Engine Series: Highlight — Economic Considerations For Everyday Vehicles -
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Engine Series: Highlight — Economic Considerations For Everyday Vehicles

Over the past decade, the average life of a vehicle has grown to nearly 10 years.

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With the downturn in the economy, some industry experts believe that there will be an increase in the engine installation market as drivers try to hold onto their vehicles longer.

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Over the past decade, the average life of a vehicle has grown to nearly 10 years. Median age of passenger cars in operation remained at 9.2 years in 2007, tying a record high in 2006, according to the vehicle population report released this year by R. L. Polk & Co.

The median age for trucks increased 5.8 percent to 7.3 years in 2007. Although registrations were down, the median age for light trucks in 2007 increased by 4.4 percent to 7.1 years, according to Polk’s findings.

New carmakers have seen a decline in new car purchases with the tightening economy, and some have even ended or plan to end their lease options.

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As a future technician, you will need to educate yourself on discussing service options with potential customers when an engine fails. The question becomes, what is the best choice for that driver? Should they purchase a new car or a newer used (pre-owned) vehicle, invest in a salvaged (junkyard) engine, have the engine rebuilt or purchase a remanufactured engine.

The good news is that as more owners decide to hold onto their vehicle longer, it provides more opportunities for service and repair technicians in the automotive aftermarket who provide engine installation services. The following are some considerations to discuss with a vehicle owner with a failing engine in a tight economy:
 
New vehicles:
• Lose $2,000 – $3,000 in value right out of the showroom
• In the first two years, wholesale value depreciates by 35-50%
• In three years, an average new car loses 54% of the original purchase value
• New vehicles carry higher tax, licensing and insurance costs

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Used (pre-own) vehicle:
• Lose $1,000 – $1,200 in value when they leave the lot
• May have a minimal warranty, if any
• May have hidden problems requiring expensive repairs

Junkyard or salvaged parts:
 • May have high miles and a poor maintenance history – a
     failure waiting to happen
• May have come from a vehicle that was involved in an
     accident and might have unseen damage

Overhauling:
• Overhauls generally replace only severely defective parts
• The quality of the overhaul varies widely
• Often come with only minimal warranty

Remanufactured product:
• Adds worry-free years to the life of your vehicle
• Saves money over the purchase of a new or another used
      vehicle
• Can add to eventual resale value of your vehicle
• Should be accompanied with a national transferable warranty
     for parts and labor

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Source: Jasper Engines & Transmissions

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