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What’s The Difference Between Rebuilt, Reconditioned, Remanufactured,

and an Overhaul regarding engines? Stumped? I bet a lot of people are. Lets get down to the task of sorting these terms out. We discussed the pros and cons of used, pre-owned and second hand engines yesterday.



Realistically speaking, as far as I’m concerned this is easy to demystify because all of the terms mean the same thing in the automotive field. My observations over the years as an automotive transmission shop owner/operator was that the terms mentioned in the title of this post are used by different places to make what they are doing sound more important than a rebuild or an overhaul.

Lets see what the answers.com defines these terms as:
#1. To build again.
#2. To make extensive structural repairs on.

#1. to restore to good condition, especially by repairing, renovating, or rebuilding.

#1. Remanufacturing is a process where a particular product is taken apart, cleaned, repaired, and then reassembled to be used again.

#1. To examine or go over carefully for needed repairs.
#2. To dismantle in order to make repairs.

You can see the similarities in there respective meanings. Simply put this is what I consider an engine that has been rebuilt, remanufactired, reconditioned or overhauled to include: (make sure you have your customers permission first).

A. Competent removal of engine from vehicle checking mounts and all related parts such as the cooling system, belts, hoses, and all accessories.

B. Complete disassembly and clean up using an environmentally “green” parts cleaner.

"green" parts-washer

C. Detailed inspection of all parts.

Note: Here is my problem with all of the various names being thrown around. Every shop or technician may have a different idea of what to replace or repair when we ‘tag’ a job with one of these service names. Some shops think that just changing the bad parts is enough to fulllfill their obligation. We know that this not an honest representaion of the terminology and a manipulation of sorts. As far as I’m concerned there is only one way to do any of the assorted jobs like rebuild, remanufacture, recondition or overhaul an engine.

D. Obviously we would trash the damaged parts, but lets get a bit deeper, what about the old parts that are still good, what do we do? As far as I’m concerned we leave no old parts such as bearings, seals, gaskets, pistons, timing chain and more parts you may not know are even in an engine.

Note: By not replacing ALL of the wearable parts, good or bad, we have not fullfilled our obligation to provide in good faith a fully rebuilt (or any of the other terms mentioned) engine that ALL the parts have been replaced, including the machine work necessary to “square’ things up.

Machine work includes boring the cylinders to fit NEW pistons, making sure all specifications are machined to the proper dimensions and a good old fashioned valve job. Sometime there is more machine work, but this is usually the better part of machining for success.

To put it simply a remanufactured engine is a good choice if your engine is a candidate for it. Only a qualified repair shop can tell you that. It is also a good opportunity to get some upgrades installed at the time of reconditioning for a specific application. GotEngines.com supplies engines remanufactured the proper way, which is why our warranties consistently out perform our competition. The warranty you get speaks volumes as to how much confidence the remanufacturing company has in it’s work.

Tomorrow we will cover New engines and what advantages they offer. Please sign up for a free email subscription to GotEngines.com/blog to stay updated on car matters. If you have comment or questions concerning what we discussed today, by all means leave it in the comment box. Enjoy.

9 Responses to “What’s The Difference Between Rebuilt, Reconditioned, Remanufactured,”

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  2. […] Fridgidaire mdl # xzy are the same it makes sense to shop for the least expensive place to buy it. Rebuilt engines, remaufactured and reconditioned engines are not fungible because there may be differences in how an engine was rebuilt. Specifically, the […]

  3. […] That is what an internal combustion engine is in a nutshell. There are many more activities happening when an engine makes power. I’m going to cover some of the other contributors to internal combustion and ignition timing tomorrow. GotEngines.com Blog has a wealth of the information needed to become an educated consumer, when and if you ever need a replacement engine. Gotengines.com has the engines to fit your bill. It is our job to make sure you are fitted with the correct replacement engine. […]

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  6. […] The pros and cons of second hand or used engines. #2. Deciding if a remanufactured, rebuilt, reconditioned engine is your best choice. #3. Is a new engine in your […]

  7. […] choice is to wait until I need a rebuilt engine (if that ever happens) and buy a newer model engine with Vortec fuel injection already on it, then […]

  8. […] The car radiator should be well maintained in order to get optimum transmission and engine life. It should be yearly checked for blockages in the path of the coolant that may dampen the cooling process. Apart from this, one should also regularly refill the coolant in order to enjoy a wonderful and safe car ride. Be cautious about how as often you add coolant, as to often may mean you have a leak. Putting you at risk for an engine problem and perhaps the need for a  rebuilt engine. […]

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