How to Buy a Used Engine for a Honda

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How to Buy a Used Engine for a Honda

No matter what the reason for replacing the engine on a Honda, this entails a big change for the car. Installing the right engine can improve a Honda's performance, or it can be a less expensive way to get a Honda that has a non-functioning engine back on the road. The engine is a Honda's heart, so replacing an engine is a bit like doing a heart transplant for a Honda. A Honda cannot run without the right engine installed properly.

One can successfully buy a used engine for a Honda by considering the right factors, including compatibility, performance, mileage and age, auxiliary parts, and the difficulty of installation. Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of different sources, including the conventional channels, for used engines for Hondas helps consumers decide where to make the purchase. eBay has many used engines for Hondas for sale, so consumers should be familiar with the eBay buying process if they decide to buy a used engine through the website. Replacing a Honda engine can seem as complicated as heart surgery, but it does not need to be, if consumers do their homework.

Consider Important Used Engine Factors

Installing a used engine into a Honda is more complicated than swapping out the car's stereo head. Those planning to buy a used engine for a Honda must consider a few important factors before purchasing a used engine. Taking these factors into account helps a potential buyer find the right used engine that also accommodates the budget.


Compatibility is the primary factor to consider when buying a used engine for a Honda. The Honda company has produced many engines for many car models over the years, so there are myriad permutations for fitting an engine into a Honda model. On-board diagnostics and the series of Honda engine are two important compatibility aspects that consumers should pay attention to.

On-Board Diagnostics

Car engines have on-board diagnostics (OBD), a self-diagnostic and reporting system that helps lower vehicle emissions. The concept originated in the United States as a way of combatting car pollution. There are a couple of OBD generations that reflect changes in emissions regulations. The standards for American OBD-II reached the United Kingdom in 2000. All cars manufactured that year were required to have the OBD-II system, known as European OBD (EOBD), on their engines. All cars with petrol engines had to have EOBD in 2001, and those diesel engines needed to have EOBD in 2004.

Those planning to swap Honda engines should be aware that UK law requires the engines to be EOBD-compliant. Hondas with engines from the period before EOBD regulations took effect cannot pass UK emissions tests.

Honda Engine Series

Honda has produced a long series of different engine types over the years, but H-, F-, B-, and D-Series are among the more common past series. Of these, the F- and H-Series engines tend to be more easy to swap with one another. D- and B-Series engines require more components for engine swaps outside of the series. Many Hondas manufactured in the new millennium feature the K-Series engine, and it is possible to install these into older Honda models so long as one has the right swap parts for conversion.


Some consumers swap Honda engines because the original engine has malfunctioned beyond repair. Others do so to enhance the performance of the Honda. Whatever the goals, there are a few important performance aspects one should pay attention to when deciding which engine to buy.

The number of cylinders that an engine has influences the engine's performance. Consumers can choose between engines with four, six, or eight cylinders. A cylinder compresses air to generate power, so engines with more cylinders are generally more powerful. They also tend to use more fuel. Those planning to buy a used engine for a Honda should realise that retrofitting a six-cylinder engine in a Honda that originally had a four-cylinder engine can be more expensive than buying a new car due to all of the other modifications that are necessary.

Replacing a petrol engine with a diesel engine can improve fuel efficiency, but this swap can be very expensive. A diesel engine does not have a spark plug because the mixture of diesel fuel with air becomes hot enough when the piston compresses it to create usable energy. Diesel fuel is denser than petrol, so less is required for engine combustion. Replacing a petrol engine with a diesel engine requires modification to the Honda's fuel system, which may not be economical.

Mileage and Age

Those looking to replace the engine in a Honda with a used engine should check the mileage and the age of the used engine. The seller should be able to provide documentation related to both. Mileage is a more important factor that affects performance, because it is a reflection of how much use the engine has had. Engines can also deteriorate with time though, even if they have had relatively little use. The more mileage an engine has on it and the older it is, the less expensive the engine should be.

Auxiliary Parts

Some engines may only require a simple lift and bolt-in in order to work with a Honda. Other engines, however, may require new auxiliary parts in order to make the swap work. The table below lists a few important auxiliary parts to consider when buying a used engine for a Honda.

Auxiliary Part



Transmission of the same letter series as an engine bolt to that engine block; possible to swap out transmission as long as it is compatible


Ensure that engine can affix to car frame; engines have certain compatible mounts; mounts are available for purchase

Engine Control Unit

ECU reads sensors to determine how much fuel engine needs for combustion; engine head must have ECU designed to work with it

Shift Linkage

Rods linking stick-shift with transmission; incompatible rods prevent shifting the transmission


These also must be compatible with transmission; replacement engine's axles are unlikely to be compatible, so consumer must find the right ones

The requirement for replacing auxiliary parts varies from swap to swap. For example, putting a K20A2 engine inside a 2001 Honda Civic DX requires replacement of the transmission, mounts, ECU, shift linkage, and axles. Careful consideration of the auxiliary parts is therefore required.

Difficulty of Installation

The difficulty of installing a used engine in a Honda also factors into the buying process. As mentioned, some engines bolt right in and are ready to go. Others require replacement of other parts and compatibility kits. The more modifications that users need to make, the more difficult installing an engine is. Individuals planning to perform their own engine swaps should at least have an engine hoist for removing the old engine and inserting the new one. Those who do not feel comfortable installing a replacement engine are better off hiring mechanics to complete the installation. However, this can drive up the cost of replacing an engine.

Find Used Engine Sellers for Hondas

Once the salient used engine features have been considered, the car owner must find a source to buy a used engine from. Exploring the benefits and disadvantages of salvage yards, classified ads, and online markets helps consumers decide on the source from which to purchase a used engine for a Honda.

Salvage Yards

Local salvage yards sell many parts harvested from cars, including engines. They can be a good source because the owners of salvage yards are generally knowledgeable about engine compatibility. Salvage yards are also registered businesses with reputations to uphold, so it is in their interest to provide solid customer service. This source, however, may have a limited selection of engines since selection depends on the cars yard owners have purchased for their parts. Used engines may also be slightly more expensive in salvage yards since yard owners are looking to profit from sales.

Classified Ads

Consumers can connect with used engine sellers via local and online classified ads. These sellers may not be professional automotive parts dealers, so it can be possible to find bargains through this channel. Sellers on classified ads, however, may also not be as knowledgeable about the compatibility of their used engines with various Honda models. Furthermore, there is generally little opportunity for recourse if a buyer is dissatisfied with an engine purchased via classified ads.

Online Markets

Online markets can be reliable sources to buy used engines from. Sellers on these markets may be professional parts dealers or people selling engines from their own cars. Online markets often have a broad selection of used engines, and many markets offer the opportunity to rate sellers to ensure good customer service. The one drawback to this source is that shipping an engine or picking it up in person can be an expensive endeavour.

How to Buy a Used Engine for a Honda on eBay

One can find many used engines for Hondas for sale on eBay. The website is easy to search for the engine you want, and you can find local sellers to save money in the process. You can search for a used engine from any eBay page with the search bar. Enter a relevant term such as "Honda engine", select the series of categories related to car parts and complete engines, and then choose the "used" option from the condition menu to see which engines are available on the site. You can also use a more targeted search term, such as "Honda H22", if you already have a specific engine in mind.

Finding Local Sellers

Engines are expensive to ship, and travelling a long distance to pick up an engine to bring home also requires a financial investment. You can solve this problem by finding local sellers of used engines for a Honda on eBay. When conducting your search, you can filter the results by specifying the distance from your postcode within which sellers should be located. eBay then provides you with a list of sellers located close to you.


Buying a used engine for a Honda is a complicated task, but it becomes much easier when consumers understand the factors to consider and know where they can buy used engines. Compatibility is the primary factor determining how difficult and expensive it is to swap engines. Used engines should have an EOBD system so that the Hondas they are installed in remain street-legal. One should also buy an engine from the right Honda series for uncomplicated and less expensive swapping. The performance of an engine, including how many cylinders it has and whether it is petrol or diesel, is another important consideration. The used engine's age and mileage as well as the auxiliary parts that are required are other factors potential buyers must take into account.

eBay is one of a few sources where one can buy a used engine for a Honda. By learning how to search the site and find local sellers, buyers can get the used engines they need and save money in the process.

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