Ethical dilemma re: trade-in and ultimate value

I have an '03 SUV w/ 75K that required a heart transplant last January. A replacement engine with like age and mileage was installed and the truck has been running nominally since then. The vehicle is in otherwise fantastic shape with new tires (13k), new exhaust, and pristine int/ext. Here’s my dilemma, I want to trade this truck in for a new vehicle. Should I/must I disclose the status of the engine to the dealership where I am purchasing a new car? If I don’t and they take the trade, then find out it’s not the original engine, would there be any legal liability on my part? Also, does having a replacement engine knock down the trade-in value, and if so, by how much? Thanks, appreciate any feedback.

You would be under no legal liability that I’m aware of and you should just say nothing.
Odds are that if you were buying this vehicle they would not tell you about this unless some salesman was trying to puff it up by stating the vehicle has a brand new engine; and odds are that “brand new” is what the salesman would refer to it as.

I agree with ok4450. Telling them you just had a used engine installed will give the salesman a great distortion of the truth to use to try to resell your vehicle. You can keep this information to yourself with a clear conscience, probably clearer than had you told them about it and had the salesmen plugging away at this “creampuff” with a “brand new engine” in it.

Your vehicle is almost eight years old. It has new tires, exhaust system and you say that the interior and exterior are in great shape. If the vehicle has never been in an accident and the engine and drivetrain check out, I wouldn’t hestitate to buy it if this were a vehicle I wanted. It would make no difference to me if the engine had been replaced. A replacement engine, as long as it is the correct engine, makes the vehicle right. An accident where the frame is bent may cause the vehicle to never be right.
If you had to install a replacement transmission, would that be a concern? I don’t think so. Why would an engine be any different?
The only time I would be concerned about a replacement engine is if the replacement was not the correct engine for the car. I had a classmate in high school that installed a Cadillac V-8 engine in a 1951 Mercury. This led to all kinds of problems.

A trade-in is an as-is transaction. The only item that is required is a successful transfer of title.

No worries.

Let me add one more thing: I would be much less concerned about an engine transplant than an engine that was “rebuilt” and not done correctly. I once purchased a 1955 Pontiac and the dealer had overhauled the engine. The engine was never right. The oil passages to the rocker arms would become blocked with sludge and the rocker arms would chirp. I never could get rid of the problem. I think that the problem was caused by the fact that the car wasn’t equipped with an oil filter–it was an option in those days. Had the dealer installed a good used engine, the car would have been much better.