How to Buy a Complete Engine for Your Vehicle

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How to Buy a Complete Engine for Your Vehicle

A lot of people have grown accustomed to their automobiles and depend heavily on them to get them to where they need to go. If something should happen to that vehicle to make it inoperable, such as an engine breaking down, the results of the breakdown are often devastating to the owner, especially if they are unable to afford a new vehicle. Often, it may be impossible or impractical to buy another vehicle for this reason, and many people choose to purchase a complete engine for the vehicle instead.

A lot of money can be saved by replacing an engine rather than replacing a whole car if the engine is chosen properly. Engines can be located at automotive stores, in catalogues, and online on eBay. Knowing how to choose a complete engine cannot only save money, but it can also significantly improve the overall performance of the vehicle, adding years of reliable service to the owner.

Why a Complete Engine?

There are many reasons why someone might choose to replace an engine. It could be that the old engine stopped running and a new one is needed because the repair work is too extensive and costly to justify a rebuild. Another reason a person may choose to replace an engine is to upgrade the one that they currently have to increase speed or fuel economy. Just because a person purchased a vehicle with a certain type of engine already there, it does not mean that they necessarily need to stick with the same type when it comes to replacing it. Installing a new complete engine can be rewarding in more ways than one.

Replacing an engine is not always a cheap fix for a vehicle, especially an older model vehicle. Sometimes, it is not even uncommon for the engine to cost more itself than the car is even worth. That is not to say that there is no value in replacing an engine in an older model vehicle. Many people who like to restore antique cars with classic car complete engine set-ups are often in the market for a complete engine. In order to get around this expense, many individuals opt to rebuild an engine rather than replace it with a complete engine. This is not always the best route to take, especially if it requires additional investments beyond just the cost of the engine alone. There are other alternatives that could end up costing less if a person knows what type of engines are available.

Engine Types

Although replacing an engine that has exhausted its lifespan is usually less expensive than buying another car, rebuilding an engine does not have to be the only solution. There are ways that a complete engine can be obtained for almost any vehicle without breaking the bank. Listed below in the table are some common examples of complete engine types that can be found for many vehicle replacement projects along with the notable characteristics of each.


Notable Characteristics


Usually the most expensive type depending on model; often comes with warranty, which may be extended; longer lifespan than other types


Usually less expensive than new; usually as good as new depending on type purchased; often comes with warranty, which may be limited


Usually the best value; may have shorter lifespan than other types

Not Working

Typically the cheapest; normally used for spare parts; usually no warranty included

When purchasing a complete engine, it is always best to check with the seller to see what warranty, if any, comes with the vehicle. It is also advisable to make sure that any information expressed or implied is part of the final warranty before paying for a complete engine.

Engine Models

Just as there are various categories of complete engines that can be located, there are various models as well. Depending on the needs of the owner and the vehicle, one engine type may be more suitable than another. Becoming familiar with a brief background of different common complete engine models provides a buyer more background information to assist with their engine buying decision.

Straight Engines

Straight engines, also referred to as inline engines, refer to the alignment of the cylinders. All of the cylinders in a straight engine are aligned in a straight path. This engine model is designed to be lightweight and is the most common type of engine in vehicles with four cylinders, although there are various foreign model straight engines that have five and six cylinders as well.

In addition to being lighter, they are also more compact than other types of engines, which makes them ideally suited for compact vehicles. Straight engines are often the most fuel efficient variety and have lower production costs, which means the savings is normally passed on to the consumer.

V Type Engines

One of the major differences in a V type engine compared to straight engine is the alignment of the cylinders, like the V8 engine for example. Whereas a straight engine has all of the cylinders lined up in a row, the V type engine has cylinder placement that is set at 90 degree angles from one another.

Many vehicle owners enjoy this model of engine because it is a lower profile one, and the length of the engine is also shorter compared to other engine models. It is constructed to a heavy crankshaft and rigid block. This model is ideally suited for providing higher vehicle performance, and is frequently used in race cars and in other high speed and high performance endeavours.

Boxer Engines

The boxer engine, also commonly referred to as a flat engine, is the first engine invented to use internal combustion. The pistons are on different horizontal axis from one another, and the cylinders are arranged in a boxer style formation on each side of the engine's crankshaft. This model of engine is considered to be a very stable one because of its low centre of gravity, and it is commonly placed in the rear of the vehicle, such as in the Volkswagen Beetle flat engine set-up.

One of the major drawbacks of this engine model is the size. Because this type of engine is wider than others, it is often hard to place in some car models. The boxer engine is known for its smooth idle although they are also considered to be noisier than other engine models.

Diesel Engines

Two chief differences characterise this type of engine.cThe first major difference is that the diesel engine uses diesel fuel for power rather than petrol. The second major difference is in the fact that ignition is created by compression of the fuel and air mix before it gets to the combustion chamber without the requirement of spark plugs.

Because the interior of the engine is designed to be stronger to allow for the ignition difference, this type of engine is 15 per cent more efficient in converting fuel into energy to power the vehicle. Another advantage to this model of engine is that it has a stronger interior and is typically on the road twice as long as those that use petrol.

There are other advantages as well to owning a diesel engine. Besides the advantages previously mentioned, the fuel source is not flammable, unlike petrol, making it more useful for certain business applications. There is also less heat in the exhaust, they do not experience vapour lock, and are just as efficient as engines that use petrol in situations where more power is needed from it.

How to Buy a Complete Engine on eBay

Buying a complete engine on eBay is very simple. Once you know what type of engine you are in the market for, all you have to do is to go the eBay home page and perform a search, and almost instantly a large variety of items are displayed in front of you to browse through.

To begin your quest for the perfect engine, begin by entering keywords related to the type of complete engine you are looking for. You can make the search as narrow or as broad as you want. For example, if you try typing in "complete engine" and click on the search icon, you more than likely see hundreds if not thousands of entries returned for you to browse through. You can narrow down your choices considerably by typing in a more refined keyword search by including the make, model, year, and other categorical information and get results returned that more specific to your needs.


Buying a complete engine for a vehicle sometimes can be confusing when there are so many other alternatives available. Buying a complete engine has its advantages, especially when they are new. Many times, new complete engines are the most reliable types and may often come with a warranty. Many people find that buying a new engine is more than what they need and elect instead to buy one that is used, remanufactured, or complete engines that do not run. Engines that are not running could save the purchaser money if the part on the one they are buying is in shape and cheaper than buying that part elsewhere.

Buying a complete engine online at eBay offers several advantages too. Both the buyer and seller are rewarded when they build a relationship built on good service and trust. Knowing how to buy a complete engine for your vehicle can take the stress out of the equation and get the vehicle off to a new start again.

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