The Ultimate Guide To Engine Replacement Costs

by | Oct 5, 2020 | News | 0 comments

Does your car have a blown engine? Are you looking to replace that old engine with a new one? Well, then you have come to the right place. If you have a vehicle that you have kept for a long time, chances are that its engine has deteriorated to such a state that it is not economical or powerful anymore. You could go on using that engine but that would mean an increase in your car’s operating cost. The engine will consume more oil, more fuel, and heat a lot too. The best way to avoid additional costs is to replace your vehicle’s engine.

The important question, however, is, “how much does an engine replacement cost?”

Determining the cost

checking car engine

To answer the question posed above, you have to determine what type of engine your vehicle has. Is it a diesel or a petroleum-based engine? Or is it an engine for a luxury vehicle or a small daily driver?

Well, when you buy a complete engine setup you get all the sensors, the extra accessories like the A/C compressor, and any other electronic parts. These types of engine conversions are uncommon. Usually, you will need a small part of an engine like just the block or just the engine head. If your engine is completely busted you should go for a long block conversion which includes the entire engine block but without any accessories or sensors. Chances are that these extras are working fine in your car so it does not seem viable that you replace them with new ones. Long block conversion s are cheaper since you are buying the whole engine and can typically cost between$600 to $1200.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have a short block engine replacement that only includes specific parts like just the engine head. Short block replacements are more common and therefore the more expensive alternative. This conversion can cost you from $1500 to $3000 depending on the part.

Furthermore, if your car is European you should expect to pay more since European engines are rare and difficult to find in the U.S.

Factors that influence the price

engine swap price

So, you have decided if your vehicle needs a long block replacement or a short block swap but there are a few other things you need to consider that could influence the price of the engine you are buying. First off, you need to know the age of the engine. If it is an old engine it will be cheaper and you can get it in the low price range. Secondly, are you looking for a brand-new engine or a used engine?

Brand-new engines will come straight from the factory and will cost more compared to an engine you buy from a junkyard. The only disadvantage of buying an engine from a used engine dealer is that you are unsure of the machine’s condition. You have to be very diligent in terms of selecting the replacement engine. The good thing is you will pay a fraction of the price of a brand-new engine.

Last but not least, you have to decide where you get the replacement done. The labor costs will play an integral role in determining the engine replacement cost.

Diesel Engines: A special case

You don’t usually see people looking to replace diesel engines that’s because these engines can last an eternity. A lot of that has to do with the design and build of the diesel engine. They are built so well that even after running them for hundreds of thousands of miles, they do not show signs of wear. Even after that people prefer rebuilding the engine rather than replacing it with another one.

Since diesel engine swaps are rare, they cost a lot more than replacing a gasoline engine. We are talking about a lot of money. Just to keep things into perspective, a rebuilt diesel engine for a Ford truck would cost north of $3500. That is at least two times the price of a long block swap for a gasoline engine. If you choose to buy a brand-new diesel engine, then the engine replacement cost would hover between $5000 to $12,000.

Labor Costs

diesel engine

The engine replacement labor time can also play a role in determining the price. Labor costs are high, and even a cheap mechanic will charge a hefty $50 to $80 per hour for an engine swap. Engine replacements take a lot of time, probably about 15-25 hours, so your labor costs may go as high as the engine replacement cost.

Furthermore, if you go to a dealership or a renowned mechanic workshop, you could be paying even $200 or more per hour. And if you factor in the engine replacement labor time, then your total engine swap cost will skyrocket. In any case, you should expect to pay from $1500 to $5000+ in labor costs.

The Total Engine Replacement Cost

Keeping all the factors in mind and after weighing all the options, the cheapest engine replacement cost will hover around $3000-$4000. It has become clear that opting for a used engine is relatively better, and it will cost you the least amount of money. If you do the work yourself, you might save some money, but then time would become an issue and if anything goes wrong, you might end up paying more to correct the mistake. Therefore, it is better to get your engine replaced by a professional even if it costs a lot.

The price you pay at the end can also be influenced by the hard work you do in the beginning. It is not easy finding a used engine and especially not a used engine that is in good condition. You can’t just fit the first engine you find inside your vehicle. You need to research a bit, ask around, check multiple places to get a quote from them, and then finally decide which place is the best. If you are proactive in the initial stages of an engine replacement you will eat the fruits of this hard work in the long-term.

Engine Replacement vs. Engine Rebuilding

Most people are in favor of rebuilding their engine instead of replacing it and depending on where you live and what engine you have, both options can have different costs. If you are looking to rebuild a gasoline engine you are going to end up paying as much as the engine replacement cost. Therefore, when it comes to gasoline engines, a swap is highly recommended; because you get a slightly used engine that will be faithful to your car for a long period.

However, on the other hand, if you are looking to replace a diesel engine then your best bet would be to get it rebuilt. Diesel engine replacement is expensive, as we have discussed above, which is why you are better off rebuilding it.

In Conclusion

Engine replacement costs are pretty high and can sometimes go so high that it is better to sell your old car and buy another one. You can get a decent used car is $4000-$5000. However, if you hold your car dear and it has sentimental value then there is no harm in getting its engine replaced. Just remember to research well before committing to anything.   



Dmitry Petrov

Dmitry Petrov is an engineer who specializes in materials science, and has a deep passion for all things related to automotive technology. He is a true motorhead at heart, and spends much of his free time tinkering with engines and studying vehicular dynamics.


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