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Remanufacturing vs
reconditioning

When it comes to engines, the terms ‘remanufacturing’ and ‘reconditioning’ are quite often confused within the motor industry, as well as by consumers.  As a leading engine remanufacturer for over 70 years, Ivor Searle explains the differences.

Remanufacturing and reconditioning or ‘reman engines’ and ‘recon engines’ are poles apart when it comes to the actual process involved and resulting quality of the product. This includes any major unit, such as a gearbox, turbo or cylinder head, for example.

Put simply, a reconditioned or recon engine is one that has been stripped down either partially or fully, cleaned and possibly had some damaged components replaced prior to being rebuilt.
In contrast, a remanufactured or reman engine has been returned to the vehicle manufacturer’s original factory specification through an extensive, audited process.  As a result, remanufactured engines provide levels of performance, reliability and lifespan that are equal to and, in many instances exceed, those of the original.  Most importantly, a remanufactured unit is absolutely not a reconditioned or recon engine.

 
It should be noted that a remanufactured engine is required to meet a specific standard for it to be described as such under BSI AU 257:2002. This is a British Standard Automobile Series Code of Practice that applies to the remanufacturing of internal combustion engines.  The standard (which Ivor Searle helped to develop) fully details the procedures and operations for the remanufacturing of both spark (petrol) and compression ignition (diesel) engines.  

 
These processes include the detailed inspection and checking of components against manufacturer tolerances. Key parts, including pistons and ring sets, big and small end bearings and bushes, as well as gaskets, seals, timing chains and drive belts are all required to be renewed, while items such as tensioners and dampers are also required to be inspected and replaced if necessary.

Further important operations, such as intensive cleaning, crack testing machined components and the deburring of reworked oil pathways, are also undertaken to ensure the original specification of the engine is achieved with full reliability.   In addition to having all key clearances, tolerances and end floats checked after assembly, the standard also requires complete reman engines to be checked for oil pressure and compression.

View our remanufacturing process (PDF)
In addition to having all key clearances, tolerances and end floats checked after assembly, the standard also requires complete reman engines to be checked for oil pressure and compression.

Remanufactured engines built by Ivor Searle also offer the additional advantage of having their own unique serial number, which provides an audit trail for all of the components that have been renewed, as well the remanufacturing completion date and test records.

 
As one of UK’s leading independent engine remanufacturers for over seven decades, Ivor Searle takes the high standard demanded by BSI AU 257:2002 a step further by combining it with a quality management system certified to ISO 9001:2015 to ensure that customers are provided with a consistently high standard of quality, product reliability and service.

Therefore, an engine can only be described as ‘remanufactured’ if it complies with BS AU257:2002. It provides a clear distinction between engines that are professionally remanufactured and those that are classed as inferior recon engines.