Tips for Buying a Used Engine

It’s not every day that a person searches used motors for sale but if you need a new engine for your car, you have come to the right place.

Dropping a new powerplant in your vehicle is a major expense and is not a purchase that should be made without a significant amount of research and preparation.

Regardless of whether you are looking for used jeep engines, used ford engines or any other type of used engine, we can help. Our network of reputable engine resellers will help you find a great motor at a fantastic price.

Before you plop down your hard earned cash on a new engine it pays to do a little research. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about searching for used motors for sale and how to get the best deal on your new engine.

Finding an Engine

One of the first things you need to do is determine what type of engine you need. While this may seem daunting, once you collect some specific information it is fairly easy. Following are a few details to collect before starting your used motors for sale search.

Remember, we are always a phone call away to help you find the best power plant for your car.

VIN: The VIN number contains a ton of information about a specific vehicle including the engine code. The VIN number can be found in a few different spots:

  • The dashboard of the car at the bottom of the windshield on the driver’s side. It can most easily be seen from the outside of the vehicle.
  • Sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door.
  • On the actual engine block.
  • On the underside of the hood.
  • On the vehicles paperwork or your insurance card for that vehicle.

The VIN contains the engine code as well as the date of manufacture. Running your VIN number through a VIN exploder will give you the information you need. We like to use this one.

Secondly, you will need to determine what type of engine you are looking to purchase, a long block or short block. Here is a very quick overview of the different choices:

Short Block: A short block engine is the most affordable option for engine replacement but you will need to provide or purchase additional parts. A short block is an incomplete engine that comes with an engine block, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, bearings and oil pan. You will need to provide cylinder heads, gaskets, and an oil pump from your old engine or purchase them.

Long Block: A long block is a more complete engine, it comes with everything that is included in the short block but also includes cylinder heads, camshafts, valves, valve springs and a new head gasket. You may need to provide some parts such as valve covers, exhaust manifold, and timing covers.

Once you have determined what kind of used motors for sale you need and collected the information about your current engine, its time to go shopping.

Shopping for a Used Engine

Shopping for used motors for sale is not as simple as pulling up Amazon and waiting for the box to arrive, it will take some legwork, research and negotiating. Here are a few tips for what to look for and how to get a good deal on a great used engine:

  • Where to Buy a Used Engine: There are a number of different options when shopping for a used engine. Check your local salvage yards and then hit the keyboard. Plenty of engine resellers can be found online and it is even possible to shop for a new (used) engine on EBay.

One of the best ways to find a quality used engine is to search our site. We can connect you with a variety of used engine sellers. Our site allows you to submit a request for a used engine or transmission to a large network of suppliers. The suppliers will contact you directly by email, phone or text message with information and pricing.

  • Prices are Negotiable: In most cases the price of a used car engine can be negotiated so put on your bargaining hat. Even if the price is set, you may be able to get an extended warranty thrown in or a discount on shipping. Ask for a discount for paying cash if that is an option and work with a number of resellers to find the best engine at the best price.

The cost of shipping an engine can be a major expense so make sure this cost is part of the final negotiated price.

  • Do Your Research: Never be afraid to ask tons of questions about any engine you are seriously considering. Ask about what parts come with the engine and which parts you will have to supply.

Carefully verify that the engine is compatible with your vehicle and will fit without having to modify the long block. Ask to review all documentation that comes with the engine including the mileage verification.

Keep in mind that while the used engine you purchase will fit your vehicle, the manifolds or wiring harness might have to be changed out. This happens because the long block is the same but the vehicle it was removed from is different. For example, a Chevy Malibu and a Buick Century engine fit each other but some bolt on parts are different. This is usually not a huge expense but make sure you include these costs in your budget.

Ask if they have started the engine, done a compression test or a cylinder leak down test. Make sure the valve covers and oil pan have been removed for an internal inspection and an oil pressure test is completed.

Finally, check into the reseller. Read reviews and check with the BBB to make sure they are a legitimate reseller who sells quality engines and guarantees their product with a good warranty and excellent customer service.

Carfax: While many engine resellers offer a free Carfax report and most buyers ask for one, take the information with a grain of salt. Carfax doesn’t typically record repair or maintenance information so is little help in regards to the actual engine. In addition, some less than honest resellers may pull a VIN number from a site such as Autotrader and generate a Carfax report. In most cases you would not know the difference.

Wrecked Cars: While you may be reluctant to purchase an engine that has been in a wreck, in many cases the savings can be well worth the risk. Ask plenty of questions, make sure the engine has been tested, and demand a great warranty and an engine coming out of wrecked car can be an excellent purchase.

  • Mileage: Modern engines are engineered to run for hundreds of thousands of miles so don’t make it a top priority, especially if you are looking for a engine that is at least five years old. A high quality warranty is more important than the actual mileage.
  • Warranty: Always ask about a warranty when buying a used engine. Look for a high quality warranty that lasts at least 90 days, the longer the warranty the better. A warranty that covers both the engine and labor is best. If an extended warranty is offered, we recommend buying it.
  • Get a Mechanic Involved Early: Unless you are installing the engine yourself you should get a mechanic involved in the process early. They can help you verify that the engine will fit, negotiate a price and inspect the engine once it arrives.

Key Points

Looking for used motors for sale is a big undertaking and a major expense. Here are a few final things to remember.

Upfront Research: There are few things as disappointing as having your new engine arrive only to discover it doesn’t fit. Do your research and make sure you buy the correct engine, use a mechanic to help you make sure you are getting the correct engine.

Final Expenses: Remember that there will always be a variety of small expenses dropping the engine in to your car. Spark plugs, wires filters and the various fluids that a new engine needs.

Shop a Variety of Vendors: Shop a number of vendors to make sure that you get the best engine at the best price. Look for a high quality warranty and only buy from reputable dealers.

We can help, our vendors who have used motors for sale are top notch and will quickly respond to your request. Get started now, request a quote on a new engine.