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Buying a Used Engine

In the realm of vehicle repairs, opting for a pre-owned engine can be a savvy move to get your wheels back on the road without breaking the bank. However, you do want to be sure you’re not trading one set of problems for another. When searching for used engines near me or used engines online, you find many options but there are a few important considerations: mileage, compatibility, warranty and trustworthiness of the seller. When considering a used engine purchase, keep these essential pointers in mind to steer clear of potential headaches:

Mind the Mileage

The mileage on your prospective used engine is a pivotal factor. A higher mileage engine may be nearing the end of its lifespan, so it’s crucial to gauge its wear and tear. Check the odometer reading on the donor car to assess its usage history. Some sites will tell you if the mileage is unavailable, look at the engine for signs of heavy wear, like oil leaks or rust on the engine block – don’t accept this! Any reputable engine provider will give you the mileage of the donor vehicle, refusing to do so is a red flag. At Pete’s Auto Parts we can even provide you with a mileage report showing the vehicle’s mileage history, similar to a CarFax, through a vendor we use called VINMatchPro. This way you can be sure the engine you are buying has the amount of miles on it that you are looking for!

Compatibility Check

Ensure that the used engine you’re eyeing matches your vehicle’s specifications. Whoever you choose to purchase the engine from, they should ask you questions to verify the make, model, and year of your vehicle and/or get your VIN, so they can be sure the donor car is a seamless fit. Many manufacturers put the same engine in multiple vehicle models, so it could be your Tahoe engine is the exact same motor as a Silverado engine, the vehicles do not necessarily need to match perfectly but what engine came standard from the factory does! You may be able to cross-reference the information the automotive parts supplier gives you with your vehicle’s to ensure compatibility, but at Pete’s Auto Parts we can do that for you.

Warranty Coverage

Understanding the terms and conditions beforehand is paramount. Be aware of what the warranty covers, whether it’s specific engine parts or the entire unit, and any limitations regarding time or mileage. At Pete’s Auto Parts, we require all engines have a new filter at installation, as well as new fluids and seals and gaskets, and we ask you to save your receipts for these items in case there is an issue so we can be sure you did put a new filter on the engine, used the correct fluids, etc.

Many warranties, including ours, specify you must properly program or flash the powertrain control module (PCM, also called an engine brain box or ECU engine control unit,) when that is part of the manufacturer’s installation instructions. You do not want to void your warranty or damage the engine by failing to go through this crucial step! All engines at Pete’s Auto Parts come with a 90 day part-only warranty, and we have options to extend that coverage to 1 or 3 years and to add labor. (You can read more about our warranties at Even if you are not buying a motor at Pete’s we recommend you ask about the warranty and protect your investment by requesting a warranty!

Trustworthy Sellers 

Opt for reputable sellers with a track record of customer satisfaction. Scout for positive reviews and feedback from previous buyers. Consider sourcing from businesses that participate in nationwide programs such as the ARA (Automotive Recyclers Association) Gold Seal quality program and their CAR environmental and safety program, and/or the United Recyclers Group’s URG8000 quality program.

Pete’s Auto Parts participates in all of these programs and we see quality sellers do too, because they want to improve their business and their (your!) customer satisfaction. While environmental programs may not affect the quality of your engine, you know the business you are buying from is taking good care of our earth! The quality programs ensure you are dealing with a high-end yard that takes many documented steps to assure the quality of the parts they are selling. ARA has a nationwide customer complaint hotline (888-385-1005) for any customer to help resolve a dispute, offering another layer of protection.


Many customers find our website searching used engines for sale near me. Whatever brought you to searching used engines online, we are glad you are here! At Pete’s Auto Parts we love to help customers local to us in Ottawa County, Michigan, but we ship nationwide and we are happy to be of assistance no matter where you are located. Whether you are working on a project car, getting your vehicle back on the road after a blown engine, or buying an engine for a family member, you need a quality engine that will run for many miles. We hope we’ve shown you the best practices for buying a used engine so you will be able to save money and get the BEST engine for the vehicle! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us by phone or by text at 616-669-6592. 

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Friendly EXPERTs To Help You Find The Right Part

Pete’s Auto Parts is a well-established used auto parts supplier in Michigan that employs a team of five highly knowledgeable salespeople dedicated to finding the right parts for customers.

used engines michigan

Quality Inspected & Backed By Warranty

Every part comes with a standard 90-day part-only warranty as we stand by our quality. Plus, we offer extended warranty options so you can rest easy knowing your investment is protected.