At BE FORWARD, we sell used car engines and parts for a wide variety of brands, including Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. We also stock used Mitsubishi and Mazda engines, as well as engines for international car brands. From gasoline and diesel engines to replacement engines for hybrid cars, our massive selection of over 27,000 listings has you covered with unbeatable prices!
Car Engine Overview
The engine is one of the most complicated pieces of machinery in your car. It is made up of various parts that all have to work seamlessly together to combust fuel and convert energy from the resulting heat into the force that turns the wheels and keeps you moving down the road. Over time, engine parts can begin to break down, requiring replacement of individual parts or the whole engine.
Types of Car Engines
It is important to be aware of what engine type your car requires when buying a used engine. While it is sometimes possible to swap out one engine type for another, it is best to buy a replacement engine that is designed specifically for your car's make and model.
Engine types can be broadly classified by the engine layout and cylinder configuration, which largely determine the engine's power output and fuel efficiency.
The layout of an engine refers to the number and arrangement of cylinders. The most common is the straight (inline) engine, which has the cylinders placed vertically in a line parallel (straight) or perpendicular (inline). An inline layout is able to save on space and can usually be found in entry level cars, while the straight layout can accommodate more cylinders and thus have more power.
Another layout is the flat engine, which has cylinders positioned horizontally. These are more expensive, but the cylinders are able to evenly cool while its low center of mass provides better handling.
Finally, there is the V engine layout, which has its cylinders positioned in a V shape. This layout gives the engines more power and is found in higher performance vehicles.
Four, six, and eight cylinder configurations are what you will typically find in car engines.
Four cylinders is the most common configuration and found in an inline layout, allowing for good power and mileage. Six-cylinder engines are mostly used in sports and luxury cars, placed in either a straight or V layout. An eight-cylinder configuration is usually in a V layout and used in high performance cars.
Besides these three-cylinder configurations, there is also the two-cylinder configuration that is normally used for motorcycles because of its lower output, the three-cylinder configuration that can be seen in some hatchbacks, and the five-cylinder configuration typically used by Audi and Volvo.
Parts of a Car Engine
While not all engine parts are easily replaceable, you might be able to save money if a failing part costs less to replace than buying an entire used car engine.
Knowing the various parts of your car's engine can go a long way to helping you diagnose problems yourself, or understand your mechanic's diagnosis when you take your car into the shop.
Engine Block and Cylinder Head
The engine comprises two main parts, the engine block and cylinder head. The engine block serves as the engine's casing, supporting other parts as well as dissipating heat to the surrounding air and engine coolant.
The cylinder head is the upper cover that controls fuel and air inflow and outflow into and out of the cylinders. The cylinder head additionally aids in the cooling process by channeling coolant into the engine block.
Inside the engine cylinders are small discs or cylinders known as pistons. These move against the expanding gas in the cylinders from the combustion process, transferring force through the piston or connecting rods to the crankshaft.
The crankshaft is turned by the piston's connecting rods, which then turns the flywheel, causing the car's wheels to move.
Ensuring that fluids and gases flow in and out at the right timings is important to the operation of an internal combustion engine. The valves of the engine perform this task and come in two types: the inlet valve controls the air-fuel mixture intake, and the exhaust valve allows used gases to escape.
The oil pan is located at the bottom of the engine. It acts as a reservoir to collect oil that has been pumped through the engine to clean, cool, and lubricate it.
Common Engine Problems & Signs of Engine Failure
Take note of the following signs that may indicate your car's engine is likely to fail. If the engine shows any of these signs, you should promptly have it checked by a trusted mechanic to prevent any further damage to your car.
Check Engine Light
The most obvious sign is the check engine light turning on, which can signal a whole host of problems with the engine, from minor fixes to major repairs or even a whole replacement engine.
Poor Engine Performance
With all its moving parts, many things can go wrong with your car's engine. If you notice a drop in engine performance, there could be a leak in the combustion system caused by worn-out piston rings, valves, or cylinders.
Overheating can be caused by a variety of problems with your engine's cooling system, ranging from dirty engine coolant to leakages caused by damage to the cooling system parts like the radiator. Motor oil can also build up in the engine, depositing itself into various parts like valves and spark plugs, impairing their function.
Another sign is smoke emitting from the exhaust. This is caused by either oil or too much fuel being burnt in the engine.
A stalled engine, which can happen while idling or at high RPMs, can indicate an issue with the engine, as well as excessive vibrations and noise such as knocking coming from the engine.
Finally, in the case of erratic combustion that results in engine knocking, prolonged heavy detonation might be catastrophic, damaging engine parts from pistons to spark plugs and valves.
Preventative Engine Maintenance
Simple maintenance can go a long way to prolonging the life of your engine. A dirty engine is a problematic engine, so it is important to:
- Change oil at regular intervals as recommended by your vehicle's manual.
- Keep the spark plugs in pristine condition.
- Clean the area around the hood with a vacuum cleaner to clear debris.
- Ensure that your engine is always topped up with high-quality coolant.
- Bring your vehicle into a trusted mechanic for regular servicing.
How Long Does a Car Engine Last?
If you take good care of your engine with regular maintenance checks, you can expect it to last the life of your car. Depending on the brand, model, and generation, this can be anywhere from 8 to 12 years, or 150,000 to 200,000 miles or more.
How Much Is a Used Car Engine?
The price of a used car engine depends on its age, mileage, condition, brand, and complexity. It can be as low as a few hundred to the tens of thousands of U.S. dollars for high-performance, luxury engines. You also need to take into account your mechanic's labor costs if you do not have the setup and tools to replace the engine yourself.
When it comes to shopping for a used car engine, we provide information on the engine's condition, the mileage, as well as the engine size and exact model number, making it easy for you to find a replacement engine that is reliable at an affordable price.