Freeze Plug Replacement Cost

Freeze Plug Replacement Cost

Last Updated on December 21, 2020 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on September 13, 2020 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

As water freezes, it will occupy more space, and without antifreeze, the water that should be pumped through your engine is susceptible to freezing, at some point triggering issues with your engine block if it were to freeze.

Thankfully, an engine block will not break as long as a top-quality freeze plug is set up and working correctly as they will pop out when the freezing takes place, preventing the engine block from breaking.

These parts are made to not just prevent fractures from popping up within your engine, it can at the same time help in reducing coolant leakages from the start.

As the freeze plug rusts, starts to get damaged, and/or does not work as required, your engine block might break, causing unneeded spills and leakages, which are the starting point of a lot of issues in the future.

Just how much would it cost for a freeze plug replacement?

The expenses of changing your freeze plugs will significantly depend upon the kind of car you drive, the specific freeze plug as there are several plugs in different places on the engine, and the mechanic/dealership you work with to carry out the repair work. After a little online browsing, a freeze plug that is easy to reach might cost anywhere from $200 to $400, whereas a freeze plug that needs the mechanic to raise the engine or transmission out can cost anywhere from $900 to more than $1,800. Sometimes, the engine or transmission will not really have to be taken out, however, a good part of the engine might require to be taken apart in order to get access to it.

As already pointed out, each part of the engine can influence the amount of labor time needed to change the freeze plug. While the part itself can cost just little as $2, it’s the labor that will considerably impact the price. On one forum thread we came across from nc4x4, for instance, the car dealership noted they would need to pull the whole engine out in order to repair a freeze plug, and due to this, the overall expense would be way above $1,800.

A member of the RepairPal forum added to the Q&A thread and noted he was estimated $1,600 to change his rear freeze plug due to its placement on the engine.

Also check out our articles about the cost of flywheel replacement, heater core replacement, and idler arm replacement.

In many cases, if you’re fortunate and the leakage is incredibly slow, then a block seal substance might work, however, it won’t always work for everyone. If going this path, a professional block seal substance on the marketplace will cost about $15, however do rule out a long-lasting repair as it will ultimately wear off.

The repair work

When the mechanic gains access to the freeze plug, they will use a hammer to hit into the block with a screwdriver. Doing so will make it pop through the engine so that they can pry it out with a set of pliers.

When the plug is taken out, the hole will be cleaned up with a piece of sandpaper to eliminate the remaining rust and older sealant, and the brand-new freeze plug will be set up with some sealant around.

To set up the brand-new freeze plug, a special tool is needed in order to do it. However, EconoFix does note that you can utilize a big socket, even though it might cause some damage so it’s not really the best option. It’s somehow of a last resort.

The whole procedure, depending upon the specific place, can take from one hour to way more than 8 hours if several parts require to be taken out.

What is a freeze plug?

How To Install Freeze PlugsAll cars will differ, and the freeze plug will either be found on the side, back, or underneath the engine block. If you look carefully at your engine block, you will see a line of circular anxieties which should be around an inch and a half in size and about a quarter of an inch deep, according to some professional websites, one being EconoFix. These holes in the side of the engine block will be plugged with what’s referred to as the freeze plug or in some cases described as expansion or frost plug

The freeze plug will function as a backup if the antifreeze wasn’t going through your automobile. As water can freeze, it can broaden, as we discussed above, and in order to avoid this growth, these plugs will pop out to avoid this from taking place. If the water has the ability to freeze within your engine block, the block can break, ultimately ruining the motor.

Indications of a malfunctioning freeze plug.

Most of the time, your vehicle will begin to leak coolant, and depending upon the intensity of the leakage, a very slow leakage might indicate a pinhole-sized orifice, pointing indications to a defective freeze plug. As talked about above, these freeze plugs are situated different parts of your engine, however, usually, they are situated on the side of the block, the back of the block, and in between the transmission and engine. With these many different places, the point here is that many leakages will go down the side of the engine as it makes its way to your driveway. If you open your hood and see fluid dripping down the side of your engine or the bell housing in between the engine and transmission, then it’s a great indication that you will have to fix or change the part.

Alec Pow
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