Buying Used Engines

Tips on Buying Used Engines

Nowadays, you can buy just about anything on the Internet, including automobiles and trucks. You can even buy used auto parts online. The ability to buy such parts through online junkyards takes a lot of the hassle out of the buying process and can make the purchase happen far quicker. Still, before you buy any used auto parts online — especially a used (or remanufactured) engine — there are some important things that you really should know.

Here are some handy tips for buying a used (or a remanufactured) engine on the Internet:

1. Understand Exactly What You Need

The first thing you need to do before buying a used engine online is to know exactly what you need. At first blush, this may sound ridiculously obvious, but knowing exactly what you need entails you collecting far more information than just the make, model and year of your vehicle, and it is necessary regardless of whether you are buying the engine online or through a local junkyard.

The first piece of information that you need to collect is your vehicle’s VIN, which you should be able to find in your vehicle. This is necessary because this number provides the online dealer with a wealth of information about your vehicle and the exact type of engine it requires.

You also must find the size of your engine, which is one of the most important pieces of information you can provide the vendor. Usually, the size of the engine is listed on the engine’s valve cover, which is right on top of the engine. So, you should be able to see this information as soon as you lift the hood. Keep in mind that the engine’s size will be listed in liters. For example, 2.4L or 4.0L. On some vehicles, the size of the engine is listed on the hood. You will find it on the emissions label.

Finally, you must provide the online dealer with your vehicle’s transmission type, which is either standard (stick-shift) or automatic. When you are searching for used (or remanufactured) engines, you will often see this information listed along with the part, and it will either be written as “AT” (automatic transmission) or “MT (manual transmission).

2. Learn About Who Is Selling You the Engine

Whenever you buy anything online, you should know who you are buying from. But this is particularly true when shopping for a used engine. Because of this, some people prefer to buy engines from local shops even when they are buying online, and you should be able to find address information easily on the company’s website. Buying locally can further save you when it comes to shipping costs. It can also make things a lot easier if you happen to require any warranty service.

If you do buy from an out-of-town seller, make sure that they have a good reputation. Check out reviews on the web and any rankings the company may have accumulated.

Regardless of where you buy the engine, you should find out how long the company’s warranty is (if they even provide one), and you should learn all about their business policies — such as the charging of sales tax and how they handle returns — before you become a customer.

3. Calculate All the Costs of the Engine Before You Choose One

The price of a used engine is only one component of its total cost. There are two other major costs of a used engine that you should be aware of.

The Core Deposit

Those who sell used (or remanufactured) engines require that buyers pay what is called a core deposit. This is to guarantee that you will send them your old engine in return, and this cost can fluctuate anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on the engine you own.

Your old engine has a certain core value, which the online dealer will make use of when they recycle the engine. Once they have received your engine, they will return your deposit back to you. This is another reason why you may want to choose a local dealer, whether or not you are buying the engine online. Obviously, it will be a lot easier to deal with this process if it is handled locally.

The Cost of Shipping

It is important to realize that most websites will not list the cost of shipping in the engine prices they list. Some websites, though, will clearly list the shipping costs, while others will require you to first add the engine to your shopping cart and begin the checkout process. For this reason, it is critical that you hold off deciding which engine to buy until you are comparing apples with apples. This means that you are comparing the total cost of one engine with the total cost of another.

Because engines are heavy, their shipping costs can be quite high. Typically, the cost of shipping a used (or remanufactured) engine will cost you anywhere from $125 to $250. This may be reason enough to purchase the engine locally, and often you can still make the purchase online if that is what you prefer. Another benefit of buying locally is that you will often get your diesel engine far more quickly.