Weigh Your Truck Engine Options
Whether you’re dealing with a planned overhaul or an unplanned failure, one thing’s for sure: Replacing your truck engine requires an outlay of both time and money. That’s the bad news. The good news? You have options—and choosing the right one for your situation can help keep expense and downtime to a minimum.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of what’s available.
1. Buy a remanufactured engine
Choosing a Cat Reman engine may be your best bet when it comes to saving both time and money, especially for unplanned failures. Cat Reman engines are available off the shelf to get you back on the road fast. You also get same-as-new quality and a same-as-new warranty at 20-35%* off the cost of new. Another benefit: You can match the emissions level of your reman engine to the one you’re taking out of your truck.
That said, if you’re running an older truck, it may not be in your financial best interests to invest in a complete reman engine. Rebuilding may be a smarter option.
2. Dealer rebuilds your engine
If buying a new or same-as-new engine isn’t in your budget, consider your local authorized Cat dealer to perform an engine rebuild. Cat dealers are certified professionals who will rebuild your engine using genuine Cat diesel engine parts and Cat Reman components when available to keep costs down. They’ll also test your rebuilt engine using the same standards applied to new models and back the entire rebuild—not just new parts—with a warranty.
What’s the downside? It might take time to get on your dealer’s schedule. If you can’t afford the downtime, this option may work better for planned overhauls than for unplanned failures.
3. Rebuild engine yourself
Have time and expertise on your side? Think about doing the rebuild yourself. You won’t pay for dealer labor—and by taking advantage of remanufactured diesel engine parts, you can save even more. Buying Cat Reman turbochargers, Cat Reman starters, Cat Reman fuel injectors and other components off the shelf keeps repair time and costs down. So do Precious Metals overhaul kits—you only need to order one part number to get all the components you need.
Just make sure you’re honest about your capabilities. You won’t be able to test the final product the way your Cat dealer can, and your warranty will only cover the components you buy, not the rebuild itself.
There’s no single “right” answer. But if you weigh all the factors—downtime, cost, availability, emissions requirements, age of your truck, personal rebuild capabilities—one of these options is sure to rise to the top. Prefer to get an expert’s opinion before you make a decision? Your Cat dealer is here to help.
* Exact percentages vary and depend on the condition of your core and other factors.