Cost to Rebuild an Engine

How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild an Engine?

Last Updated on September 14, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The parts that make up the engine deteriorate as a result of normal, premature wear or failure. For each individual case, the defective parts must be replaced and the cause of the problem must be fixed.

When rebuilding an engine, a new timing belt, oil pump, pistons, seals, rings, gaskets, and bearings will have to be installed. Even though the basic connecting rods, crank, and blockhead have been reused, they all are remanufactured in order to meet the OEM standards and avoid engine failure in the future.

How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild an Engine?

The average engine rebuild cost, that has a warranty, would start at around $550 for an engine that can be worked, and go up to more than $3,600 for an entire engine replacement. This cost is affected by various factors like the place where you are living, the mechanic/dealer you choose, and the make and model of your car.

For instance, if you were to go to a machinist for rebuilding your current engine, you would have to pay anywhere between $280 and $700, depending on how damaged the engine is. The price of a machinist is much lower than that of a mechanic because they can work with your current vehicle’s engine by cleaning out the whole engine block and will be able to mill the cylinder head, drill the block, and install piston rings, plugs, and bearings.

On the other hand, a mechanic will know how the engine parts work and where they go and will be able to adjust the timing and the valves, lubricate the part, and check the pressure. Also, they will replace any parts that are not working properly.

It is difficult to estimate the costs because most mechanics charge by the hour. Though, based on our research a mechanic would charge anywhere between $1,200 and $3,200 for a complete engine rebuild. Also, a reputable mechanic will always replace everything that is necessary, so the overall cost will depend on certain repairs.

According to the CarCare.org website, you should expect to spend anywhere between $2,400 and $4,500, or 10% to 20% of the vehicle’s value to rebuild its engine. For example, you will have to pay $3,700 to $4,500 for rebuilding the engine of a 2001 Ford truck, and $2,750 to $3,500 for a full-sized V8 truck engine.

You also have the option to purchase a rebuilt kit that cost less than replacing the engine. Plan on spending anywhere between $270 and more than $1,600 (without including the labor), depending on the type and your car.

This kit is designed to update all of the parts in your vehicle’s particular engine. A rebuild kit will include, at a minimum, the timing gear cover gasket, the bearings, the water pump gasket, piston rings, valve cover gaskets, the camshaft, valve seals, and head gaskets.

The Cars Direct website states that the average cost to rebuild your engine depends on the type of engine. For instance, you should be prepared to spend $550 to $750 to rebuild an eight-cylinder engine to its original specifications, while the rebuilding cost for an older Volkswagen air-cooled engine may be anywhere between $320 and $450.

In the table below you will find the average purchasing prices of a brand new “rebuilt” engine for different types of cars.

Make and Model Cost of an engine rebuild (no professional installation)
BMW 540 $2,000 to $3,700
Chevy Aveo $1,000 to $1,900
Chevy Equinox $1,000 to $2,100
Chevy HHR $900 to $1,500
Chevy Silverado $1,200 to $2,100
Ford Escape $1,000 to $1,400
Ford Expedition $850 to $2,200
Ford Explorer $800 to $1,700
Honda Accord $700 to $1,600
Honda Civic $750 to $1,100
Jeep Wrangler $1,000 to $1,400
Lexus GS300 $1,800 to $3,000
PT Cruiser $1,000 to $1,400
Toyota Camry $850 to $1,200
Toyota Sienna $800 to $1,500

Note: These price estimates do not include the professional labor and are available only for the engine itself. You should add another $2,200 to $3,200 if you plan on hiring a professional mechanic.

You might also like our articles about the cost of reboring an engine, engine swapping, or motorcycle engine rebuilding.

What are the additional expenses?

It may still not work as you would like, even if you successfully rebuilt its engine. According to the Art’s Automotive website, your car may still run improperly due to a faulty fuel injection, steering, tires, transmission, suspension, or others. You should budget for the replacement/repair of these parts as well.

Important things to consider

Engine Rebuild JobIn general, a rebuilt engine comes with a warranty of a minimum of 12,000 miles or one year. There are some manufacturers that offer three years warranties.

Engine rebuilding starts with removing and cleaning the engine parts. All components are examined and wear parts are sorted. The next step is to test the cylinder block. The smallest deviations from the reference point are sufficient for grinding the cylinders according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

The cylinder head is examined for cracks and deformation. Valves, valve seats, and valve guides are always renewed. Other components, such as bearing bushings, are checked and replaced as necessary.

Overhauled engines, whether they are complete engines with all auxiliaries or basic engines, don’t have to be new after this rebuilding. But they were taken apart, checked, professionally refurbished, and put back together to exact specifications. All wearing parts are replaced with new parts of the best quality that correspond to the condition of delivery from the factory.

All auxiliary components such as pumps and coolers, the ignition system, and any turbochargers are also examined. If they are fragile, they will be repaired or replaced.

Tips for saving money

If you are considering purchasing a rebuilt engine, you should not pay more than half of the price of a new engine. If it costs more than 50%, you should buy a new engine.

Alec Pow
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