Things To Watch Out For While Buying A Used Engine Online

used car engine

Problems of purchasing an engine online and what to avoid

The biggest challenge when buying a used engine online is the fact that there are a lot of online brokers. Online engine brokers are companies that are not repair shops or salvage yards that advertise used engines for sale on their website. These companies claim to have low mileage engines for sale when they do not have a single one in their inventory.

How they operate

Once you order an engine from one of these websites, they start their own search for the engine you are in need of. Usually with the help of third party websites such as, they find a used engine with the same specifications you ordered and sell it to you for more to make a profit. is a directory for salvage yards and repair shops to upload their inventory and access thousands of customers looking to buy used car parts on this platform.

They are just a network or a middle man between salvage yards or used car parts providers to connect with customers. However, when you buy an engine from such websites you are actually purchasing it from a salvage yard or repair shop somewhere in the country.

By using these third party websites, these online brokers are able to up charge you for an engine from a salvage yard and send it to you without having to handle any of the inventory. That is how they make profit off of people looking for an engine replacement.

The problem with this business model is that these brokers will not give you an accurate mileage on the engines they are selling. The engines they list on their websites use generic pictures and most likely the engine you see listed is not the one you will end up getting when you order from them.

The engine might also have a higher mileage than advertised. Ultimately there is a big possibility that the miles advertised on their listing and the miles on the engine you are getting will differ, due to the fact that they just try to find the one you need after you have already placed an order from them.

Risks of buying a used engine from an online broker

The biggest risk, however, is not that the engine you purchased will have more miles on it than it was advertised on the listing but that you will have little to no recourse if the engine does not work properly and you want to return it.

Good luck trying to get your money back because you are probably dealing with a middle man operating without a physical office and with bad to non-existent customer service that is now trying to get a warranty replacement from a salvage yard from another state.

Even if you get to return the faulty engine, you will most likely end up paying shipping charges.

How to avoid these unreliable brokers that sell used engines online?

Check the mileage and monitor

You’ll be able to avoid getting scammed and learn how to spot a fake posting if you pay attention to the advertised mileage of these engines on these websites.

If you purchase an engine from these websites or just look at their listings over a period of time you will notice that they use the same images and the miles don’t change.

Since the miles advertised on these websites are arbitrary numbers, you’ll notice that the same engine you just bought is still there after you have purchased it a day, a week or a month ago, with the same mileage. 

This is how they make money. For example, when you place an order for a 75,000 mile engine for $900, they go ahead and purchase a 120,000 mile engine for $375 and send it to you instead, keeping the difference. 

Some other things to look for are:

  • Check if there is a street address listed on their website that is not a residence or mail forwarding address. Use Google Maps if you really want to verify it. If this is not the case, it’s a big red flag.
  • Make sure it has a local telephone number and not just a toll-free number since legitimate companies usually have both. 
  • It’s a bit suspicious if they do not have even a single negative review on their Google Business Listings, Yelp or their Better Business Bureau profile. Do yourself a favor and search the name of the company online before you decide to make the purchase.

Where to find reliable used engine sellers online?

Most used engine and transmission buyers guides will tell you to avoid going online at all and recommend just buying from a local salvage yard or repair shop. This is due to trust, and the fact that you can check and inspect the product before you buy it when you go local. 

However, this is not a real solution if you are trying to purchase a used engine online because it is more convenient to do it from the comfort of your home instead of having to go get muddy and dirty at a local salvage yard.

The most reliable place to find salvage yard listings online for used engines that meet industry standards is They place OEM quality parts like the ones dismantled and tested at one of the biggest car recyclers in the USA called My Auto Store.

The deal-breaker when purchasing a used engine online

The key thing to look for is the warranty. Most faulty used engines and transmissions will fail within the first 90 days. This warranty length is standard and what most salvage yard places offer. But if you see the high risk of failure on a used engine or transmission you realize why most guides advise you to buy local.

How many transmissions fail per year in the US

We recommend looking for a company that offers you more than 90 days of warranty to offset the probability of breaking if you are buying a major used mechanical component like an engine or a transmission. 

Furthermore, if a company is offering a long warranty like 6 months, it is a good sign that their parts have really been tested and went through a quality control process.

What is a reliable retailer of used car parts online?

Seeing how many problems there are when purchasing a used engine online, instead of dealing with all these third party brokers, we suggest you go straight to the source of the parts. You can check out My Auto Store’s article Is It Worth Buying A Used Engine if you have any second thoughts about buying used engines online.

That is why we recommend My Auto Store if you are planning to buy a used engine replacement or any major mechanical component for your car. Browse their used transmissions and engines online and if you need any other car part inquiries please contact My Auto Store to speak to an expert team member!

The reason this is the best option and resource to find used engines online is that My Auto Store is not only an online store for used engines and transmissions but is also one of the biggest recyclers of cars in all of the USA.

They have parting out cars down to a science and only put the best and highest quality parts on their inventory. If something is slightly damaged, it gets scrapped for metal. They have no incentive to sell you a faulty part. 

Every part goes through a 4 step quality process. Therefore My Auto Store is able to offer a 6-month warranty on all their products with a great and responsive customer service experience willing to help you at every step of the buying process. 

Instead of going through a middle man, you can get the parts you need straight from the source at My Auto Store. 


Trust is the hardest thing to find when buying anything online, that is why we recommend you do your research on every company you are thinking of making a purchase from. 

We hope with the tips and resources we have offered in this guide you will be able to make an informed decision while buying a used engine or any major mechanical component for your vehicle.