How to source parts for your car repair project
If you’re into DIY maintenance and mechanics and you’ve bought an old model car as a project, you might fancy saving yourself some money by buying an engine for your ride from a reputable wreckers’ yard in your area.
But how do you make sure that the engine you’re buying is the right one, and not just rubbish that truly is ‘scrap’?
Getting the right engine for your car
In order to make sure that you get the right engine for your car, you’ll need to give the wreckers’ yard the VIN, (vehicle identification number). This will provide the salvage yard with the car’s year of manufacture, as well as its make and model. The VIN will also give the wreckers the correct engine code, the power output and the fuel type. All this information is vital if you are to obtain the correct engine for your car.
Before you buy a used engine, ask the dealer why the car it came from was scrapped in the first place and if possible, ask to see it. It could be that something vital failed in the engine itself, such as the head gasket. Alternatively, the car could have been an accident write off with severely damaged bodywork, whilst the engine remained intact and in perfect working order.
You should also ask what mileage the old engine had done before it was scrapped. This will give you an idea of what parts might be most likely to fail so that you can replace anything worn at the outset.
Fitting the replacement engine
In general, salvage engines are drained of oil before they are offered for sale. This means that you must put new oil into the engine once it’s fitted in your car, before you attempt to start it. If the used engine still contains an oil filter, you should remove it and replace it with a new one.
After you’ve fitted the used engine into your car, you should fit a new timing belt. If you don’t bother to replace the timing belt and it fails, any guarantee that the wrecker gave you will probably be invalidated.
Before you part with your cash, check that the dealer offers a returns policy. This will cover you if the engine does not have a clear part number displayed on it and consequently doesn’t fit, or if it transpires that there is a serious fault with the engine, rendering it useless.
A wreckers’ yard can be a great place to source a used engine for your old car project. If you’re new to the game, follow the tips above and ask the dealer for more information and advice on how to choose the best parts for your project.