Is it Illegal to Sell a Car with a Bad Engine?

Before you make that Facebook listing and think about leaving out the rumbling engine sounds, read this article.

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The short answer? No.

The long answer? If you fail to mention that the engine is bad, then absolutely.

bad engine

Wanting to get rid of a vehicle with a bad engine is a pretty common problem. That said, by law, has to be in the condition you describe it in. Problems only arise when everything’s all good, except for what’s under the hood and these types of problems tend to end with “person x is suing person y.”

And nobody wants that headache.

Fortunately, selling a vehicle with a bad engine is still completely within the realm of possibility. It may be a bit harder than selling a fully functioning vehicle, but one speed bump doesn’t stop you from rolling. The first step to selling a car with a bad engine is figuring out if the engine is bad to begin with.

How Can I Tell if My Engine Is Bad?

The first step towards solving a mystery is looking for clues and figuring out whether or not you have a bad engine is no different. Some evidence of a deteriorating engine to keep an eye out for are:

engine light
  1. Low Power — Your engine not kicking out a suitable amount of power is indicative of any number of issues. This engine problem may not require a full replacement, but you can guarantee getting it back up to speed will require expensive repairs.
  2. Increased Exhaust Smoke — Your vehicle producing large amounts of exhaust smoke is a decent indicator that your engine has suffered significant internal damage. You can even determine the problem by the color of the smoke: White — there’s a leak in your engine’s cooling system; Blue — there’s some oil burning in there; Black — your engine is burning too much fuel. Burnt rings and cracks in the engine are just a few of the causes of increased exhaust smoke.
  3. Metal Shavings during Oil Changes — If there was a red flag for engine health, this would be it. Seeing metal shavings when the oil is poured out means there’s metal-on-metal contact inside the engine. The parts are grinding each other down, resulting in massive wear-and-tear, and it is only a matter of time before the engine completely flatlines.
  4. Smoke from the Hood — If metal shavings in the oil are a red flag, then smoke spewing out from under the hood is a GIANT stop sign. Under no circumstances should smoke be pouring out from your car’s hood. If it is, then your engine may be overheating from too high a temperature. The aftermath of an overheating engine may be blown gaskets, the melting of moving parts, or even an engine fire.

All engines will eventually deteriorate and, ultimately, reach the end of their lifetime. They will, however, meet an untimely end without proper care. Now, if you have found these clues to the deterioration (or your engine has already gone to the “Big Junkyard in the Sky”), how do you get that vehicle off your hands?

Selling Your Car With A Bad Engine

Now that you know for sure your engine is bad, you have a few options when it comes to selling your car:

go online
  • List your car on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. Engine or no engine, your vehicle is still a combination of parts and parts are still worth something. If you are confident in your ability to not damage them, you can remove the parts and sell them all individually.
  • Junk Yards specialize in...well...junk! You can sell your vehicle to a junkyard in one of two ways: “As-Is” or as “Scrap.” The former will have you sell the car to the yard and they use it for parts. If you choose the latter, understand you will receive less from the junkyard than if you sold it to them “As-Is”.

Selling Your Car To WeBuyJunkCarsFast

Either of these options provides you with an outlet for your vehicle with a bad engine. Even though your bad engine lowers the car’s vehicle, it still has value. You see it, but it might be painstaking making others see the value in your car. WeBuyJunkCarsFast is here to take that pain away.

When you sell to WeBuyJunkCarsFast, you don’t have to fix a single thing beforehand. Our system generates a quote within 90 seconds and, once you accept it, one of our service providers will schedule a tow within 24-48 hours! That less-than-perfect car is off your hands and cash is in them with lightning speed!

How much can I get for my car with a bad engine?

There’s no way to put a definite figure on your vehicle, but a solid estimate is to subtract $3000 from the trade-in value. That is what it would be valued at with a fully functioning engine.

If you aren’t sure you can get the best value for your vehicle yourself, you could always get an offer with WeBuyJunkCarsFast! Get the bang for your buck in just 90 seconds!

How much does it cost to replace a car engine?

This figure also varies depending on the complexity of both the engine and the labor costs. A solid minimum estimate is $4000.

You can avoid this entire hassle by getting an offer from WeBuyJunkCarsFast! We specialize in buying less than perfect cars and, with over a decade of experience, we know exactly what your car is worth and will tow it for free!

Does replacing an engine reset mileage?

No, it does not. Resetting an odometer is also misleading, illegal, and considered fraud.

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