Used engine buying guide
Engines are the life source for your vehicle. As such, they’re one of the most expensive replacement parts you’ll incur. Depending on factors like age, make, model, and sourcing, you can pay hundreds to thousands for a new replacement engine. Used engines are a fraction of the cost, but you must be very careful that you’re actually getting a good deal. Here are some tips to help you do your due diligence in buying your vehicle a used engine.
Gather Your Information
You will need the VIN number, engine code, and the production date to determine if a used engine is compatible with your vehicle.
Does The Engine Have An Extended Warranty?
It’s a prudent move to purchase an extended warranty anytime it’s available on a used engine. The seller can be reputable and sell you an excellent product, but that doesn’t mean that your engine is immune to unforeseen issues in the near future. It’s best to protect your investment against the ‘what ifs.’
What’s The Mileage On The Engine?
The engine’s mileage is a must-know since it often influences the lifespan of the engine. The lower the engine’s miles, the less wear and tear you can expect. Anything over 75,000 miles is considered a high-mileage engine.
The seller should readily provide mileage information and any supporting documentation on the engine to you. If not, ask for it. Don’t forget to confirm any unsupported information. A free history report on the vehicle the engine came from is an excellent source to confirm seller’s information.
Speaking of seller questions, don’t be shy about asking any other technical, safety, and reliability questions you want to know about the engine. When was it last cranked? Does it need other parts or is it ready to install? Is it salvaged from a wreck
Are All The Parts Accounted For?
Before handing over the cash, inspect the engine to ensure it has all the parts and they’re in good working order. There are eight main parts you should check off:
1. Spark Plugs – produces sparks to ignite an air/fuel mixture for combustion.
2. Valves – intake and exhaust valves strategically open to let out exhaust and let in air and fuel, and they close during compression and combustion.
3. Piston – cylindrical metal piece that moves up and down inside the cylinder.
4. Piston Rings – sealing devices between the outer edge of the piston and the inner edge of the cylinder so that oil doesn’t leak into the combustion area and fuel/air mixture and exhaust doesn’t leak into the sump.
5. Cylinder Sleeves – chambers where pistons are located.
6. Sump – oil reservoir surrounding the crankshaft.
7. Connecting Rod – connects the piston to the crankshaft.
8. Crankshaft – much like the turn on a Jack-in-the-box, it uses a circular motion to turn pistons up-and-down.
Do You Need Professional Help?
You’ll want to gather the above information and pass it on to your mechanic for further advisement before you buy used motors. Bring the used engine to your mechanic for inspection to ensure all parts are present, in good working order, and an ideal fit for your vehicle; if possible, do this before you purchase the engine.
In fact, before you purchase a used engine, you should take your existing engine by a professional mechanic to ensure that you actually need a replacement. It may be that a repair could more cost-effectively solve your engine problem.
Is there a core charge for your damaged engine?
Most sellers require a core back when you buy engines, transmissions, motors and transfer cases. Check with your sales rep to make sure there is no extra upfront or after the sale core charge.
We Are Here To Help
Our highly trained mechanics will be more than happy to help you with your engine maintenance, repair, and replacement needs.
With cutting edge automotive diagnostic equipment, we can pinpoint your issue immediately and accurately so that you don’t waste time wondering.
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