When should I consider rebuilding an engine?
Answer: The answer is in the economics.
A complete failure pretty much dictates a complete rebuild. Where
it gets harder is when an engine is badly worn or performing below
its capability. In the case of a consumer with an engine that is
consuming a litre or two of oil every week, the owner has to weigh
the $5.00/week cost of oil against the $2,000+ cost of a rebuild.
Over the course of a year, she might be financially better off to
pay for the oil. In a commercial application, where a delivery vehicle
is going through a litre or more of oil per day, and there is the
real risk that an operator will forget to add oil, the financial
implications are high and a rebuild can pay for itself in short
The answers are different for hobbyists with antique or specialty
cars. If you are driving 300 km per year, you don’t mind a
little smoke from an antique. If you’re running the Paris
to Beijing Rally, it’s another story.
Are your rebuilt engines as good as a new
Answer: Actually, they can be better. Two reasons:
1. All the major castings have had a form of stress-relief from
aging. That makes them much more stable than brand new components.
For example, all the really expensive assembly jigs are made from
granite rather than steel. Why? Because the granite has had millions
of years to stabilize. By comparison, the steel or iron in the engine
casting is brand new and although it is solid, it will continue
to settle and shift for a period of time. By the time we complete
machining these castings for re-build, critical dimensions are much
more likely to remain stable.
2. Re-engineered engines have the benefit of knowing how the part
wore or failed during its life. Access to newer (and in some cases
improved) parts help, and we can make modifications based on the
nature of the failure.
What’s the difference between a rebuilt
engine and a remanufactured engine?
Answer: The industry has no agreement on the language
it uses, but we view a rebuilt engine (we think of it as re-engineered)
as a single, comprehensive overhaul that assesses every single component
and replaces any one that does not meet stringent factory-correct
A re-manufactured engine is usually the product of a highly evolved
program developed for a single style or family of engines –
or a car manufacturer -- and which uses standardized OEM-compliant
processes to ‘rebuild’ a group (or continuous supply)
of engines to the manufacturer’s precise specifications.
Beware: Some companies use these
terms interchangeably and a customer should find out from any potential
rebuilder exactly what they mean when they say ‘remanufactured’.
Have any other questions? Just
give SEM a call at 905.839.8181 or fill in our contact
form and we'll get right back to you.