When your vehicle’s engine stops working, you have some important decisions to make.
This is especially true if you do not have a background in auto mechanics, which can mean it will be a time-consuming and potentially costly endeavor to try to fix the problem yourself.
You also have the option of taking the non-functioning engine to a qualified mechanic and paying them to do the repairs. But if it can’t be fixed, you will then be on the hook both for the cost of the attempted repairs and for a whole new engine.
At this point you may be wondering if there is another option. Thankfully, there is! It is at precisely this point where many vehicle owners choose to invest in a used engine instead.
Here are some tips that can help you decide on the best solution to your problem.
Is It Really Your Engine?
Chances are good you first noticed the problem when your vehicle’s dashboard “check engine” light came on.
But this light doesn’t necessarily mean your whole engine has gone bad. It could just mean something like a wire or cap has gotten loose and needs tightening.
Most auto parts stores are happy to help with this. Ask about renting a diagnostic device that can analyze what is going on with your engine and identify the problem. Then you can make the necessary adjustments and get back on the road.
New Versus Used: Which Engine Is Best?
There is no doubt you will pay more for a new engine than you will for a used version of the same.
Here, expect to pay approximately double the price for a new engine versus what you would pay for a used engine for sale.
Other Costs Associated With Buying a Used Engine
Here again, unless you have a background with vehicle repair, you will likely need to hire a mechanic to install your used engine.
Since you have already purchased the used engine, your costs will largely be in the form of labor. For a simple engine replacement job, you can expect the labor costs for installation to run you anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.
At this point, you may be wondering if buying a used engine is worth it in terms of its useful life. The type of used engine you buy will be your biggest clue about its potential useful life.
Wherever possible you should look for a remanufactured engine – this means the engine has been reassembled according to the current industry standards for that engine.
Should You Invest in a Used Engine?
Truthfully, this is not a question with a “one size fits all” answer. It depends on the quality of the used engine you buy, your budget and the overall condition of the vehicle itself.
If you are installing an engine in an older vehicle and are looking to save money, a used engine is definitely a great option. But if you prefer the longest-lasting engine, you can’t beat the life expectancy of a new engine.