The Difference Between a Rebuilt Engine and a Remanufactured Engine

A question that we get asked a lot is:

“What is the difference between a rebuilt engine and a remanufactured engine?”

New Engine Assembly Line

The Difference Between a New Engine vs New Remanufactured Engine

Let’s start with the difference between a new engine and a new remanufactured engine.  Basically a new remanufactured engine and a new engine is exactly the same thing except the new remanufactured engine is much better. The basic reason why the word remanufactured came into existence is because years ago manufacturers used to call them new but their claim to new was challenged by some astute lawyers who claimed that you could not call them “new” because the engine was not the same as it was when it first came with the vehicle.  Meaning that the minute any update was done to the engine and it changed from the way it was originally manufactured you had to call it remanufactured.  There are some companies that like to say that they are selling new engines but in reality they are selling remanufactured engines. Again, because updates have been done you MUST call them remanufactured and not new.

New Remanufactured Engine

So getting a new remanufactured engine is actually better than getting a “new” engine for many reasons.  Let’s take an example of a 2002 Chevy Pickup with a 5.7L engine in it.  Do you really want an engine that was “new” back in 2002 and has been sitting on the shelf for 10 years not being run, tested, oiled, maintained, and has not had any updates to it since its original production? The answer is clearly NONew remanufactured engines come with all new and updated internal parts that are either replaced or inspected. A new remanufactured engine has many new parts inside of it.  A partial list of new items in a new remanufactured engine may include: pistons, rings, oil pump, valves, bushings, valve guides, cam bearings, lifters, valve seals, rear main seal, rod bearings, main bearings, timing chain, timing gear, push rods, soft plugs, new or remanufactured cylinder head, new or remanufactured crank shaft, new or remanufactured camshaft, etc.  Not only is it important that all the internal parts of a new remanufactured engine have been replaced but the fact that every single update has been done at the time of manufacturing which makes a new remanufactured engine a far superior product than a “new” engine.

The Difference Between a Rebuilt Engine and a Remanufactured Engine

This is probably the most confused term that is used in the engine replacement market today.  A rebuilt engine is NOT the same as a new remanufactured engine.  We have already shown that a new remanufactured engine is actually better than a new engine.  A rebuilt engine is significantly different than a new remanufactured engine.   A rebuilt engine is an engine that is just fixed, some parts replaced, and shipped to you with a limited and fine print warranty.  What exactly does this mean?

Cheap Rebuilt Engines

An example of this would be if the engine failed due to the main bearings going bad, then a rebuilt engine will have the lower end parts that failed replaced.  The upper part of the engine with the old parts would not be replaced; they would just be cleaned up.  An example would be leaving the old cam, cam bearings, valves, springs, etc. still in the engine and not being replaced while the lower end got new bearings.

The advantage of a rebuilt engine would appear to be the lower price.  The problem with this is that the quality of the engine along with the longevity of it is drastically reduced.  Most rebuilt engines typically last maybe one year or less and the warranty has to be looked at very closely to find out what loopholes’ there may be.  If you want to replace the engine of your vehicle so you can turn around and get rid of it, then a rebuilt might be an ok option.  If you are looking for reliability, high quality, a true warranty, hassle free operation, and longevity then a new remanufactured engine is going to be your best option.


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