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Rebuilt Engines

Discover the benefits of rebuilt engines.

Rebuilt engines emit fewer pollutants than worn-out engines, and save cars from becoming landfill waste. [© Jupiter Images, 2009]
© Jupiter Images, 2009
Rebuilt engines emit fewer pollutants than worn-out engines, and save cars from becoming landfill waste.

Rebuilt engines are gaining in popularity as more consumers try to save money. As automobiles become more and more durable and long-lasting, motorists can get even more for their money if they repower with rebuilt, or remanufactured, engines. These engines are better for the environment as well.

Better Performance

A rebuilt/remanufactured engine is an engine that has been remanufactured to prescribed specifications by skilled machinists and state-of-the art technology. Worn parts are replaced with new, more improved parts and components, which in some cases make the rebuilt engine even better than the original engine through enhanced power, fuel efficiency and dependability. Oftentimes, design improvements by the manufacturer can also be utilized, adding to better overall performance of the engine.

Economic Advantages

According to Consumer Reports, motorists throw thousands of dollars away each year by trading in vehicles that have years of life left in them. It's common for a vehicle to get well over 200,000 miles these days, especially if properly maintained. When one considers the price tag of a new car -- averaging well over $27,000 -- and the cost for installing a rebuilt engine -- between $2,500 and $3,500 -- it's easy to see the benefits. Another financial benefit is in eliminating the yearly cost of financing and insuring a new vehicle, as well as depreciation and taxes. Better fuel efficiency is another benefit to the driver. In some cases, too, there are factory rebates available.

Environmental Impact

Rebuilt engines emit fewer pollutants than a worn out engine. Installing a rebuilt engine also saves the amount of energy required in discarding old engines and vehicles, as well as what would be involved in building a new engine. Rebuilt engines give new life to cars that could otherwise take up room in a landfill.

Installing a Rebuilt Engine

For the average consumer, installing any engine would be beyond his or her scope of abilities. It's best to leave it to a knowledgeable and certified mechanic to acquire a rebuilt engine from a supplier and install it.

Finding the right repair facility is key. Ideally, the motorist will already know of a reputable mechanic or repair shop, but in the event that one has to be found, it's a good idea to shop around. Asking for references is a good way of getting to know the reputation of the car care facility. Asking family, friends and co-workers is a great way to find a shop. Another idea is to call the local Better Business Bureau to check on the performance and reputation of a particular shop.

Consumers should not shop for price alone. Installing an engine is a major investment and care should be taken to have it done professionally. The consumer would do well to look for signs in the shop that it is modernized and capable of such a job. Up-to-date repair facilities should include computer-controlled systems and the most advanced diagnostic equipment available.

The driver who goes out of town frequently might want to consider a national warranty program, or a national chain, in case of problems that might arise when out of town.

Another important point to consider is if the technician or repair facility is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE-certified technicians undergo testing and training every five years to maintain their certification. Notice of their certification should be prominently displayed in the shop.

According to the ASE, there are more than 400,000 ASE-certified technicians who undergo extensive training to maintain a level of professionalism in their particular specialties.

ASE also recommends that consumers look for repair facilities with a courteous and professional staff. It helps if customer service areas display signs of professionalism such as civic, community and customer service rewards, as well as trade school diplomas and certificates. Signs of policies of labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, methods of payment, etc., also display a level of professionalism in a repair shop.

To keep from choosing a repair shop based solely on location, ASE recommends arranging in advance for alternate transportation while work is being performed on the vehicle.

Warranty Protection

Since installing an engine is such a costly investment, it's wise for the consumer to take advantage of the warranties that manufacturers and mechanics offer for their work. Some manufacturers will stand behind their rebuilt engine for up to 36,000 miles or three years, something for the motorist to consider in comparison to three years of car payments.

Installing a rebuilt engine is a major investment, but with proper planning, can be a tremendous advantage in preserving the longevity and efficiency of the vehicle.

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