Risks You Should Know Before Buying A Used Engine

Replacing the engine in a vehicle can be a costly venture. Still, it’s something most vehicle owners will face at some point. On average, engines last for between 150,000 and 200,000 miles though some exceptions exist. When the time comes to replace an engine, purchasing a new one is often recommended. Considering the cost of new engines, though, used ones are common alternatives. That being said, there are certain risks you should know about before taking this route. 

Unknown History

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a used engine is its history. Unfortunately, that information isn’t always available. With a new engine, there’s no question about where it has been or what it has been through. Used ones, though, may have been subjected to years of wear and tear or neglect. They may have been in accidents or sitting unused and exposed to the elements. Those issues can have a major impact on engines’ performance and longevity.

Unseen Damage

Unseen damage is another issue you might encounter with a used engine. Problems aren’t always obvious from the outside. Cracked cylinder heads, worn pistons, and many other internal issues aren’t visible on the surface. They may not become evident until after an engine is connected to the rest of the vehicle. At that point, they may bring about costly repairs or even the need to purchase yet another replacement engine. 

High Mileage

High mileage can be an issue with used engines, too. Unless you’re purchasing from a reputable dealer who recorded the mileage on a motor before taking it out of its original vehicle, you have no way of knowing how many miles it has been driven. The more miles a motor was driven, the more wear and tear it has. That means it may not last very long once it’s in your vehicle. 

Limited Warranties and Guarantees

New engines typically come with manufacturer warranties and other reassurances that post-installation problems will be covered. That’s not always the case with used engines. Some are sold as-is whereas others may come with only limited warranties. If they break down shortly after being installed, you’ll likely have to pay for repairs or another replacement out of pocket. Be sure you understand what may or may not be covered before buying a used motor.

Compatibility Issues

Compatibility issues could come into play when purchasing a used engine as well. Most trustworthy used engine suppliers know which vehicles their engines will work with. They take care to sell customers only those that are compatible with their vehicles. In some cases, though, unscrupulous sellers may not be quite so careful or honest. Though certain vehicles’ engines are interchangeable, not all of them are.

Minimizing Risks When Purchasing Used Engines

While buying a used engine can be a cost-effective solution, it also comes with certain risks. An unknown history, potential hidden damage, and high mileage are all possibilities. In more unfortunate cases, people have found themselves stuck with engines that wouldn’t even work for their vehicles and no way to get their money back. To mitigate these risks, be sure to work with a reputable dealer. If possible, choose a supplier that offers at least some type of warranty or guarantee that the engine will work as promised. Consider having a mechanic expect it before having it installed as well

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