Car Troubles / Engines / Part Needs

Buy a Used Engine and Get a Crazy Good Deal

Car Troubles / Engines / Part Needs

It can be a scary process to buy a used engine. One of the biggest repairs your vehicle will ever need is an engine replacement. This means a mechanic essentially has to give your car a heart transplant – take out the bad heart and replace it with a new one so your car can continue to live, well run. The longer drivers keep their vehicles, the more likely they are to replace major parts like the engine.

How Do I Know If I Need to Buy A Used Engine?

There are a couple warning signs for an engine replacement:

  • Your car won’t start in the cold weather. This could mean your cylinder is cracked. Bad news.
  • Your car leaves a puddle, i.e. a lake, of oil behind. Something is definitely not right here.
  • Your car is knocking, literally. Your pistons are not lining up with the camshaft.
  • Your car is smoking, and we don’t mean “smoking hot.” You’ve probably got flawed piston rings.
  • Your car is steaming. There’s a flaw somewhere between the radiator, engine, gasket, pipes or all of the above.

If any of these warning signs applies to your vehicle, go ahead and call a mechanic. You’re probably going to need to replace your engine. But, how do you find the best engine for your car?

Buy a Used Engine and Save Big Bucks

New engine prices can be really scary. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, a new engine can run you around $5,000. That doesn’t even cover the cost to install it! The best option is to buy a quality, used engine from has millions of parts in its online inventory, all from trusted sellers.

First, find your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and decode it with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) VIN Decoder or another online VIN decoder. The decoder can tell you tons of information about your engine, like the amount of cylinders it runs on and type of fuel. Then, lift your vehicle’s hood and find your engine. The engine number should be engraved on the engine itself.

Once you’re armed with this information, head to and search by your vehicle’s year, make and model to see your engine options. PartCycle lists all of the engines available, complete with grade and mileage. Most repairers recommend buying a used engine with less than 100,000 miles. A good rule to follow is an average vehicle will accrue 12,000 miles a year. So, if you’re replacing an engine in a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, you want to look for an engine with around 60,000 miles.

Here’s the best part: recycled engines cost way less than new. The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze engine can be found on for $825. New, you’re looking at spending more than $3,500. Cha-ching.

buy a used engine from partcycleBuy a Used Engine for $1,000 or Less

This is the best part. Recycled engines are a much better value than new. Not only are they like, kind and quality to the engine that came with your car, but a replacement engine assembly comes with the engine block, cylinder heads, timing and valve covers and an oil pan. A recycled engine will also typically also come with hoses and seals, but those should be replaced before having it installed.

Once you find your engine on, buy it and have it shipped directly to your mechanic. The engine automatically comes with a 180-day warranty. Shipping is fast and there is a no-hassle return policy. If it doesn’t work, no problem, your mechanic can ship it right back to the supplier. Here’s an entire blog post dedicated to PartCycle and where we get our engines.

Why would you go any other route when it comes to big repairs? Every other repair / improvement business allows you to buy your own parts and materials. Think about it, would you let your plumber pick out your next bathroom faucet? Auto repairs should be no different – and you’re spending way more! PartCycle puts you in control of your parts. Find great used auto parts at

Erin Sandage
Erin Sandage
Senior Editor at The Locator
Erin has written articles on the automotive industry since 2008 with a specific focus on automotive recycling. She also serves as Senior Editor for The Locator Magazine and Locator UpFront.
Categories: Car Troubles, Engines, Part Needs