Buying A Used Engine From A Breakers Yard
If your engine has past its best and you are deciding to buy reconditioned, new or source a used one from a breakers yards here is some advice on the later option. Buying used engines from a breakers yard.
Clearly there are benefits and some not so good news to opt to buy this way, lets look at the options.
Benefits Buying From Auto Dismantlers
One single word defines the benefits and that is “Cost”. This will probably be the cheapest option and if a right engine can be sourced, you also may gain from a few bolt on freebies, that the dismantler has decided will take too much time to remove.
Of course getting the right engine may be harder than you think, especially if your vehicle is relatively new or not built in large numbers.
In the modern world of high tolerances and high manufacturing standards, an engine would now be expected to last hundreds of thousands of miles, so normally the reason for a donor vehicle to end up in a breakers yards, tends to be either accident related or a poor maintenance issue.
So the normal search of a low mileage, well serviced engine may be rarer than most think.
Although the cost of such an engine will normally be cheaper than other avenues, there still could be a hefty price tag. This is because of the time it takes to remove the engine form the donor vehicle, packing it safely on to a pallet and then the shipping charge to the buyers address.
It may arrive with existing oil contained within in its sump, a decision to keep that oil or replace with new clean oil may be your choice.
The Possible Negatives
A common issue, that breaker yards have to deal with, is identifying the exact engine that needs to be replaced. There are key part numbers, engine numbers and chassis numbers that need to be identified in order to identify the right block. Certain models for example have been known to change the engine more than once a year, others have kept the same block in over several models for several years and easier to identify.
If you were to ask any breaker yard owner, what the biggest come backs they have, they will answer, customers who do not take the necessary time to truly identity the right components for their vehicle, and then ring up suggesting the breaker yard has sent the wrong part.
So the first advice tip, is tale the time to ensure you get your engine numbers right and fully understand its full spec, diesel, cc, valves, BHP etc.
Buying over the phone, also requires a lot of trust. So how do they prove the mileage and service history of the engine involved? If the donor vehicle was bought from a salvage auction, it is unlikely there will be any service paperwork and mileage will be trusted on the speedometer reading. Once the engine has been separated from the vehicle (which is they potentially crushed), there are few paper trails to the correct mileage.
So here is some more advice: The best way to have confidence in what you are buying is to see and hear the engine running within the donor vehicle, or at least be provided with a video of it running together with the engine numbers to match on arrival. There is a real risk, that what the sellers opinion of the condition of the engine, would not match the buyers, should no evidence of running be available.
Getting your money back should a fault be established at the sellers end may not be as easy as buying new. If you buy something at your local supermarket, find out it is faulty and return it, consumer law is on your side and it should be an easy process. Buy buying something second hand even with a warranty, it is not as easy to prove fault. The fact it is a used product determines the item is not perfect and then it is up to opinion, to how much different there is to its verbal description possibly over the phone.
The sellers opinion of a good running car, could be completely different to the opinion of the buyer. Whether a refund can be granted, will be based on establishing definite fault on the seller. To balance the argument, it is not uncommon that buyers expect their used engine to be as good as new even with high mileages.
So some advice is always to communicate via email to keep a record of the sale. How the engine is described, will now be in writing and it will help sort out any future complaints.
Getting this process right and the buyer could end up with a great engine that will prolong the life of their vehicle for many years to come at a reasonable price. Get it wrong and it could be become a very stressful time with money lost and everyday that vehicle staying off the road.