How to Buy a Used Engine for a Vauxhall

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How to Buy a Used Engine for a Vauxhall

Vauxhall Motors is a British car brand that is a subsidiary of Opel, a German car manufacturer. In turn, Opel is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American firm, General Motors. Vauxhall is currently the second largest car company in the United Kingdom, behind Ford, and has maintained that position for over 20 years. As most of Vauxhall's products are engineered in Germany, it is not surprising that the cars are virtually identical to the Opels produced there. However, Vauxhall has its roots in the UK and is still regarded as a British brand.

Drivers are often under the impression that once an engine has failed due to any number of factors the only solution is to scrap the car. However, there are times when replacing the engine on a Vauxhall makes good economic sense. If the rest of the car is in good condition, a used engine replacement can give it new life. It also can be a primary factor in increasing the resale value of a car that might otherwise be heading to the salvage yard. eBay is one of the best sources for a used engine for a Vauxhall.

A Brief History of Vauxhall Motors

Vauxhall is an inner city area of London, with a name derived from the original Foxhall after one of King John's mercenaries. During the middle of the 19th century, the area was a centre of industrial development. In 1857, Alexander Wilson established Alex Wilson and Company, which was renamed Vauxhall Iron Works in 1897. The company produced primarily marine engines and pumps until 1903 when it moved into the nascent car industry. It was renamed Vauxhall Motors in 1907 after the company determined that car production would become its primary focus.

General Motors (GM) acquired Vauxhall in 1925 and maintains ownership today after considering selling it in 2009. GM considers it to be a primary component in its global marketing strategy. Vauxhall remains at the forefront of car development and its models routinely win European Car of the Year awards.

When to Replace an Engine

In order to assess the need for a complete engine replacement accurately, a competent mechanic should determine that there is no other solution. It makes good sense to get more than one diagnosis because replacing the engine is a relatively expensive option. Some engine repairs involve fixing or replacing components rather than buying an entire unit, whereas others require the replacement of an entire engine. These are the most common engine faults.

Seized Engine

A seized engine has failed due to insufficient lubrication and must be replaced. Most seized engines are the result of metal scraping metal and rarely are these events confined to just one cylinder. By the time the problem becomes apparent and the driver has ignored the warning light once too often, the engine has crossed over into its next life as recycled paper clips.


Just as a lack of oil can cause problems, an overdose of water can do the same. The only substances that should ever enter a cylinder chamber are drops of fuel and air. The air is compressed and the fuel is ignited, which continues the cycle. Water cannot be compressed, so if it tries to join the mix, everything is affected, including the pistons, rods, and other expensive components.


The trick with overheating is to catch the problem early. In the same way as oil pressure, a rising temperature means that an expensive fault is about to happen. An early diagnosis may result only in a new thermostat or hose. If not diagnosed early, the usual results are cracked blocks or heads, which may be more expensive than a replacement engine.

Timing Belt Break

Depending on the type of engine, a broken timing belt can either be a relatively inexpensive inconvenience or, in the case of newer engines, may result in a valve replacement or worse. Either scenario is preventable by making sure that the timing belt is replaced according to the maintenance schedule in the Vauxhall's owner's manual.

Condition of a Used Engine for a Vauxhall

The decision whether to buy a new or used replacement engine is not simply a matter of price. It makes little sense to buy a new engine for a car that is 20 years old unless that car has been maintained impeccably. However, the reverse is not always true. Even if a Vauxhall is relatively new, replacing a dead engine with a used one is still worth considering.

New vs. Used Engines

Much of the decision to buy a used engine has to do with whether the owner intends to keep the car indefinitely. Many drivers would assume that since the engine is useless, the rest of the car is soon to follow. That is not always the case. Bear in mind that replacing the engine in a newer model is usually the result of either a significant accident or poor maintenance. It may be that the rest of the car has considerable life remaining in it.

Used vs. Remanufactured Engines

There is some confusion about the differences between a used engine and a remanufactured engine. Both are technically "used", but before shopping for either it is best to understand the language and be able to translate some of the terminology. The terms remanufactured, reconditioned, and rebuilt allude to the same thing.

A remanufactured Vauxhall engine means that any replacement parts have been exchanged for new ones that are up to the specifications of the original manufacturer, in this case, Vauxhall. Remanufactured engines are far more expensive than those that have not been subjected to parts replacement. On the other hand, often those parts do not need to be replaced and the price is unnecessarily inflated.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Engine for a Vauxhall

The primary problem with buying a used Vauxhall engine is comparing all of the products available. The best place to find any used engine is to use an online marketplace, as it has hundreds of choices. The sellers recognise how competitive the market is and offer the best prices. These are the most important factors to consider when searching for the best used engine for a Vauxhall.


It should go without saying that there are many different Vauxhall models and many of them have different engines. It is vital to confirm that the engine does fit the car in order not to waste time and money. Drivers without mechanical experience should consult the mechanic performing the installation to confirm the compatibility of the engine with the make, model, and year of the car.

Included Parts

Find out what is included with the used engine. If buying in person, then look at the parts, and if purchasing online ensure that photos are available from multiple angles that show all of the components clearly. Items such as alternators and air conditioner compressors may or may not be included.

Seller References

An advantage of buying online, as opposed to dealing with a seller uncovered from an advertisement in a newspaper, is that the buyer has the opportunity to confirm that the seller is reliable. Check all feedback comments and look for other signs that the seller has a good track record of successful transactions.


In general, the buyer pays for delivery on large, heavy items, such as car engines. As a result, if the seller is nearby or within a reasonable distance, it may be wise for the buyer to collect the engine. If this is not possible, then save time and money by having the engine delivered directly to the garage or mechanic that is performing the installation.

Buying a Used Engine for a Vauxhall on eBay

Buyers that wish to find a used Vauxhall engine begin their search on the eBay home page. There is a handy search tool on every eBay page that leads you directly to the engine that you want. For example, if you are looking for a used Vauxhall Astra engine, just enter those terms into the open field and you are directed to every currently available listing. From there you can narrow the search even further by specifying the price and other details. Buyers may choose to spend a few minutes reading eBay's Search Tips to get some other search suggestions.

eBay Discussion Forums

One of the best features eBay offers is the opportunity to participate in discussion boards with others that may be looking for the same Vauxhall engine. Regardless of your question or concern, chances are that someone else has had a similar issue in the past and is able to offer pointers on price negotiation or delivery. These forums are a great way to make contact with people that have had similar experiences.


Vauxhall Motors is one of the most well established and successful carmakers in history. The company produces a good quality product, and undertakes extensive research and development to ensure that continues to be the case. Regardless of how well built a car may be, at some point it is likely to require a replacement engine. Buyers that take the time to conduct thorough research are likely to be rewarded by finding a good quality used engine. It is a matter of knowing what to look for, asking the right questions, and buying from a reputable source.

eBay provides buyers with the opportunity to find a great used engine for a Vauxhall at an unbeatable price. The vast number of dealers and private sellers on eBay creates competition, which results in the best prices. The days of calling all over the country in the hope of somehow finding exactly the right used engine are over. Now, it is simply a matter of sitting down at a computer, tablet, or smartphone, researching the list of sellers, making a purchase, and arranging delivery. eBay is one of the best ways to find a used engine for a Vauxhall.

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