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Buying a Used Engine: Some Things to Consider

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Buying a Used Engine: Some Things to Consider

Ronnie Tanner
Amazines.com
February 6, 2009

These days many people are looking for every way possible to make their dollars go farther. When the engine in your vehicle has seen its last days; it’s either buy another vehicle or replace the engine in the automobile you have. Many times it can be far less expensive to purchase and install a used engine rather than invest in a down payment and commit yourself to several years of debt. Today, fortunately there is the alternative of just replacing that now defunct engine with a quality used one. While both are investments, choosing to purchase and install a used engine is far more economical for most, especially if you like the car you have just fine!

If this is the path you have chosen, there are a few things to consider beforehand and some information to gather. One of the first things to consider is where you will find the kind of engine needed for your particular vehicle. Today searching for a used engine is as easy as clicking the mouse on your computer. Using the internet is a good place to start in your search for your “new” used engine. Before you start you will need to know some basic information about your vehicle. You want to be sure from the beginning you know exactly what kind of engine you need. The year, make and model of your vehicle are the most obvious but you will also want to know some other things, such as what package your vehicle came with, for example is it a deluxe edition or the basic model. Many of these basic questions can be answered by a dealership that sells that particular type of vehicle so it’s always good to call just to be sure you know exactly what type of vehicle you have before trying to locate a used engine . It’s also handy to have the VIN for your particular vehicle. The VIN is a number that is specific to your automobile. VIN actually stands for vehicle identification number and gives specific information about the vehicle. This information includes the year the vehicle was manufactured as well as the size of the engine and the particular model of the car. It can be found in several places both on the vehicle and also on paper work pertaining to the vehicle such as the upper left hand corner of the dash. On most vehicles there is a small metal plate with the 18 digit number. That’s your VIN. It can also be found on the inner panel on the frame of the vehicle where the driver’s door closes. The VIN is also on the registration papers, the title and most insurance documents associated with the car. Now that you have gathered the information on what type vehicle you have, it’s time to start your search.

When you call and inquire about purchasing a used engine there are several things to consider. Is there a mileage you would like to stay under? Obviously the lower the better but consider that lower miles may also drive the price up but you also don’t want to purchase an engine that has already seen its best days. If you are purchasing an engine online, only deal with companies that are a member of the Better Business Bureau, this helps confirm that this is a legitimate company and not a scam. Be sure to ask about the company’s return policy and always ask for a copy of any warranty policy they offer, be sure to do this before giving any credit card information. Another thing to consider is where you will have the engine delivered. Because engines are freight items and are delivered via a semi-truck, many companies require a business address for delivery. If it’s going to your mechanic’s garage, be sure they have a way to off load the engine. If not you will need to specify with your sales that a lift gate will be needed. Also ask what the anticipated delivery date is so that you don’t accrue any unnecessary storage fees with your mechanic.

Purchasing a used engine can be a good way to save money, but doing a little homework before you start can go a long way toward preventing any unpleasant surprises.

Ronnie Tanner is a contributing writer at http://www.swengines.com He writes about selecting used engines and choosing this as an alternative to costly car purchases.

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