Types of Replacement Car Engines Explained

Part 3 of 3 of a guest series for the NMA on Replacing Your Engine

Read Part 1 Here on: What Are Replacement Engines and When to Buy One?

Read Part 2 Here on: How to Buy a Replacement Engine.

When your engine is gone and you have decided to buy an engine instead of replace the entire vehicle, you will come across a lot of terms that define replacement engines:  ‘Rebuilt’, ‘remanufactured’, ‘reconditioned’, or ‘used’.

Here we will try to explain each of them so you know about all types of engines available for sale.

Remanufactured or Reconditioned Engines

Remanufactured engines are also called reconditioned engines as they go through a long process of reconditioning. It is a long process and in the first phase the engine is taken out of the vehicle completely, split into parts, cleaned comprehensively to get rid of all the dirt, grease and oil. It also involves the brushing of the crankshaft, engine block, pistons, and connecting rods. This process is not child’s play and must be done by certified engine experts in state of the art garages.

After the first phase, the engine enters into the second phase of reconditioning. At this stage, all the vital parts of the engine are verified for weaknesses, failures and defects. After the tests, marginally damaged parts are fixed and the defected parts are substituted with newer ones. The surface of the parts are polished to minimize the friction among them.

After this point, the third and final phase starts and you would expect, this phase involves the reassembling of the engine. Engine experts use advanced hi-tech gear and computerised machinery to trial and assemble each and every part of the engine with due care and according the tolerance and fitting guidelines of OEM.

After the completion of the assembling process, the engineers run reliability and durability tests to confirm the performance and efficiency of the reconditioned engine. Unless they pass every test and get a green light from the engineers, reconditioned engines aren’t offered for sale in the market.

The remanufactured engines cost more than the rebuilt engines but also offer a longer span of warranty. The painstaking process that a reconditioned engine goes through is the reason why they generate a similar type of power and efficiency as a new original engine.

Rebuilt Engines

A rebuilt engine, unlike the remanufactured engine, is partly disassembled and scrutinised for the faults. The damaged parts of the engine are generally replaced by other used parts which are of the same specifications and features.

However, some of the parts are also fixed in order to make the engine work properly. Therefore, rebuilt engines are similar to the used engines but are in a definite better working state.

The value of a rebuilt engine differs on the basis of mechanics. An expert mechanic can rebuild an engine in a much better way than an unprofessional one. Despite the fact that rebuilt engines are offered in working conditions, yet they can carry age-old wear and tear signs coupled with cracks. In a nutshell, these engines are not so reliable and you may face failure again.

Crate/New Engine

A crate engine is a brand new unused engine which means that is has covered no miles at all. Generally, they are accessible to dealers only. They are highly expensive and their cost can make you break the bank. To offer you a clear picture, a crate engine can, in some cases, cost even more than the vehicle’s price.

Basically, a new engine is precisely the same that comes with a brand new car. They have new inner and outer parts. However, the outer parts are sometimes used. Crate engines command a much higher price than all the other engine types explained here.

Crate engines are termed as crate owing to the fact that it is shipped to the dealer on a Crate. There are many automobile companies which produce crate engines and generally all the features are the same. These new engine prices range from £5000 ($6,637) to a staggering £12000 ($15,928) varying on the model and make you are going for.

Used or Second-Hand Engine

In simple words, a used engine is the one that is taken out of another car to use again in a similar model again. These engines are generally extracted from impaired vehicles or insurance write-offs. Their mileages may differ in newer cars compared to older cars.

These second hand or used engines may also come with additional items such as manifolds and injectors etc. However, it is suggested to use the genuine components since no one can guarantee the proper working condition of these components. No warranty covers the engine parts which are left on the engine.

Used engines, as the name suggests, are used in some other cars and taken out of them usually in case of accidents or some other problem. It can be pretty much anticipated that the condition of these engines vary depending on the source they were taken from.

Sometimes having an engine put into your beloved car may be worth it over the purchase of a new. I hope this three-part gave you some idea on what is involved.

Anthony Arnold has been in automotive industry for years. He specialises in car engines and loves to share his experiences online in different blogs and articles.

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