How to Buy a Used Engine for a Nissan

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How to Buy a Used Engine for a Nissan

Nissan is a Japanese auto manufacturing company, and, like Toyota, is a giant in the automotive world. Nissan engines are highly reliable and durable, and can provide many years of good service after being purchased second hand. An engine replacement is not taken lightly. Being a major mechanical repair, therefore, the purchase of a new engine and the cost of installation can come with a hefty cost. However, rather than purchase a brand new motor, it is possible to replace an engine with a perfectly good second hand one that can be acquired much more cheaply. Used engines abound on eBay, which makes it a popular place to buy and sell both new and used engines. For Nissan cars, there are listed engines to match exact models, so drivers have no reason not to find the motor they need.

A customer may need to replace the complete engine for their Nissan, or perhaps only a component. Either way, it is imperative they have adequate mechanical knowledge and have attained professional consultation before they order.

Types of Used Nissan Engines

Used car engines fall into several categories according to what has been done to restore them for resale. These include categorical terms such as rebuilt, reconditioned, and remanufactured. Although these terms do refer to different types of restoration work, various companies can mean different things by them, so the terms in themselves can be confounding rather than instructive. There is, however, a more technical way to differentiate between the various types of engine restoration, as the below lists demonstrates. These examples are all complete engines.

Used Nissan Engines

A used Nissan engine is any motor that has been in prior use, irrespective of restoration work undertaken. Typically, however, engines that fall under the simple category of used have often had minimal restoration work done, aside from a service and clean. Although used engines are generally serviced before being listed for sale, there is no minimum legal requirement. A customer must verify exactly what service has been undertaken before choosing to purchase. Naturally, an engine that is listed after having minimal work carried out sells for far less money.

Rebuilt Nissan Engine

As the name suggests, a rebuilt Nissan engine is disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled with new parts. Additional repair work is carried out according to specific needs. A rebuilt engine is one that has originally been worn out or damaged, and restored to the same good working order as before it ceased to work.

Reconditioned Nissan Engine

A reconditioned Nissan engine can amount to the same as a rebuilt one, as the parts are likewise disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled with new parts. However a more thorough renovation may take place over the entire engine, and present the complete motor as new, including paintwork.

Remanufactured Nissan Engine

A remanufactured Nissan engine is one that has had the most comprehensive restoration. All parts are disassembled by the authorised company and rebuilt to exact specifications to comply with original manufacturing standards. With all parts replaced, machined and tested, the remanufactured engine is as good as a new one.

Finding Used Nissan Engines

Car wrecking yards are a common place to source used Nissan car engines, and there are many to be found in good condition in such locations. Online sources, however, have become an increasingly popular way to find these engines. The advantage of this method is a customer can go to a Nissan manufacturer or dealership website and enter their car's model details. The customer can then bring up the exact engine type and engine model needed. This information can then be taken to one of the many websites online that offer new, reconditioned, rebuilt, and second hand engines.

Purchasing Used Nissan Engines from eBay

eBay has a large assortment of Nissan engines, and engines from other makes and models are also well represented. The engines listed are available in all sorts of conditions, from those pulled straight from damaged cars, to some that are fully remanufactured. If sourcing from eBay, there are some precautions a customer must observe in order to avoid inheriting someone else's engine trouble.

Assess the Seller

The customer should be aware of who they are dealing with. On eBay, used engines are sold by both individual sellers and professional dealers. It is preferable that a buyer choose a seller who is a second hand auto dealer who represents an auto parts or manufacturing company, and who has a link to their eBay shop. This gives the customer some security, as they can see that engine and parts replacements is something the seller specialises in. The customer should also take note of the seller's customer feedback score and ratings. Professional sellers who offer good service have consistently high scores.


A customer should only buy a used engine for their Nissan if the seller offers a warranty and returns policy. Any warranty offered is only ever a very limited one, and unlikely to exceed six months, because the engine cannot be guaranteed indefinitely. Some sellers offer no warranty or returns policy because they have not verified the working order of their engine. The customer must walk away from such a sale.

Service Record

A proven service record is essential, and a customer should insist on seeing this before choosing any used car engine. Sellers are not immune to misrepresenting the engines they have for sale, and this is sometimes done deliberately. A service record can verify as closely as possible, the exact history of the car and its engine. Perhaps the most helpful information for a customer is to know is who the previous owner was. Many used car salesmen take advantage of a car that has had a single owner, and even more so when that single owner was a middle-aged professional. Such a car history boosts sales, as it implies that the car has been well maintained. It is the same with used engines.

Mileage and Age

The amount of work the engine has done is relevant, but it should not be a sole determining factor. If the customer wishes to buy a used Nissan engine that is over ten years old, they should not trust any reported mileage as being under 32 000 kilometres. Rather, they should estimate the mileage based on it having done 19 300 kilometres per year, and multiply this by the age of the engine.

An engine needs to be periodically run so as to be kept in good order. A customer should ask the seller for close-up images of the engine, and other ways to verify that it has not been sitting idle for years. If it has, there is every probability that the pistons siezed up, making it useless to the buyer. Nevertheless, when purchasing old engines, a customer must always factor in potential wear and tear already sustained, and not expect it to perform quite like a new one.


There are many car engines in perfect condition that come from written-off cars. A customer must verify the status of the engine, and ensure that it is not damaged before making a decision. Again, high resolution and close up photographs should be provided for customers. Failing this, a personal inspection is always a good idea providing distance is not too great. Take the sale no further if seller refuses this opportunity.

The following chart summarises some of the most important considerations a customer must keep in mind when choosing a used Nissan engine. Although this checklist is just an example, it provides key factors that are essential for a customer's buying security.




Ascertain selling identity and credibility


Only buy from a seller who offers some warranty

Service record

Essential information for the customer; ideally includes relevant information of previous owner

Mileage and age

Verify condition with photographic evidence; expect high mileage for motors over 10 years old


Have motor condition verified with close-up photos, reports, or personal inspection

Used car engines come in all sorts of conditions. As a result, the above precautions and more may be needed according to individual circumstances. A customer must be circumspect and use appropriate discretion.

How to Buy a Used Engine for a Nissan on eBay

Once you have determined the type of engine you need, locating this on eBay should not be difficult. You can either enter a general search, such as "used Nissan engine", or a model specific search including engine number or code. When you have found a listing that appears suitable, save and continue looking. It is important to find several other listings if available, as this enables you to make valuable comparisons. Read all information the seller has provided, and check their terms of sale and returns policy.

As noted earlier, you should also make some enquiries into your potential seller's reputation. Doing this increases your confidence to buy, and initiating any communication between you and them can sort out any further questions you may have regarding engine suitability. If you choose a local seller, you may also be able to inspect the engine before you choose. In the event that you buy from a company, you may need to designate a commercial address for delivery of your engine, such as the garage of your chosen mechanic.


It is every car owner's dread, because there is perhaps nothing more frustrating than having to replace an entire engine. If a customer has a car engine that uses a lot of oil and water, the long term prognosis is not promising. Even when maintaining regular services and keeping up oil, fluid and coolant levels in the meantime, it may not be long before eventual collapse. Bearing that in mind, the buyer must exercise caution when purchasing a used Nissan engine from eBay. A thorough check of listed information is not enough; the customer should seek some evidence from the seller that the engine they wish to buy is defect free.

Cheap may be a temptation for the bargain hunter, but it should never seduce the car owner who needs to replace their engine. Doing so can almost be guaranteed to lead to serious regret. Consultation of the relevant specialists in the field is always the best option to be sure of purchasing a used engine with plenty of life in it.

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