Engine swapping refers to the process of replacing a car’s original engine with another. There are two types of engine swap—a like-for-like exchange and a swap that involves a non-factory-specific engine. There are several reasons you may consider swapping the engine in your vehicle, but before you do, you might ask yourself if swapping the engine will affect the vehicle’s title?
Swapping the engine in a car will not affect the title of a vehicle so long as the title is clean. However, it is recommended that you check local laws to ensure the car is legally allowed to run that engine.
Want to know more about engine swapping and what it means for you as a car owner? Keep reading!
What Is Engine Swapping?
As the name would suggest, engine swapping is when you swap out your vehicle’s current engine with another engine. You may consider swapping to prolong the life of a vehicle, to improve performance, or as a hobby. Like-for-like swaps are generally easier because the vehicle is prepared to accommodate the engine already, while you may need to make difficult modifications to put in a non-factory-specific engine.
Is an Engine Swap Legal?
At this point you wonder, is engine swapping even legal? The answer to that question is both simple and complicated.
Many never consider the legal implication of swapping the engine until after the swap, it’s a common costly mistake. But you are ahead of the game on this score.
The simple answer is yes. In general, it’s not illegal to swap or repair your vehicle’s parts, and like-for-like swaps are always legal. However, things get a bit more complicated when you consider swapping for a different engine.
For example, some states say it’s perfectly fine to put whatever you want under the hood of your car; others say you can only swap for an engine that is identical to what was factory installed; and in other places, you can only put a different engine in if that engine was available during the year your car was manufactured. As you can see, the rules surrounding this can get a bit fuzzy, and it’s recommended that you consult local laws to learn what’s allowed in your area.
Will an Engine Swap Affect a Cars Resale Value?
According to CARCODY, replacing or swapping an engine can sometimes increase the value of a vehicle. Engine swaps that were made to increase performance might make a car more valuable to someone who appreciates what the new engine offers the car. However, they may not increase the resale value of a trade-in. Conversely, prospective buyers may become wary if they learn that a major repair was done or needed and might be worried about added insurance costs. It ultimately depends on the person who is buying the vehicle and the reason the engine swap was done.
Does Engine Swap Reset Mileage?
The odometer on your vehicle will not reset automatically after an engine swap, and although there are ways to manually reset the odometer, it could be illegal where you live. However, the current mileage should be recorded when you swap over an engine so that any future owners will have an exact calculation of the new engine’s current mileage.
Will an Engine Swap Affect My Insurance Premium?
Yes, swapping your engine may affect your insurance premium in some cases. Most insurance companies consider any alteration that deviates from factory standards to be a modification, and they will charge more for modified vehicles. A like-for-like swap will not usually increase premiums because, according to DeBoersAuto, the company would not view it as a modification. However, if you swap your engine for one that was not factory standard for your vehicle, you may have to add special coverage. Exactly how much it affects your premium will depend on the vehicle, the modifications, the company, and your driving history.
Do I Have To Report an Engine Swap to My Insurance Carrier?
Any modifications or changes to your vehicle must be reported to your insurance company, or else your coverage may be canceled or voided. It can sometimes be tempting to save money by not reporting modifications. However, if you get into an accident and the company discovers the unclaimed modifications through their investigation, they may not payout on the claim.
If you have a claim that is canceled or voided due to dishonestly, you might have a hard time finding a company to insure you in the future This is true even if you were not aware of any modifications because they were done before you bought the car. For this reason, it’s important to know how to spot an engine swap.
How Do You Know If an Engine Has Been Replaced?
According to FLOWRACERS, there are five ways to know if a car engine has been replaced.
1 – The Vin Number
This is the most reliable method for checking if a car still has its original engine. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found in different areas throughout the car but is commonly found below the windshield or on the door panel. Once you find the VIN number, you can compare it with the VIN number on the underside of the engine block. If they match, you know the vehicle still has its original engine.
2 – The Make
If you know the vehicle is supposed to have a V8 but you find a V6 under the hood, that’s a pretty good sign that the engine has been replaced. Make sure you do your research before jumping to conclusions though.
3 – Cylinder Size
It’s quite common for cylinders to be reshaped (bored out) during the process of rebuilding an engine. However, this may not be something you can spot on your own, and you may need to contract the help of a mechanic.
4 – Appearance
Does the engine look much newer than the car? If the engine looks pristine and new but the car is old and rusted, there is a good chance the engine was replaced. . Thi content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. Additionally, you can look for inconsistencies with the rest of the engine system, such as in paint or wear patterns
5 – Documentation
You should check the history of a vehicle before buying it because you cannot always count on honesty from a seller. If you spot signs that the engine may have been replaced but cannot find a paper trail to back it up, it may be because it was never reported. This could cause problems with insurance in the future. If you believe the engine has been replaced, ask the seller for more information and/or receipts.
Before pulling the lever on a used vehicle, it’s worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.
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