Engines problems? Here’s your Options
How can you know it is an engine problem?
Do you see smoke coming from the tailpipe? This could signal an engine issue. Other warning signs include strange sounds.
Watch your oil and compression pressure sensors as low pressure is another warning sign.
Something else to watch for is when oil seems to be leaking into places it shouldn’t such as into the water, radiator or air cleaner areas.
What causes engine issues?
One of the most common reasons vehicles start to have engine trouble is simple wear and tear.
This can be exacerbated if you haven’t been following the recommended preventative maintenance schedule, such as refilling water and fluids, checking oil levels, et al.
My vehicle overheated – can it be fixed?
This is a great question and one too few customers think to ask. Most owners assume once an engine has overheated the car has essentially been totaled. But this isn’t always the case.
If the rest of your vehicle still has more useful life left in it, you may consider replacing just the engine. This will almost always be cheaper than buying a different vehicle.
Here, your options can include replacing the engine with a like-for-like swap of cheap used engines, rebuilding your current engine or buying a new engine and installing it.
When you choose to replace just the engine rather than the whole vehicle, you avoid other costs that will drive up your price tag unnecessarily.
What does it mean to buy a rebuilt or remanufactured vehicle engine?
Words like “rebuilt” and “remanufactured” can be confusing if you don’t know vehicle industry lingo.
So here is what you need to know. When an engine has been rebuilt (also called remanufactured), this means it has been taken apart and reassembled from scratch according to the industry standards for that vehicle’s make, model and year.
Some components may be in great shape and can be used as-is. Other components may be replaced during the rebuilding process.
Only highly skilled machinists have the skills and training to do this type of engine rebuild. Often, their work results in a better, sturdier and more reliable engine than the one that originally came with your vehicle!
Rebuilt engines typically come with a warranty to safeguard your investment.
Why should I replace just the engine rather than the vehicle?
This is another smart question to ask before assuming your only option is to buy a whole new vehicle.
When you keep your current vehicle and install a rebuilt (remanufactured) engine, you are getting what is essentially a new engine with all the perks that come with it such as lower emissions, improved gas mileage and an engine warranty.
You also keep vehicle waste materials out of landfills and help save energy by repurposing perfectly good vehicle parts for further use.
Can you say more about the rebuilt (remanufactured) engine warranty?
The baseline warranty for a rebuilt or remanufactured engine is 12 months or 12,000 miles. Some warranties offer terms as long as 36 months or even unlimited miles.
It is important to read the fine print of any rebuilt or remanufactured engine warranty to be sure you know exactly what is covered and how to file your warranty claim if the need arises.
How do I locate a rebuilt transmission for sale or remanufactured vehicle engine?
You want to start by taking your vehicle to your trusted mechanic for a diagnostic checkup.
You want to verify that your engine does in fact need replacing before you go to the trouble and expense to do so. Sometimes it is simply a minor issue that your mechanic can repair on the spot!
What will it cost to install a rebuilt or remanufactured engine?
The general rule of thumb here is that the cost to purchase and install a remanufactured or rebuilt vehicle engine will represent 10 to 20 percent of what it would cost to purchase a new vehicle of that same make or model.
So if it would cost you $25,000 to buy a new vehicle, expect to pay between $2,500 and $5,000 to install a rebuilt engine in your current vehicle.
Also be sure to ask your insurer if you qualify for any discounts by installing a rebuilt engine in your current vehicle.
Be sure to review the estimate for installing the rebuilt or used engine so you know exactly what it does and does not include. The estimate should include the cost of labor plus any required parts.
The best approach is to gather at least three estimates from different mechanics before deciding who to give your business to.