Guides

Used Car Engines – Are they Safe to Install?

Why Install a Used Car Engine?

If you happen to fall into the unfortunate circumstances of having your car engine fail, you have a couple of choices. You can buy another car (if it’s in your budget) or you can look for another used engine. And depending on your financial circumstances, buying a used engine can be cost effective and still provide reliable transportation.

Installing a used car engine is much like buying a used car, however, it’s less expensive and you can avoid the pushy salesperson. When you make the choice to buy a used engine, you can keep your beloved car and simply replace the failing part with one that works! Similar to buying a used car, when you buy a used engine, there will be pros and cons. Try to stay positive!

Before you think that you have to buy a new engine, consider information about used engines. And, whether or not you choose to install a used engine, you need to examine your budget and your ability to step outside your comfort level.

It’s very important that you know how to choose a reliable used car engine. You may want to bring along a trusted friend, one who has a keen knowledge of cars and engines, to help you with your selection. Further, you want to do your homework–do your research!

Save Money

Purchasing a reliable used engine will save you a lot of money. As long as you make an informed choice, your used engine will work just as well as a new one. Just think: if you get your car working for hundreds of dollars less, you will already have come out ahead.

Moreover, think of all the stress you can alleviate knowing that you can keep your car running with a limited amount of hassle. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Desperation never made a good bargain.” If you’re so worried about having a running car that you decide to buy another car instead of choosing a used engine that will do the job, you’re incurring more expenses and perhaps, a lemon.

It’s odd to think that a car owner might want to buy another used car instead of simply buying a used engine for the otherwise fine working car! If you can familiarize yourself with the components of an engine and what makes it reliable, you’re doing yourself a favor.

Save the Environment

Did you know that by installing a used or “recycled” engine, you are making a positive and lasting impact on the environment. You’ve heard of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Installing a used engine or motor means there will be one less engine in the junkyard or landfill. Therefore, not only are you saving money, you are saving the planet.

Installing a used car engine helps the environment, because you are recycling an engine and using it as long as you can before it dies. And as you can imagine, many engines are disposed of simply because the individual had no idea of whether or not the engine could be fixed. Instead of watching a car engine wither away and rust, recycling the engine by repairing and using it for as long as you can is an effective way to lessen your environmental impact.

Save Yourself Headaches by Finding a Reliable Mechanic

Since the engine is the most important part of any car, if it doesn’t work well, nothing else really matters. The used engine you install as a replacement for the broken one must be reliable. Before you install a used engine, be sure to have it inspected by a mechanical expert you trust.

If you plan to install a new engine, then find a mechanic who knows about new engines. And as you probably could imagine, many of the mechanic shops you visit are going to recommend you install a new engine. However, you will also find automotive shops that know about saving you money and the environment, and they will be happy to recommend, and be able to inspect, a used engine.

A few last words

Some of the things that auto mechanics look for in a used engine are as follows:

  • Low miles
  • Previous repairs
  • Warranty

If you’re lucky enough to purchase a used engine with a warranty or a used transmissions, you can feel comfortable when you have a problem. However, in the long run, purchasing and installing a used engine just makes good sense. You may never go back.

How To Fix Common Engine Problems

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.