Need a New Car? Nope, Just a New Engine!


Engine Repower is a new service that gives car owners the option of replacing their old, worn out engine with a rebuilt engine of the same vintage instead of simply buying a new car or repairing specific problems. When a first saw this page, I was very interested, as I am a proponent of keeping your car as long as possible to reduce wasteful manufacturing processes, even in the face of promises of lower emissions made by newer cars.

Here’s what Engine Repower has to say about their service:

Technology and auto manufacturing have advanced dramatically in the past two decades. Cars and trucks last longer. Paint is better. Bodies are more corrosion resistant. Interior materials are more durable, and even suspension and other components last longer. So when an engine “dies,” it does not have to be the end of your vehicle. When a car or truck suffers major engine damage, the first response and reaction of many consumers is to buy a new or used vehicle. Sometimes disposing of your current vehicle might make sense, but often it’s simply not necessary.

Obviously, being an advertisement, they are very high on themselves, but they do make some good points. When cars die, it seems it is most often due to accidents or blown engines. Very rarely do cars rust so badly or generally devolve to a point of undrivability before the engine begins to have trouble. Also, one of the biggest issues with emissions from old vehicles is that those vehicles have fallen out of spec and are no longer getting the best fuel economy or releasing the least emissions.

The Engine Repowering Council seems to focus on domestic vehicles, but using their find-a-shop feature, it’s likely that you can find someone to rebuild an engine of almost any make. These engines almost always come with warranties and, in my opinion (as someone who has worked at a shop in the past), will be rebuilt as carefully as anything else coming from that shop. So, if you’re considering this, pick a shop you know and trust, and that offers a good warranty.

While the service is certainly not ideal (you can’t just put a newer, cleaner engine in an old car), the ability to put life and reliability back into an old car is about as close as you can get to recycling and reusing in the automotive world.

Image source: motoringfile

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Benjamin Jones

Benjamin Jones is a student of Dartmouth College and co-founder of and writer at He is double majoring in Japanese and Linguistics, and is most interested in Sociolinguistics and Anthropology in Japan.