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Used Engines vs Remanufactured Engines

Choosing the right engine for your vehicle

By Ben Silver - July 15, 2015

When consumers have an engine failure and they are outside of the manufacturer’s warranty, generally they’ll take the vehicle to a shop or dealer to evaluate their options.  It’s important that consumers understand what to look for in a replacement engine and what there options are.  This will help the consumer select the correct option and get the right engine for their vehicle. New OEM Replacement Engines are on option, but we’re going to focus on “Remanufactured Engines” and “Used OEM Engines” in this article.  This is simply because New OEM Engines are so expensive that it is usually not a viable option for a consumer in a vehicle that is out of warranty and likely more than 5-6 years old.
Used Engines or Recycled Engines
Used or Recycled Engines are a great option for most consumers.  They provide a quality option at price that is generally 40% to 60% less costly than a new engine.  Professional salvage yards will test there engines as thoroughly as possible (See previous blog, "Quality Testing Engines and Transmissions" for more info).  Most of the time running the engine before the vehicle is dismantled is very good way to test the quality and function of the engine.  If for some reason we can’t run the engine at Central, we’ll do a compression test to make sure the engine is good.  One thing to consider is that using a recycled engine is the most environmentally sound option.  The manufacturing process to provide a used engine is minimal and therefore the additional impact on th environment and use of resources is much less.  Another good thing about used engines is that there are many variables and options to choose from.  How much you want to spend, how many miles are on your vehicle, and what kind of warranty you want will dictate which option is right for you.  There will generally be a range of engines with different mileages available.  The lower mileage engines will be more costly than a higher mileage engine.  You can also extend the warranty of used engines at most automotive recyclers or salvage yards in Denver.  At Central, we offer a 90 Day Warranty as our standard but a consumer has the option to extend the warranty for 6 months, a year, or even a lifetime! And extended warranties cover the consumer for labor as well.  This gives the consumer peace of mind and insurance when purchasing a used engine.
Remanufactured Engines
Remanufactured Engines are the other most viable option when shopping for a replacement engine.  There are a number of companies that remanufacture engines on a large scale and many mechanics that will remanufacture engines to a certain extent.  This process is one of replacing the worn components or really any components that do wear out and machining other parts of the engine so that nicks and dings won’t compromise performance.  This creates new seals and smooth surfaces so that the remanufactured engine will perform and last like a new engine.  There are a number of benefits to these engines, including the fact these are “greener” than a new engine.  They’re not as environmentally friendly as a recycled engine but many of the components are reused making it a fairly “green” option.  You can expect close to new preformance and longevity to these engines, which is the real advantage.  Quality remanufactured engines, like Team PRP remanufactured engines offered by Central, will generally carry a very sturdy warranty.  Ours are warranted for a period 36 Months or 100k Miles.  Remanufactured engines are more costly than used engines and this usually is considered when doing a replacement.  Sometimes they’re only 10%-20% more costly and sometimes they can be up to twice as much as a recycled unit.  It really depends on the engine and the supply/demand curve for that particular product.  One other thing about remanufactured engines is that there can be limited supply and remanufacturer’s won’t process every possible engine.  Often there are engines that it can be very difficult to find a remanufactured engine for due to this "gap" in production.
Both of the engine types that we summarized in this article are viable replacement parts for any consumer’s vehicle.  Both should be considered should you find yourself in the unfavorable position of replacing the engine in your vehicle.  I hope this article shed some light on these products and helps make your decision easier and less mysterious.  Contact a professional recycler to get more information on price and availability of both of these options when the time comes.