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Buying Used Engines

What to look for when purchasing a used engine.

By Ben Silver - October 14, 2015

Here's a brief breakdown of what to look for and what are red flags when purchasing a used engine...
  • Mileage - Obviously, the lower the better.  Look for engines with less than 15,000 miles per model year.  Expect to pay more for low mileage engines and less for high mileage engines.
    • Red Flag - No mileage or unknown mileage.  This is a bad sign, but if you're in a dire situation, you can always CarFax the VIN and find out the last known mileage.
  • Tested - Preferrably, you want an engine that was "run tested".  This means the recycler actually got the vehicle to run and tested the engine while running.
    • Compression tests are great too, especially if the engine was not run tested.
  • Warranty - Always get at least a 90 Day Warranty on the part.
    • Some recyclers offer labor protection or an extended warranty.  This is a good idea to insure a large purchase.
  • Vendor or Recycler - Look for Team PRP Recyclers, BBB Members (A+), and members of state and local industry associations.