Used Engine Buyers Guide

If you have no technical experience buying a replacement engine can be daunting task. To help customers we have put together the following guide to help you through the process.

  1. Do you really need a new engine?

The first thing you need to do before purchasing a replacement engine is to make sure that you actually need one. Many components on a vehicle can fail and it is easy to assume the worst however the problem might not be with the engine. We recommend that before buying a replacement engine you should have your car diagnosed by a professional mechanic to verify exactly what you need. Paying to have it checked first could save you thousands in the long run.

  1. What caused your old engine to fail?

Ask your mechanic why the engine has failed and what is actually wrong with it, getting as much information as possible. It is very important to find out what caused the engine to fail because in many cases it occurs due to a problem with another component (e.g. a blocked radiator or faulty turbo). If the underlying problem goes unresolved then it is likely that the replacement engine will suffer the same fate as the original one.

  1. What do you need to buy?

So you now know that you need a replacement engine. Firstly you need to make sure that your mechanic is happy to install a second hand engine. Then before you start your search you need them to specify exactly what you need to buy. If possible get the engine code and also clarify what the mechanic expects the engine to be supplied with (for example do they require the fuelling system or the turbo charger).

  1. Now you need to find the engine, where do you start?

Once you are armed with this information all you need is your registration number and you are good to go. There are numerous places to find an engine but the best place to start is on the internet. There are numerous suppliers advertising on the internet or eBay, some are less honest than others. If you have found someone with the correct engine make sure you do your homework on them. Research the suppliers name on the internet (Google it) many companies that are less reputable will have received some sort of negative press on the internet from unhappy customers in the past. If possible ask them to email you some pictures of the engine, this stops the companies from trying to sell stock they do not have (a common practice unfortunately). Also ask if the supplier is VAT registered and get a landline telephone number and their address before handing over your payment details.

  1. You have found the engine at a reputable supplier, what should you ask?

So you have found the engine you need at one or more suppliers that check out. This is a large purchase so you need to be 100% comfortable with the supplier. It is easy to go with the cheapest quote however please note that many people who buy cheap end up buying twice so it is important to clarify exactly what you are getting for your money. Most places will supply second hand engines complete, leaving manifolds, sensors, fuel injection systems, etc on the engines. Others however will send them bare with all the ancillary parts removed. This may or may not be a good thing depending on your situation and it is probably worth speaking to your mechanic to ask what he recommends. A bare engine may be cheaper to buy however your mechanic may have to spend extra time swapping parts across from your old engine which means you might well encounter more labour costs. How long is it, what does it cover? Also check the delivery costs and make sure the price you are quoted includes VAT and any other hidden charges.

  1. Making payment

So you have found the engine and are happy with the supplier. Now you need to commit and pay for it. If possible we recommend paying by Credit Card due to the extra protection they provide however these days most debit cards also offer protection giving you peace of mind. Other many sellers will take payment by bank transfer or by cheque however these payments take longer to clear and may result in delays.   

  1. When you receive the engine

The engine has arrived and is ready to install. You want to make sure your mechanic checks everything over before starting to work on the engine as you really want to catch any problems before it’s fitted into the car. 365 Engines send out a fitting check list with every engine supplied and if the mechanic follows these instructions then 99% of problems will be eliminated. Ask your mechanic to keep you updated and make sure he knows to contact you immediately if there are any problems. If a problem does arise then get as much information as possible about what the problem is. Once you have the details contact your supplier and ask how to proceed. Most suppliers will be very willing to help but they will need as much information as possible to do so. In many cases it will be best to ask the seller to speak directly to your mechanic.