With the economy in turmoil many businesses that normally replaced their diesel trucks every 3 to 7 years have found themselves in a tight financial position that requires them to maintain the vehicles they have. Managers of fleets with a heavy concentration of diesel powered vehicles have been especially hard-hit since their maintenance costs can be higher in some instances than those managers in charge of gasoline only fleets specifically when dealing with drivetrain issues. With Cummins 5.9 L and 6.7 L engines running near $12,000, and Chevy Dürer Max 6.6 L engines and Ford 6.0 L 6.4 L engines in the same ballpark, used engines can be particularly appealing because of their cost savings.
Any fleet manager looking to purchase used engines for their diesel fleet should always make sure to do a few things went shopping and installing.
The first thing is simple: make sure you know what you’re buying. This sounds simple, but many good managers make serious mistakes in this area. Not all suppliers of used engines are equal. Many companies lie on mileage and sell used engines that are fit to use as a boat anchor. The easiest way to make sure that you’re getting an engine from a company that sells quality used engines is to demand free vehicle history report. Vehicle history reports verify the mileage on used engines and ensure you get what you’re paying for. All other things being equal, anyone with a lick of sense knows that a 35,000 mile Duramax or Power Stroke diesel has more life in it then a 140,000 mile diesel. It 35,000 mile engine is therefore more valuable and therefore much more likely to be misrepresented.
The second thing fleet managers need to do is ensure that their technicians perform all technical service bulletins when installing used diesel engines. For example, 6.0 L Power Stroke engines have a serious problem with their EGR coolers. They should always be updated to the latest Ford part number which is corrected the issue that causes these to mix oil and coolant. The EGR cooler is not a part of the long block and is therefore not warranty by companies selling used engines. Simple part replacement like that can add thousands of miles and years of service to a Power Stroke engine.
Now that you’ve verified what you’re getting in research the technical service bulletins that you should perform as you replace the engines in your fleet with used engines, there is one last thing you should research: the warranty that comes with your used diesel engines. Standard warranty on used diesel engines is 30 days. The leading companies in the industry however will offer 90 day warranties. 90 day warranties give customers plenty of time to install and road test their used engines, making sure that they’re getting a good, quality replacement that will last. In this author’s experience any engine that lasts 90 days will last two years unless something for referral to the engine fails.
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As long as you verify what you’re getting, perform the proper technical service bulletins, and buy from a company with a strong legitimate warranty, used engines definitely offer a tremendous cost savings potential for managers of fleets with a large concentration of diesel engines. So start saving thousands of dollars for your company – maybe you’ll get a raise.