If you find yourself in the difficult position of having to replace your car’s engine, this article may be helpful. Today the My Auto Store team is going to show you why you should buy a used motor instead of a new one (and save money in the process).
If you Google, “how much does it cost to replace an engine?” you’ll quickly find that on average you should expect prices in the range of $4,000 for 4-cylinder engines and approximately $7,000 for 8-cylinder engines. Obviously, this price can vary (significantly) depending on the year, make, and model of your car. For instance, high-tech engines like the Ford EcoBoost will be more expensive than a simpler engine that does not have a turbocharger or Direct Gasoline Injection (GDI).
For the sake of simplicity, let’s say you drive a 2009-2011 Ford Focus. Now let’s do some simple math. According to CARFAX, the price of a 2009-2011 Ford Focus can range from $5,000 to $9,000 depending on the trim, condition of the vehicle and accessories installed. Now let’s say your car is in excellent condition and has a market value of $8,000. According to the information found on Google, a new engine for your Ford Focus should cost approximately $4,000.
Do you see the problem? Without considering labor or any other associated costs, you should spend half of what your car is worth on the engine.
Now let’s try to do the same exercise but this time searching Google for “used motor for sale”. The price is considerably lower. For example, if you search My Auto Store’s inventory you’ll find 08-11 Ford Focus used motors starting at $350. That’s 10 times cheaper than buying a new engine!
Now, you may be thinking, where is the catch? This brings us to the subject of our next section.
Yes, it’s worth it. The difference in price between buying a new engine and buying a used motor is so big that it is definitely worth it.
Now, you don’t have to take our word for it. Let’s analyze both scenarios.
New engine. Depending on who you ask, a “new” engine may actually be a remanufactured engine. However, even if you buy a brand new engine from a dealer, the term “new” can be somewhat misleading. What do we mean? Normally both new and remanufactured engines do not come with accessories and sometimes do not even come with an oil pan, valve covers, timing gear, or water pump. In other words, you will have to add to the cost of buying a new engine, all these parts (or reuse the ones you can from your old engine). Simply put, 90% of car owners have the idea that a “new” engine comes ready to use. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Used motor. Used motors, on the other hand, are more in line with the expectations of the general public. These are engines that have been removed from a car and therefore require some preparation before they can be reused. In the case of My Auto Store, we have a process where we inspect each engine individually at various levels to ensure that they meet the highest industry quality standards. Nevertheless, in order to honor our outstanding 6-month warranty, certain steps must be taken by the customer to ensure the life of the engine.
This includes the replacement of gaskets, engine thermostat, as well as replacement of timing gears/chains (if needed). Other actions such as changing the oil, the filters, flushing the engine coolant, and more are also required, but we’ll not delve into that now as we’ll cover in detail what else you should change when replacing a motor in another article.
Moreover, even if you buy a new engine, you must change the filters and perform all those activities, so it is not a cost associated with buying a used motor, it’s a general maintenance cost that you will have to bear.
Summarizing the above, if you buy a new engine you’ll have to add an additional $500-$1,000 in parts, while if you buy a used motor you’ll have to pay an extra $50-$100 in parts. The 10 to 1 ratio remains the same.
At this point, we have shown that it’s cheaper to buy a used motor than buying a new engine, but we have not touched on other factors, such as how long a used motor can last.
Again, it’s important to ask yourself, how long do you plan to keep your car. While it’s very difficult to speculate how long a used motor will last, it’s safe to say that with proper care it could give you between 80,000 and 120,000 miles, or 4 to 5 years depending on how you use your car. This is a rough estimate based on the life expectancy of a new engine, which is around 200,000 miles or 8 years.
Our take? From a money-saving perspective, there’s nothing to think about. You can buy about 10 used motors for the price of a new one. Even if you consider the calculations of our experts at My Auto Store to be exaggerated, it’s undeniable that the price difference is so big that it allows you to replace your engine several times over.
Finally, you should also take into account other factors that we have not covered in this article. If your car requires an engine replacement, it may also need a set of new tires, shocks, undercarriage parts, and more. You could afford all these repairs and give your car a new life with the savings generated from buying a used motor. Interesting, right?