5 Questions to Ask Any CAT Engine Remanufacturer Before You Buy from Them

Categories: Buying Tips

Engines for trucks, dozers and industrial applications have life cycles like everything else. Fortunately, Caterpillar builds some of the most durable, long-lasting and powerful engines in the world. As reputable as they are, CAT engines eventually need replacement.

When an engine fails, you have three things on your mind:

  1. How quickly the engine can be replaced.
  2. Where the engine can be replaced most quickly.
  3. How much it will cost to replace the engine.

To help you in your search for solutions, and to save you from making quick decisions that might cost you more down the road, we have outlined the most important five questions you should ask as you search for CAT engine replacements.

Question 1: “What Kind of Replacement Parts Do You Use?”

We are adding this question first because using non-Caterpillar parts for a CAT engine rebuild is the most common way for shops to reduce their costs. Using non-Caterpillar parts for a CAT engine is very risky and often creates further damage to the engine. What’s worse, if your engine fails as a result of non-CAT parts, there is no one to cover it and the warranty is void.

We use only Caterpillar parts in our remanufactured CAT engines.

Question 2: “What is Your Warranty?”

When a company uses anything other than Caterpillar parts, the warranty will likely be void if anything goes wrong with the engine. Whether or not the rebuild company uses authentic CAT parts, you should ask the specific terms of the warranty before requesting a proposal.

Having a warranty in place helps to assure your engine will be operational for the length of time you’re expecting it to be functional. If a part breaks, you can call on the supplier to have a replacement part shipped. If the motor fails to the point of needing to be returned for service, the warranty should cover the cost of the shipping plus parts and labor.

All of our CAT engine rebuilds are fully warranted for two years based on 2,500 hours of operation.

Question 3: “How Do You Determine Your Price Quotes?”

Most engine rebuilders have the primary aim to charge the least for their engines in hopes of beating any competition and getting the sale. To allow low ball pricing, cheaper non-Caterpillar parts are used, limited testing is applied, and little (if any) warranty is offered.

You get what you pay for in the CAT engine replacement business. The money saved by taking short cuts will result in money lost in the mine or at the construction site when the engine fails prematurely. Then, you’re back to square one faced with unexpected downtime and an engine to replace.

New Caterpillar engines for off-highway vehicles carry a cost typically in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most of our prices are in-line with Caterpillar prices. Our engines are comparable to new engines coming off the factory floor in functionality. We specialize in assuring maximum potential for extended use.

Question #4: “How Can You Assure Quality in Your Engine Rebuilds?

Any company that provides used or rebuilt CAT engines should have some method for proving their engine quality. Proof of operation could be supplied in the form of a certificate or a list of installed replacement parts. Occasionally, a company will deliver the engine miles away to an official Caterpillar center for official Dyno test.

A Dyno test verifies that the engine functions at its highest possible capacity. Specifications are documented for each engine to identify any level of severity for problems.

Read more about Dyno tests here >>

If Caterpillar registers faulty performance, they will ship the engine back to the rebuilder for fixing. The delay can be a few days each time the engine is in transport.

Many of our engines care Dyno tested onsite at our shop location, which greatly speeds up our turnaround times. Typically our engines pass the Dyno test the first time without any need for adjustments or replacements.

Question 5: “What is Your Turnaround Time?”

Rebuilt engines through Caterpillar require an average of 3-6 months for completion. Small rebuild shops could take anywhere from a month to several months depending whether they have the correct parts in stock or need to order them. Length of turnaround also depends on whether the rebuilder has worked with that exact engine before. So, be ready to ask specific questions about supplies and rebuilding experience specific to the model, type and arrangement of your CAT engine.

Our goal for the refurbishment of any CAT engine is completion within one week. We might require an additional day or two, but, our average start-to-finish rebuild is a 7-day period. Our speed of completion is made possible by our extensive inventory of parts, engine cores, rooms and buildings on-site, dedicated to each phase of the rebuild process, and, of course our highly skilled technicians. Each engine is completely dismantled to the core and rebuilt using new Caterpillar parts, Dyno tested, painted and shrink wrapped for delivery.

Asking the Right Questions will Save You Time and Money

If you are looking for an engine replacement for any mining or construction equipment, we hope these five questions will help to assist you in finding the solution provider that’s right for your particular engine and budget.

If you are in immediate need for a remanufactured engine in the categories of CAT 3500, 3400 or C-Series, please contact by phone at 303-659-4562 during normal U.S. business hours or use our Quote Request Form >>