I own a Suzuki Baleno 2005 JXR EFI 1298CC, the car is giving white smoke a lot when started, after consulting with the Mechanic he says that the engine needs to be overhauled. Some mechanics are saying that Engine needs to repaired/overhauled and some are saying that I should just replace the engine. I am confused about what to do.

It would be great if you guys could point me in the right direction as to what will be the best approach in this situation?

  • This is a decision you have to make - with the help of your mechanics possibly. We can’t decide how to spend your money.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 6:26
  • @SolarMike but you can share your knowledge and experience what is the better approach to go about it? Commented May 24, 2018 at 6:29
  • 1
    Both are good - putting a new engine is a simple fast solution , but rebuilding an engine may be cost effective.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 6:34

2 Answers 2


White smoke from the exhaust when started tends to point to a failed head gasket, causing coolant to burn in the cylinders. The head gasket sits between the block and the head.

This means that the entire engine does not need to be overhauled/rebuilt/whatever, but that simply the head gasket needs replacing.

In some cases, it may be cheaper to replace the engine with a second hand engine rather than replace the head gasket, as there is a large amount of labour required to replace a head gasket due to its position in the engine.

You've made the correct first step which is getting opinions from multiple mechanics.

Next, I would suggest asking each mechanic exactly what the issue is, and then get a quote on fixing the actual issue (i.e. the head gasket) vs simply replacing the entire engine, and go for the cheaper option.

  • The op has already several opinions from mechanics so your suggestion to get yet another....
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 6:57
  • @SolarMike oops, I edited my answer with similar advice but more relevant to the OP
    – WeakMech
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 7:02

The decision is ultimately yours, but I can give you some pointers:

Price: This depends on the cost of work at your place, and availability. You have basically three options: If still available, you can get a stock new engine but this is usually quite expensive so I wont go any further on that. Then you can get a used engine or overhaul the existing one. If a used engine is cheaper than an overhaul depends largely on how common such a vehicle is (good supply of used parts) and how extensive you want to make the overhaul. Try to get an estimate for both by a mechanic - you can also search the net for used engines to see about what they cost (don´t forget to account for the work of swapping).

Used engine


  • Easier to estimate costs.
  • Possibly cheaper.
  • Less wear in all parts, if you get one with less mileage.


  • You usually can´t really test the used engine.
  • The used engine will have some wear and may brake down for exactly the same reason as the current one, soon. (Look for one with considerably smaller mileage)



  • If you replace all parts affected by wear, it´s as-good-as-new
  • Sometimes you can even upgrade parts beyond new spec
  • You´ll be sure what exact condition your engine is in, afterwards


  • Costs may increase depending on what you find when you open it.
  • More complex work for the mechanic - more possibility of errors.

I had a blown head-gasket in my ´89 Toyota Supra. Decided to do an overhaul, mainly because the head-gasket is known weakness in these cars and there are aftermarket parts that solve that. While at it, I had the opportunity to upgrade some things beyond spec, so now I´m feeling really sure about the reliability of my engine

  • And the option of the new engine? Advantages?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 12:04
  • Usually not economically viable for cars that old (if at all available) ...
    – Daniel
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 13:44
  • It’s just you mentioned 3 options and only explained two...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 13:47
  • Yes you are right, tried to make it clearer in the edit that this does not seem like a viable option in this case.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 13:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .