Explainer on Engines: Refurbished, Rebuilt, and Remanufactured

Cars and trucks, in many ways, can be an extension of ourselves. As a result, when your vehicle engine gives out, you may not be ready to scrap the entire car or truck. Instead, you might want to hold on to your vehicle and replace its engine, or maybe you’re building a car from scratch as a hobby. Whatever the reason might be, it helps to know how you should play it. In other words, is it time to buy a new engine or rebuild it? Moreover, if you’re building the engine yourself, you’re probably wondering if you should use new, refurbished, rebuilt, or remanufactured parts. Well, here at Goldfarb INC, we believe in tackling questions and concerns head-on. Without further ado, let’s get into the business of building an engine and the differences between refurbished, rebuilt, and remanufactured parts.


Building an engine

Well, if you’ve made it this far, it’s safe to assume that you want to build an engine, which is great news. Since you know what you’re doing, your next concern should be figuring out what type of it you’re attempting to build. Diesel engines tend to be a favorite among most. Thus, if you’re building such an engine, you basically have two options—the two-stroke and four-stroke. These two classes of diesel engines require similar parts. In fact, the only real difference is the required size of it, i.e., most vehicles have a four-stroke cycle. Consequently, larger ones generally have a two-stroke cycle.

New engine and parts

Obviously, using new engine parts is a luxury that not too many have. Nonetheless, purchasing a brand-new one or parts means you can easily fix your car with factory manufactured components. Since the new model will likely be identical to the previous engine or part, you should be able to install your new model quickly and without a hitch. Plus, new engines and components are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition, which is often worth the higher cost alone. But then, that doesn’t mean used or refurbished parts are subpar. Rather, using rebuilt, remanufactured, and refurbished components really just means you’re interested in saving a buck or two. With that said, these three terms tend to be used interchangeably. However, there’s a clear difference between them. Thus, before you get into the process of building an engine from scratch, we’ve provided some clarity on the subject.



Regarding an engine, the term refurbished means that the manufacturer only replaced the failed component from an existing one, and then resold it. Comparably, a refurbished part generally has complex inner workings. Thus, when anything in that component malfunctioned, it’s replaced/repaired, and then the engine component is resold separately, or as a part of it. That said, diesel engines typically don’t have refurbished parts or components, as you’re more likely to see this specific practice done with electronics. As a result, most diesel engines and their parts are more likely to be rebuilt or remanufactured.

Since this specific practice isn’t utilized too often with engines, the benefits are minimal at best. Here, if you do obtain refurbished parts or components, the reduction in cost tends to be the only real advantage.

Rebuilt or Used

On the other hand, a rebuilt or reconditioned engine or part has been disassembled, and any worn-out or broken specs have been replaced. After the components are replaced, the product is reassembled, and then tested before it becomes available to customers. Note that a used one or part is similar to that of a refurbished one. A used one has been removed from a vehicle that was damaged in some way, and is in relatively good condition. This used machine or component can be easily fixed, and more often than not, matches your crate engine. Thus, it will work seamlessly with your particular car or machinery. Both are excellent options if you’re looking for a more cost-effective alternative.

Here, the benefits are quite apparent. Not only is the life of the engine prolonged, but this is also the more environmentally friendly choice, as you’re recycling its parts. Nevertheless, one of the main advantages of rebuilding is compatibility and connectivity. Also, if the diesel engine itself isn’t going to be used quite often, you may want to consider going with used parts to come out on top in terms of the overall cost.



A remanufactured engine or product has all of its components replaced, and is then put back together according to all specifications. A prime example here is with a cylinder head. Let’s say only a portion is going to be reused, maybe the casting. Under this specific practice, all the remaining components, like the guides, valves, springs, retainers, keepers, cam bearings, and injector cups, will be replaced with new ones. However, a remanufactured engine is taken apart, inspected, clean, refurbished, and then reassembled. This is often referred to as re-powering, especially if certain components were replaced/repaired before being put back together.

Ultimately, if you find yourself interested in buying a remanufactured engine altogether, it may help to consider the numerous benefits. For starters, this is generally the highest-quality option since it was essentially restored to its factory settings, and then improved upon. Plus, you can save thousands of dollars, and these particular engines tend to come with an extended warranty. Your remanufactured one will also meet the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications.


Clearly, it all comes down to whether you want to rebuild an engine or remanufacture one. However, if you only need a few parts or components, you may wish to consult your budget. Generally, new components are in pristine condition and come with warranties or certain guarantees. Nonetheless, if you prefer something more budget-friendly, you should consider going with used or remanufactured parts.