If you have a Japanese car and are interested in performance, then the thought of swapping in a JDM engine and other JDM accessories has probably crossed you mind. JDM Engines generally outperform their US counterparts in both output and reliability. Due to a much more competitive market, there are also a number of engines that were only offered in Japan. In addition to the performance and quality, JDM Engines also generally receive much less wear because of strict pollution and driving laws. After living in Japan for over 3 years, and owning a car in Japan myself, I can definitely say that this is the case.

First of all, the average speed limit in Japan is lower than in the US. Freeway speeds are comparable, though a little less than what is driven in the US, but many roads have speeds of 20-30mph. Since the cars speed is limited, the engine is a lot less likely to be pushed to it’s limits. It is much less common to see someone zip past you because they are late for work.

Another reason that JDM engines are generally in better shape is due to the cost of owning a car in Japan. Especially in the cities, there is very little space. To even purchase a car, you must be able to show proof of a designated parking spot. parking spots in a city like Japan can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to over a thousand. Since Japan has a very efficient public transport system i(f a train arrives a few seconds after it is supposed to, it is quite rare), in many cases cars are considered as luxury items. This means that JDM motors don’t see the abuse that they would see by young drivers in the US.

Cars in Japan must also pass “shaken”, a Japanese maintenance and smog test every after three years for a new car and then every two years after that. Since the fees for this certification can run quite high, many opt to purchase a new car rather than pay the shaken. This means that there are a number of used cars available that have very low miles on them. Since the average distance traveled in Japan is much shorter  than in the US, it is easy to find JDM engines with 20,000 or 30,000 miles on them.

So if your engine is wearing down or you are looking for an upgrade, then a JDM engine is a good option. In most cases the JDM engine is better made and will outperform it’s not JDM counterpart, will have less miles, and less wear. It is important to know how to choose the right motor and the right seller and I will be covering exactly how to do that in future posts.

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