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Extended Car Warranties for Vehicles With Rebuilt Engines: What to Expect

BY: Alex Perrone
A vehicle mechanic rebuilding an engine

Everyone wants to own a car, but the freedom that comes with it comes at a cost. According to AAA, the annual cost of car ownership has reached the $12,000 mark — and that number is only expected to increase as time goes by.

A big chunk of that number is attributed to unexpected car repairs, and it should be no surprise that rebuilding or replacing an engine is one of the most expensive repairs you can do to a vehicle. If your used car has had its engine rebuilt for whatever reason in its lifetime, you’ll understandably be concerned about the increased chance of future issues.

As a result, you’ve most likely looked into extended car warranties, also known as vehicle service contracts, and whether they can help to protect you from looming auto shop bills.

Will an extended warranty company cover a used car with a rebuilt engine? And what level of coverage can you expect from one? Our comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What Is a Rebuilt Engine?

A rebuilt engine is an engine that has been taken apart, repaired, and put back together again. To do this, mechanics remove the engine from the car, disassemble it, inspect its components, and clean the parts. Rather than replacing everything, they might reuse serviceable parts and replace just the broken or worn-out ones. However, most experts advise against this type of work unless the engine is relatively new or only needs a few specific replacement parts.

There are some pros and cons to having an engine rebuilt.

Pros of a rebuilt engine:

  • It can bring new life to a used vehicle if the powertrain has blown.
  • Adding new parts can proactively address other potential repairs.
  • Having an engine rebuilt is typically cheaper than having it remanufactured.

Cons of a rebuilt engine:

  • A repair shop that rebuilds engines might choose to use cheap salvage or aftermarket parts over official manufacturer replacement parts.
  • By mixing new parts with the existing used parts of the engine, it can limit the rebuilt engine’s overall lifespan.
  • Some extended warranty providers may not cover vehicles with rebuilt engines.

Coverage for Rebuilt Engines

All extended warranty providers have different eligibility criteria, and some may not be willing to cover a rebuilt engine. Those that are will most likely have some stipulations. For example, cars with rebuilt engines might only be eligible for particular coverage plans (e.g., powertrain coverage only), or you may need to be able to prove that only high-quality OEM parts were used when your engine was put back together.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to avoid disclosing that your engine was rebuilt when you apply for coverage. While it will no doubt get you over the first hurdle of actually acquiring an extended warranty plan, any mechanics working on your car will know that the engine has been rebuilt and notify your provider as part of the claims process. Whoever your provider might be, this will be considered a breach of contract and result in your coverage being withdrawn. Not only will this be a waste of everyone’s time, but it will also be a waste of your money.

Cost Implications of Having an Engine Rebuilt

While a good quality extended warranty is worth its weight in gold, owners of cars with rebuilt engines should be prepared to pay a higher premium. When pricing your coverage, providers consider a number of factors that could affect how likely your car might be to experience unexpected component failure and the potential severity of repairs that could be required.

An engine rebuild is no small feat, and having to take one apart completely usually indicates a major failure has occurred. This doesn’t bode well for your vehicle’s future, and if salvage parts were used as part of the repair, the outlook is even less optimistic. Even if new parts were used to replace the broken ones, mixing them in with older parts can limit the engine’s efficiency and reduce its lifespan. These things (especially when combined) will likely drive your premium up.

Despite the high potential cost, an extended warranty is always a recommended investment. When you remember that an engine can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 to replace, your premium will pale compared to the money you save should anything go wrong.

Essential Factors for Coverage

If you’ve found an extended warranty provider that is happy to cover a rebuilt engine, your particular vehicle must meet some requirements before they can confirm whether it’s eligible. For example, you will need documentation that gives full details of the rebuild process, including which specific parts were used, whether they were new or salvaged and whether the mechanics in question were sufficiently qualified to carry out the work.

In addition to requesting the relevant paperwork, your provider will require a comprehensive inspection of your rebuilt engine by a reputable mechanic or related organization. If everything checks out when their report comes back, you should be all set to sign up for any relevant coverage plans. However, there may be some restrictions on the types of plans available to vehicles with rebuilt engines.

Endurance Protects Vehicles with Rebuilt Engines

At Endurance, we pride ourselves on our unrivaled eligibility and cover vehicles with rebuilt engines. Like how we cover salvage titles or rebuilt vehicles, rebuilt engines aren’t a problem as long as you have the correct documentation and are willing to have the vehicle undergo an inspection before coverage can begin.

Our Advantage plan is a great choice for owners of cars with rebuilt engines. It offers some of the most comprehensive protection on the market and is the only plan to include up to $3,500 in annual routine maintenance, including oil changes. Advantage also has our trademark benefits and eligibility, covering everything from salvaged and rebuilt vehicles to high-tech vehicles, tire height modifications, and Canadian vehicles.

Tips for Owners with Rebuilt Engines

For anyone in the process of purchasing a vehicle with a rebuilt engine, make sure that the seller can provide you with all of the relevant documentation. This will, of course, help you secure an extended warranty later down the line, but it will also reassure you that your money is being invested in a quality car. If you already own a vehicle with a rebuilt engine with supporting documents, keep them safe and well organized whenever you decide to approach your preferred warranty provider.

Rebuilt engine or not, every warranty provider stipulates that you must follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance plan for coverage to remain active, so make sure to follow it to the letter. It’s also recommended that you thoroughly research what a provider is willing to cover before you approach them and ask as many questions as possible about rebuilt engine coverage.

You need to know exactly what’s being covered and under what circumstances, so don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of your contract and read through it with a customer service representative if necessary. The number one reason for rejected claims at any warranty provider is that failed components are not included in the person’s plan, so go through everything with a fine-tooth comb and only put pen to paper when you’re certain you’re happy.

Rebuilt Engine FAQs

Still have some questions about extended warranties for cars with rebuilt engines? You might find the answers here:

Do extended warranties cover engine replacement?

Extended warranty coverage ultimately depends on your provider and the coverage plan you’ve signed up for. If you choose Endurance, an engine swap will certainly be covered under our terms providing that the issue is caused by mechanical failure and diagnosed by a certified mechanic.

What is not covered under an extended warranty?

Extended warranties are specifically designed to protect vehicle owners from the cost of repair bills incurred due to unexpected component failure. In this way, they differ from the coverage offered by a car insurance company, which covers the cost of repair bills incurred due to a collision or other such incident. Ultimately, what’s covered (and therefore what isn’t covered) by your extended warranty will come down to the terms of your individual contract. So make sure to read through it carefully and get to grips with it.

Are vehicles with rebuilt engines eligible for extended car warranties?

The short answer is yes — but not with every provider. Some providers aren’t keen on covering vehicles with rebuilt engines, but at Endurance, we understand that every driver’s situation is different. We have a wide range of plans designed for an even wider set of circumstances, so get in touch, and let’s get you covered.

You Can’t Put a Price on Peace of Mind

The cost of car ownership is always on the rise, and these days, an unexpected trip to the auto shop can mean wiping out your wallet. Breakdowns also have a nasty habit of happening at the worst possible moment, leaving you stranded at the roadside hundreds of miles from home. To drive with total confidence, you need an extended vehicle warranty watching over you — and Endurance is the country’s number one provider.

Since 2006, we’ve helped thousands of drivers protect themselves from unexpected repair costs. Our auto protection plans are designed to cater to almost every driver, with something for casual commuters, roadtrippers, high-mileage vehicles, and even select luxury car models. We’re flexible with our plans, so if none of the base packages meet your individual needs or budget, our team can customize a type of warranty that does.

We offer quality coverage as well as some of the best added benefits. All Endurance plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance (including towing, fuel delivery, and lockout services), rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption costs as standard. If that wasn’t enough, new Endurance customers also get a year’s access to our Elite Benefits, which adds up to four tire repairs or replacements annually, key fob replacement, up to $500 in collision discounts, and up to $1,000 in total loss protection. Pay the affordable activation fee and these bonus benefits are yours to enjoy.

Unlike most vehicle service contract providers, we’re the direct administrator of most of our plans — meaning no middlemen to deal with whenever you want to claim. Our award-winning customer service team is always around to answer any queries you might have via email or phone, and the handy Endurance app puts the most important plan information in the palm of your hand. On top of all that, Endurance plans are also fully transferable to subsequent vehicle owners, potentially increasing the value of your car should you come to sell it.

Online auto experts unanimously rate Endurance as the best option for extended auto protection in the USA. We also have thousands of five-star reviews from happy customers on sites like ConsumerAffairs and Trustpilot. Take a look, and when you’re ready to find out more, call us at (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote or shop online to see your price now.

If you’d like to do some more reading first, check out our extended warranty blog for more helpful articles, like provider comparisons with CarShield and CARCHEX, DIY auto tips, mechanical breakdown insurance, and vehicle reviews.

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