Used, Rebuilt, Remanufactured: Which Generator Engine is Right for Me?

Commercial and industrial generators play a major role in various industries and can be used in many different applications. Whether you’re using a standby generator (also known as a stationary generator) when a business or facility experiences a power outage or using a portable generator in efforts to prepare natural disasters, respond to natural disasters, or for a remote project site located away from the main utility grid – a backup generator can keep operations running effectively.

While an immediate thought may be to lean towards a brand-new generator, there are some drawbacks and alternatives that should be considered before deciding. For example, there may be older, used generators available in the market that may have been regularly serviced and well maintained, may have a rebuilt engine, or may have had the engine remanufactured completely.

While these terms may seem strange or even off-putting, it essentially means that you can extend the use of an older generator by taking the heart of the generator (which is the generator engine) and restoring it back to expected operational efficiency. While many focus on the restoration and recovery process of diesel generators, this can sometimes apply for natural gas generators as well. Generator engine recovery processes are also not limited to stationary generators, but can be done with portable generators as well.

New Generators

While a brand-new generator may seem appealing, it goes without saying that new generators are often costly and depending on your power needs may have a very long lead time.

Even if this is the case, we can’t discredit the benefits of installing a brand-new generator for your business or facility.

New generators come with new generator engines that often adhere to local and national EPA tier regulations. This means that there can possibly be less red tape and less potential issues when purchasing and installing a brand-new backup generator when compared to a purchasing and installed a used generator or a generator with a rebuilt or remanufactured engine. Though this is not always the case, it may make it process slightly easier depending.

New generators also tend to have more advanced technology, such as controls, displays, and features that can ensure maximum operating efficiency or safety precautions put in place while the generator is running.

If a new generator is within your budget and you would like to go this route or the installation requires a new generator with the latest EPA tier rating and components, then this may be a good option for you.

Used Generators

Used generators are exactly what their name states. They are generators that were previously owned and/or operated by a business, facility, or property management company. Used generators are often a sound choice when shopping for a backup generator for your application due to lower cost when compared to a new generator. While price savings may be appealing, it’s important to review any service records and make sure that routine service & maintenance were completed on the unit prior to purchase. Used generators may seem like an affordable option, but there may be underlying issues with the generator. The generator engine is one area that needs to be closely inspected and evaluated, as used generators often do not have warranty in place for their engines or other components.

This means that if there are any issues with the unit and you purchase it without completing any due diligence, you may be stuck with a very expensive bill or worse – the generator could be completely damaged and beyond repair.

Be sure to shop with a reputable generator dealer if you are in the market for a used generator and if possible, have the unit inspected by a trustworthy generator technician or service company.

Rebuilt Generator Engines

Rebuilt generator engines are part of a specialized part recovery process, where the engines have been disassembled and the parts have been serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Rebuilding a generator engine is often conducted in situations where a generator may show signs of underperforming. This could be signs such as high oil consumption (also known as burning oil), exhaust smoke that is considerably greater than normal, loss of pressure, and possibly misfiring within the engine.

When rebuilding a generator engine, many potential problems can be identified just by looking at the components, repaired or replaced, and completely serviced to meet any standards or specifications before reassembling the engine.

While this may be a good option for some, it may not be a good option for others. When a generator engine is rebuilt, it takes a high level of skill and can be extremely time consuming. This can add to the overall cost of the generator and may end up being considerably more expensive than a well-maintained used generator. If you’re looking to go this route, make sure you survey reputable generator dealers or service companies prior to making a purchase. Working with a reputable dealer or service company can help mitigate any potential issues that may stem from purchasing a generator with a rebuilt engine.

Remanufactured Generator Engines

Remanufacturing a generator engine is the most in-depth, comprehensive option available out of the list. This generally equates to higher costs, as engine remanufacturing is a recovery process that tries to make the engine as new as possible. This means that all components required for the engine to run efficiently are disassembled, inspected, and matched against any OEM (original equipment manufacturer) specifications. When remanufacturing a generator engine, the components are often tested against any OEM specifications or standards and serviceable parts are replaced to meet these requirements. Any seals or gaskets that may have experienced wear are also replaced to ensure the engine can run at optimum efficiency without the risk of blow-by.

If one were to purchase a completely remanufactured generator engine, it should be almost guaranteed that the generator is in peak operating condition and has been successfully restored to a performance level as if it were practically brand new, with the main downside being that this process can be expensive and time consuming. If you have a good amount of lead time or are looking for multiple options for backup power needs, this may be an option for those looking into backup generators that can offer longevity.

If you are looking for more information on any service, maintenance, or processes regarding generator engines, feel free to reach out to us at Woodstock Power Company!

Fill out our Contact Form or give us a call as 610-658-3242

We have a large selection of used generators, as well as a availability of rebuilt and remanufactured generator engines in brands such as Kohler, Cummins, Caterpillar, and other major brands.

Additionally, you can send us an email at

The Woodstock Power Company Experience

We have industry experts that focus on generator sets and generator engines, with in-depth industry knowledge to help you choose the right generator that fits your needs.

Our experts are ready to assist you from answering any questions you may have about power generator sets to helping you find the best selection in our inventory based on:

  • Peak & Average Power Requirements
  • Fuel Preference (Natural Gas or Diesel)
  • Portability & Stationary Power
  • Prime & Standby Generator Requirements
  • Available Space & Exhaust Restrictions

Our experts are also able to help coach you on Final Tier 4 regulations and the potential impact it can have on your generators.

We carry only the most top rated new, used, and surplus power generator sets for sale, providing you with a great value generator that will fit your budget.

Our generators have been thoroughly inspected, serviced, and verified, which ensures that you will be buying a quality generator that you can depend on. If a generator is not up to par with industry standards, we make all necessary repairs or modifications, and fully test every generator before we sell. This ensures a full turnkey generator that’s ready to fire up and go!

Due to our wide selection of generator sets, we’re confident that we can find the model that best suits your operational needs.

We also buy used generators in good quality, if you have already upgraded and you’re looking to sell your older model.

Feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns, or inquiries to learn more about the Woodstock Power Company experience and the quality level of products & services we provide.

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