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You may have come across an car listing that says the vehicle in question has a rebuilt engine, but what does that mean?

An engine can wear to the point of being unable to perform adequately. At that stage, it must be taken apart and then put back together with new parts to replace the worn components. Tell tale signs of an engine that needs to be rebuilt include high oil consumption and white smoke coming from the tail pipe.

Rebuilding an engine is a detailed process that includes the cleaning and assessment of the short block, replacement of the piston rings, bearings or other components in addition to reconditioning of the cylinders in order to make sure the engine is in top shape.

Where was it rebuilt?

Troy Snyder is the chief operating officer of NADA Guides, a publication that follows the transaction prices of used cars. The folks at NADA Guides offer good insight into the value of used cars. “A rebuilt engine can be as good as the OEM one,” Snyder said. “Sometimes a rebuilt engine can maintain the original engine warranty.”

If you’re looking at a car with a rebuilt engine, he said that you should look at where the service was performed. “Certain organizations (like a dealership) are trusted to handle such a job,” she said. “If you go down to your regular mechanics shop there’s more risk involved.”
What do you think? Read Should I Buy A Car With A Rebuilt Engine at AutoGuide.com to learn more and discuss.
 

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1992 Fleetwood S&S Hearse, 1993 Buick Roadmaster
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I would not be afraid to (knowingly) purchase a car with a rebuilt motor, assuming that I was able to find out where it was done, and I was at least reasonably certain that it was rebuilt correctly. I say reasonably certain because: #1) even the best motor builder has to have an off-day occasionally, and #2) you can only be reasonably certain that the motor in your brand-new car, right off the sales floor, was correctly rebuilt. If I was buying a second-hand car from an individual and he told me he had rebuilt the engine in his own garage, I'd be a little more leery, because he has no quality control department that he has to answer to, and there's definitely no warranty from the individual.

Here's something that may be worth considering: how many of us are driving cars with rebuilt motors that have no idea that's what they have? One, if you bought it used, you may never know. Two, if an engine fails on the assembly line, do they throw it away, or do they take it apart and rebuild it? If anyone here has ever worked in a plant building cars and can answer that question, I'm curious to know.
 
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