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Rebuilt Title means that the vehicle was seriously damaged. Buy only if you checked VIN history and know what exactly happened. Be cautious about airbag deployment in the history!

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Rebuilt Title vs Rebuilt Engine

It's a misconception that rebuilt title vehicles and vehicles with rebuilt engines are the same of related, these are totally different options, often having nothing but the word 'rebuilt' in common and the fact that both are used vehicles. More than that, while the Rebuilt brand on a vehicle's title always bears a negative connotation as compared to a 'normal' used vehicle with a clean title, it is quite the contrary with normal used engines and rebuilt engines. A rebuilt title car does not necessarily have a rebuilt engine, and a vehicle with a rebuilt engine does not get a rebuit branding on the title. Below you can ready why.

When a vehicle is called 'rebuilt'

In a most general case (as this definition still omits some instances), a rebuilt vehicle is an ex-total-loss vehicle, the one that has been damaged to an extent that the cost of fixing it exceeds 70-80 of its acutal cash value, then was recognized non-roadworthy, then restored to an operable condition, passed a mandatory inspecition and was deemed roadworthy again but with a permanent Rebuilt branding of the title instead of a normal title. In most cases, passing an inspection and receiving a roadworthy status again means that:

  1. legally obtained parts were used in repair works and necessary papers were provided
  2. major functions have been checked, like light indicators, brakes, safety belts, verifies that the engines starts and the vehicle runs and is operable.

Yet, the state inspection does not estimate the quality of the work done and does not warrant that the vehicle will run normally or is safe in many aspects. Total loss vehiles often sustain frame damage, airbag deployment and other isseues that largely affect the owner's future expenditure, starting from increased maintenance costs and up to compromized safety. There may be multiple points of failure unless the 'totaling' damage was purely cosmetic. Vehicles with this superficial damage have the highest value among rebuilt cars.

What an engine is called rebuilt

There is a difference between a used, rebuilt and remanufactured engine. A used engine is the one that has been used, has been serviced, has been in ownership and is currently opearable with no reference to having undergone a major repair / overhaul or reassembling or needing one. Rebuilt engiens are those that have been disassebmled, inspected and assembled using the serviceable parts, usually, when a problem reveales itself. For this reason, rebuilt engines are generally more expensive than used engines: they include the inspection, servicing and reassembling work, the replacement component investment and thorough testing to verifty their operability. However, the repairs are usually done only on problem components.

A ordinary used engine may still need a overhaul and the new owner may have no idea about its actual condition and the state of its internal components, proper maintenance or negligence of previous owners. As a result, a second-hand engine may fail prematurely and the final cost of repairing or replacement will the much higher than the cost of a rebuilt engine. The basic warranty is the only protection the buyer can get in this case.

A remanufactured engine is another option which is more expensive than a rebuilt engine. Engine remanufacturing procedure is more thorough and comprehensive and its purpose is to make the engine as close to a new one as possible accoring to original equipment manufacturer (OEM). All subsitutions or deviations from standards are striclty within OEM requirements and admissions, all soft wear parts are replaced, all replacement parts are strictly compatible with the current engine according to the manufacturer standards. These engines are tested to the original equipment standards. They come with a longer warranty. Besides the cost, another downside of this option is that remanufacturing procedure is lenghy and if your want to have your current engine remanufactured your will have to supply yourself with a replacement engine / vheicle for the entire time span. Among all second-hand engines, remanufactured ones are the supreme choice.

Unlike all of the above, crate engines are brand new engines available for late vehicle models.

When does an engine need to be rebuilt?

An engine is rebuilt when it diplays operational problems, such as increase in oil consumption, excessive exhaust smoking, misfiring, loss of compression or the mileage suggests it's time to reassemble the vehicle. Unlike with a rebuilt title vehicles, rebuilt engines are not restored damaged engines by default.

Is an engine taken from a rebuilt / salvage vehicle a rebuilt engine?

Not unless it was reassembled. A vehicle may get totaled and then receive a salvage / rebuilt title after a damge that does not impact the engine in any way. Hail damage, multiple scratches, rear end impacts are exaples of such total loss cases.

Where do rebuilt engines come from?

Salvage yards are a major source of ordinary used engines dismantled from total loss vehicles. The operabilty of such an engine often depends on the vehicle's condition proir to damage, its age and wear, and the conditions in which was stored at the salvage yard.

Fuel Consuption on Rebuilt Engines

Now that the issue of fuel cost is acute, let's talk about gaz consumption on rebuilt vehicles and rebuilt engines.

Some drivers report increased fuel consumption after their engine is being rebuilt or repalced with a rebuilt engine. In particular, replacement with a rebuilt / reassebled engine. In some case, gaz burning increases by as mucha as 30% while all other vehicle parts and parameters remain the same or intact, such as transmission, tire size and tire pressure and other that may somehow impact fuel / mileage productivity. This often happens when the engine was not run in after the servicing has been completed.

One of the reasons for that is that some engine parts, like injectors, might not be replaced with new ones.

Does the certificate of title mention the rebuilt engine?

No, but the certificate of title can list the engine number and you check it against the actual number etched on the engine and learn about the replacement or even the history and potential issues with the replacement VIN.

Welcome to rebuilt vehicle information portal. Please, choose the information you need.

I want to:

Rebuilt Title means that the vehicle was seriously damaged. Buy only if you checked VIN history and know what exactly happened. Be cautious about airbag deployment in the history!

Check VIN Now Start VIN Check

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