Guide for Buying a Used Engine from a Junkyard

If you’re in the market for a replacement engine for your vehicle, buying a used engine from a junkyard can be a viable option; however, it’s important not to buy a lemon. This guide will cover some of the basic things to consider as well as the benefits of buying used car engines. It’s important to avoid a lemon because the overall cost of having to replace it again is staggering and not beneficial in any way.

Modern Advancements in Engines

There are some strong indicators that car engines have been more reliable, longer lasting, and have improved exponentially with better fuel-efficient motors. Industry standards in modern plastics, metals, composites, and engineering tolerances are fully responsible for these modern engine advancements. Modern engines, advanced as they are, will still find a breaking point at one point or another during their lifetime. Knowing the duty cycle of your motor is a vital factor, as it will provide a window of time for when you should be expecting an engine seizure.

Do Not Buy a Used High Mileage Motor

If you’re someone who has faithfully changed your oil every 3000 miles as recommended and have not mistreated your engine, there are two things that will cause an engine to fail. One is the likely fail points of a motor and the second thing is the mileage on the engine. If your motor died at 200k miles, you do not want to buy a used motor with any more than 100k miles on it because it would not be cost-effective. A used motor with half the value of miles is a great choice for your vehicle and the best place to buy one is at a junkyard.

Wrecked Motor Vehicles

Junkyard vehicles are not junk, these are vehicles that have been totaled out by insurance companies due to being in a car accident. The motors are gems that have been protected from the elements of the crash and are sold for considerably less than a new crate engine. Some junkyards will offer what is called a “pick-n-pull” engine, which means, you take your tools and cherry picker with you to disassemble the motor from the wrecked vehicle. There are also some junkyards for a fee, that will pull it for you or some even have a full-service department where the replacement engine can be installed into your vehicle, saving you both time and money.

When in Doubt Check the VIN

In most cases, if a vehicle has been written off by the insurance company, a reputable junkyard will be more than willing to provide information about the engine. Simply, get the VIN number from the junkyard. You can use online services like DMV that provide free vehicle information by submitting the vehicles VIN number. All you have to do is type in the VIN number and a full report about the car and engine will be contained in the report. This is especially important as it discloses whether the vehicle was caught in a fire, been in an accident before or was involved in a flood. This is not a free service; however, if you feel like the engine might be suspect, then this is one way to know for sure before you shell out a lot of cash.