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Engine Replacement: Used or Rebuilt

Repair 32x32Actually, we do not see many motors going bad within our client base. We like to think that this is because we offer excellent maintenance, email reminders and good advice. We are probably fooling ourselves. The fact is that modern motors don’t fail much by themselves. Almost all failed motors ran low on oil or coolant. A few died from internal component failure or road hazard damage. Engine replacement is a rare requirement.

Don’t assume your engine died, even though you may have seen smoke or heard expensive noises. Many cars have been sold for cheap, or free, because the owner had the false impression that the motor had bit the dust. It normally does not take us much time to figure out if the horse is dead, and we don’t charge for a quick stare under the hood.

The first decision becomes whether to replace it or rebuild it. Almost always, we recommend engine replacement, as rebuilding can very easily become more expensive, and definitely takes lots more time. The second decision is whether to use a rebuilt engine or a used engine. The variables include: The age and condition of the vehicle. The financial expectations of the Customer. The availability and reliability of a used engine. All this can vary between models and motors.

First, an inspection of the vehicle is in order before committing to engine replacement. A customer need to be sure that the vehicle is worth it to them. We acknowledge that sometimes the decision goes beyond financial feasibility. Sometimes a customer just plain wants to keep that car. Our tendency is to use rebuilt engines, mostly sourcing them from the dealer. Long term reliability is the key idea. Engine replacement is simply too expensive to risk early failure. The scoreboard on used engine reliability is somewhat dismal. Please do not be surprised or offended if we will not install a used engine in your vehicle. Please consult your Service Advisor.

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