasket at 155k miles (248k km) but the car was still in good shape. Along with the engine swap I replaced her front brakes, struts, shocks, springs and a few other minor things. For a little over $2000 invested she has a car that should last her another 150k miles.
 

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You got a car for free. That's awesome. If the body is fine, the interior isn't thrashed, and the suspension is OK, I'd drop a 2.5L in it and get the transmission rebuilt while you're at it. Don't look at resale value versus money spent on repairs -- refer to the first sentence of my post. The car was FREE. People shouldn't look at resale value of vehicles, because they're depreciating assets 99% of the time.

I gauge something like the engine and transmission like this: If I spend $2,000 on this vehicle and drive it every day for a year, I'll amortize the cost across 365 days, and there's my cost per day for the vehicle. Once one year is past, every day afterward is "free" save for typical maintenance.

Quite honestly, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
 
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