Used engine from dealer

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Ok few weeks ago I posted that my engine got hydrolocked. I took the car to my acura dealer and they were given the go ahead by my insurance to put in a used engine. A week later my car was ready for
pick up, they told me the engine they put in had 40,000 miles on it. I was happy, so I drive the car home, on the way home the check engine light comes on, so I do a U turn back to the dealer. They give me a loaner car and few days later the receptionist calls me back to tell me the engine they put in actually had 150,000 miles on it. Naturally I was furious since my old engine only had 100,000 miles on it.
My question is, is there any way to tell how many miles a used engine has? There has to be some kind of a paper trail that shows the true miles on the engine. I asked the dealer and they gave me this hand written note with the miles on it. I asked them for the receipt from the place where they purchased the used engine from but they said its not possible.
Seems to me like they can manipulate the miles on paper to whatever they want. Any way to not get screwed?
Now I have already paid them over $4000 for the work.
Is it wrong for me to demand they take out the old engine and put in a Remanufactured engine since I am guaranteed a reliable engine without any wishy washy mileage issues?
thanks in advance
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Paper trails for a vehicle in toto are common. But for an individual engine, I am not optimistic that mileage can easily be ascertained.

This sounds like total dealer bullsh-t.

Engine mileage issues in a situation like this are not wishy-washy. You were promised an engine with 40k miles on it, and presumably a price to match. Did the dealer take anything off the original estimate to compensate you for getting a more used engine?
What is the guarantee on this engine?
You are rightly concerned and IMO so far should take this matter up further with the dealer.
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wrote

I'd be wondering if the timing belt was changed.
Was the 40K promise in writing?
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Since it's out of an Integra, have the valves been adjusted every 30,000 miles? Very important. Ask any gen 1 CR-V owner that's had to have a valve replaced. :-(
'Curly'
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Well if I had kept the engine they gave me it had a 100 day guarantee. Today I talked to the Manager on the phone and told him no one in the right mind would put in a 150000 mile on a better shaped car. He said he will talk to my insurance tomorrow. My insurance agreed to pay for a remanufactured engine so we'll see how it goes.
Now you guys are scaring me, I thought remanufactured engines were good, some of them come with a real good warranty. errr so I have heard.
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googamooga wrote:

remanufactured engines are better than broken engines, and if you drive domestic, they're pretty much your only choice, hence the presumption of it being a "good" option. however, they are never as good as oem in reality. even if they are done by well intentioned honest shops, the stats are that they typically last in the 50-60k range. [i got those numbers from the owner of a taxi fleet i used to know.] compare this with an original honda engine that will do 300k easily. if you get jdm in the 30-40k range, you're much better off.
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For a few years now there have been many sellers of used Honda engines on the net. I just went to two sites and found warranties of 180 days. See for example the Mileage and Warranty sections of: http://www.jsamotors.com/FAQ.aspx . Or google for {"used honda engines"}.
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Cool thanks for your input guys, I just got a voice mail on my phone, the manager is going to look for another used engine with less miles. Now how can I really tell if they actually did change the engine? Is there a serial number I can match on the receipt? If they take too long I will give that jsamotors.com site as a back up.
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I really think that mileage is very hard to ascertain. ISTM the best bet is to make sure the engine comes from Japan, where, as has been mentioned, certain laws require engines to come out long before their useful life in the U.S. has expired.
Remember, even having some kind of certification of engine mileage can be misleading, since city driving produces low mileage but high hours on the engine. I would actually prefer lots of highway miles to lots of hours city driving. Highway miles are not as hard on an engine.
Also, I am not so sure I would be unhappy with a 150k mile engine. Lots of Hondas make it to 300k miles, per reports here. These engines are tough! The tranny and body integrity may be bigger concerns.

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Yea 150000 miles sounds good if you have a much older engine, but less the better. I talked to the manager, they found one with 65000 (supposively), I agreed, hopefully this one will last a while.
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gotta say however (admission against interest, since i obviously thought used engine was the way to go, and still do): got used japanese engine from nationally reasonably widely advertised place. supposedly 60,000 miles. engine came with no ECU despite phone conversations stressing that I wanted ECU and would pay for ECU and promises to provide ECU. On the other hand, wasn't charged for ECU. Ditto for shift linkage. Engine turned out to have **no oil pan gasket** just bead of silicone. Needed new clutch. So I did a timing belt just to be sure. VTEC solenoid leaks a quart of oil every week or two. front motor mount bolts pulled out of engine after a couple of years. not the rubber in the mount disintegrating as usual; the rubber was fine, the bolts just vanished. i presume some combination of looseness, unscrewing themselves, and too much strain on the rest of them stripping the holes.
i know it sounds silly, but other than that it's been quite fine.
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It's not in the least silly. This is the first report on a used engine I have seen. More and more people are interested in these engines, so your report is bound to be helpful.
snip, for brevity, report on used engine

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Well, 'used' and 'remanufactured' are two different things, in my mind. The former is an engine pulled out of a car and (while maybe checked out internally) popped right into another car. A 'remanufactured' engine is one that has been basically rebuilt - bored out, if needed, new internals (pistons, con rods, crank, cam(s), valves, etc) and is basically a new engine, for all intents and purposes. Mileage is, for all intents and purposes, zero. There is a big difference between the two. You need to clarify what the insurance company is paying for, then you can go and get all crazy with the dealer for putting in a used engine (if the ins co is paying for a reman) or a little crazy if they are paying for a used engine and the dealer dug up one with more mileage than yours had....
Dan D '07 Ody EX Central NJ USA
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Dano58 wrote:

it's not quite that simple. first of all, the objective with a re-build is to save money on replacement. unless too badly worn, practically everything on your list is re-used except pistons, and maybe valves. cranks are only replaced if cracked or too worn to be reground. cams are frequently reground and reused too. con-rods are almost always reused.
so, what's the deal with all those re-used parts? fatigue and accelerated wear. while parts are supposed to be checked for [fatigue] cracking, cracks are very hard to detect in the nucleation stage, only when they're well established do they become easy. a crank in nucleation mode could easily be reused. that applies to the block, cam, everything.
regarding wear, unless re-carburized [or re-nitrided], if a cam, crank, or any other hardened part is reground, the thin casing of wear resistant outer layer is partially removed. what's left, while sometimes sufficient, often isn't. and testing is destructive, so you can only sample, not test individual components.
bottom line, if you have a motor that typically lasts 300k miles, and you get a used one with 30k on it, it's a much better deal than a rebuilt motor whose fatigue history is indeterminate, and whose wear resistance is definitely less that it would otherwise be. will it do the mileage of the replacement oem engine - 270k? not likely!
google for the warranty you typically get on re-built engines. they are remarkably short.

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would rather have a slightly-used engine than one that was remanufactured, simply because in the latter, as you point out, you don't really know what was put back in. But that's my personal opinion. Used engines are cheaper, too, although with the insurance company paying, I guess I wouldn't care about that.
Dan D '07 Ody EX Central NJ USA
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also, factory does a real great job putting engines together. rebuilder, maybe yes, maybe no.
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googamooga wrote:

but your old engine is so badly damaged, it can't even be rebuilt - /any/ engine is better than that.

you can examine for wear, yes. but you have to know what you're looking for. can you do that?

and they would probably be correct in saying that.

you'd be foolish to do that imo.

it's most likely a low mileage jdm engine. generally, these are a good deal, and a lot better than a rebuilt motor. rebuilt motors can be awful where the head has been skimmed too much, the block skimmed too much, and components insufficiently cleaned before assembly - they just don't last.
i've had the luxury of examining the guts of a number of jdm motors in junkyards, and for fact, all the ones i've seen have been in great mechanical shape.
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how often do you -find- JDM motors in US junkyards?
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Jim Yanik wrote:

quite a lot. i've seen a bunch in the yards down in the san jose, silicon valley, area. they're a very cost-effective alternative to re-builds, or even stuff like blown head gaskets if you price in all the labor.
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jim beam wrote:

Isn't there an import outfit who is dealing in used Japanese engines Good source of few year old engines with low mileage. Japan is small country and mileage des not rack up. Also they don't keep cars too many years due to government policy.
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