Tips On How To Find The Best Used Engine

If the day comes when your car’s engine completely stopped and there is no chance to fix it, it is time to find an alternative. However, instead of completely giving up on your vehicle, there is the option to consider getting a used engine that might bring your car back to life. Buying a brand new unit can cost you more than half of what you paid for the car, so if you are on a budget, a used one is a much better idea.

A lot of people feel that getting a used powerplant can be a risky decision which is why they opt for a new one even when they don’t have the money. By following our tips we can show you how to get the best possible price for a unit when working on a budget and how to ensure that it is in the right condition.

Rent a mechanic

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If you have found a place or an online website where you can buy a used mill from, you should consider searching for a local certified mechanic which will be able to analyze the engine. Not only that, but you could also have the mechanic check if your car has other issues that might have caused the failure in the first place.

If you still aren’t sure what type you should look for, a professional mechanic can also help you find out what kind you had previously and then use that information to find your next unit to power your car. You don’t want to end up with the one that doesn’t fit into your car or is not compatible with what you already have.

How to find the right match?

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This is the trickiest part when it comes down to finding the right unit for your broken-down car. You will need to get one that is exactly the same as yours. When looking around online or at your local scrapyards for one, you will probably find several that might seem like they are the same as yours, but they actually have different performance specifications.

Most automobile manufacturers make the same models with several different variations. One can be a 1.4-liter gas powerplant with 120 horsepower while the other one is a 1.5-liter gas motor with 110 horsepower. Logically, it might seem like they are very similar and should fit into your car model, but they actually are very different and the wrong motor may completely damage your vehicle making it unusable.

When searching for engines for sale, look for online websites such as Engine Finder that have connections with multiple scrapyards or importers to successfully find the right one for your car.

The first step you need to take to ensure that you are looking for the right engine is to find your car’s Vehicle Identification Number. If you are looking online or at a scrap yard, you can give them your VIN number so they can narrow their search and tell you whether they have such a diesel/petrol or not. Another set of information you must know is its size. Usually, the size should be engraved on top of it. This information is usually marked like 1.3-liter, 2.5-liter, etc. When online searching, you will also have to specify whether your vehicle is with an automatic transmission or if it is a manual. It is probably very obvious what type of transmission car you are driving, so you won’t have to be looking for such a piece of information.

What to do after?

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Now comes the hard part. If you finally found the right powerhouse for your vehicle, it is time to analyze whether it is in good shape and if it comes with all the parts necessary. This is where the previously hired professional mechanic can come in handy, however, if you do not plan on hiring one here are some of the things you should note when inspecting the engine.

  • Check whether the unit has both the exhaust and the intake valves. These two parts are essential because the intake valves let the air inside of the pistons to ignite the fuel while the exhaust valve pushes the air out. They are usually located on top of the cylinder head, so they will be easy to spot.
  • Pistons are probably the most important part of the whole setup, so make sure they are present in the used one. A piston is a place where the fuel explosions occur to power the vehicle. The number of total cylinders varies, so make sure they are all in perfect shape. They are usually located inside the cylinder block which can be seen from the top.
  • Spark plugs are also an important part of the pistons. This part is what ignites the fuel inside of the pistons when enough pressure is build up. They do exactly what the name suggests, they create a spark that is hot enough to cause an explosion inside of the pistons.
  • The part which forces the pistons to move up or down is called the crankshaft. This is also an important part that cannot be replaced easily, so make sure that it’s there on the used one.


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Depending on the place you are buying the used engine from, there are several ways you can check the mileage. Some shops and scrapyards often note the final mileage of the vehicle before completely disassembling it. So make sure to ask around whether they have such information. However, if they do not have any data on or you feel like they are giving you a fake mileage number, you can easily judge the state of the engine by its wear and tear. If you see that there are a lot of rusted parts, that shows you that the unit was either driven for more than 100 thousand miles or it hasn’t been used for more than a few years. If there is the option to get a warranty for the used mill, get one.