CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Replacement Engine

I live in Wheaton, IL. I currently drive a 2002 Nissan Maxima, V6, automatic. I need to replace my engine. What options are available for me in my area in terms of buying a quality, reliable replacement used engine? I am open to using the internet to augment my search as well.

I don’t know any particulars about your engine but most places will sell you an engine and truck it to you.
Look into JDM replacement engines. Cars are replaced very early in Japan, maybe at 40-50K, so engines are readily available. They are referred to as “JDM engines”. There are several companies out there that buy low mile engines from Japan and refurbish them by replacing what normally would need to be replaced, along with adding an EGR valve (Japan engines don’t have those things).
You can get a practically new engine for around 2500 or so - or at least, I know that’s what Subaru engines go for. Your car’s engine can’t be that different in price.

If your budget is limited, check out www.car-part.com for a used engine near you. There appeared to be dozens of them when I searched the Chicagoland area just now. Check around for a shop to install it. I’ve never given more than $350 for an engine installation. Of course I don’t live in your area.

Thanks for all of your helpful advice. I will keep everyone posted on my progress in finding an engine. Again, thank you!

Buying a used engine is the equivalent of getting a used car. Who knows what will happen, as it depends on previous driver habits and maintenance record. However it much more difficult to asses much about an engine except maybe a CarFax if you can figure out the VIN of the vehicle itself. The difference is the guarantee they offer which simply translates into price. Good luck with it all.

While more expensive, a rebuilt engine would come with a better warranty and be more reliable (if from a good source). You might check around, the labor cost will be about the same.

Are you sure you need to replace your engine? Can you share the details?

Enquiring minds want to know. Sometimes people believe they need a new engine when they actually do not.

Do NOT get a JDM used engine. They may have low miles on them, but they have a LOT of hours. Japanese traffic is horrendous. When I lived there, it typically took three hours to drive the 7 miles home in the afternoon.