There are many things to consider when deciding if you should put a new engine in your car, or bite the bullet and purchase a new-to-you vehicle altogether. In particular, the cost is a critical factor that can help you decide between replacement and throwing in the towel.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Engine?
Answering this question relies on several factors, including the complexity and size of the engine that you need, the rate for the facility that will do the engine installation, and whether or not you are looking to replace with a new, used, or refurbished engine.
In general, however, new engines will come in at around $4,000 for a 4-cylinder and around $7,000 for a V8. Prices will increase depending on the brand of the car and the complexity of the engine. And of course, a performance engine will cost more than a stock engine. With an import, you can expect to pay even more due to the unique parts and installation required.
Used engines can cost quite a bit less. It all depends on how little the seller is willing to part with the engine for. With some searching, you can get lucky and find an engine for $700 or less. The most significant factor in the price of the used engine includes the vehicle it came from, how many miles were on that engine, and how much it will cost to ship the engine from point A to point B.
Engine Replacement Labor Cost
Unless you have the skills and tools to replace the engine yourself, you will also incur some labor costs. Most shops will charge you by person-hours. A typical engine replacement will take somewhere between eight to 12 hours.
So, to determine how much it will cost to replace your engine, multiple the hourly shop rate by the estimated hours that the mechanic quotes you. Shop rates can really vary, though, so it is always wise to estimate on the high side. Most mechanics will charge between $90 to $150 per hour.
If you estimate 12 hours of installation multiplied by $150 per hour, you should get a worst-case scenario and determine your next steps from there.
Other Engine Replacement Costs to Prepare For
When you get your final bill for the installation of your engine, don’t be surprised if you see a few line items tacked on. Your engine will require fresh oil, coolant, and other fluids to ensure seamless operation.
Your mechanic will also need to charge you for the parts required to hold your engine in place, and for any ancillary items that need to be replaced at the same time, such as the fuel pump, water pump, belts, hoses, and the intake and exhaust manifolds. Don’t be surprised if labor to install some of these parts costs more than the parts themselves.
Why Engines Fail
The most common reason for engine failure is inadequate lubrication. When there is not enough oil in the engine, it can cause the engine to overheat, and ultimately, fail. And lubrication is necessary to keep the piston moving smoothly and to protect the cylinder wall.
Neglecting to check your oil levels and routinely replace oil can lead to expensive repairs, and possibly, the need for a costly engine replacement. You must know the importance of maintenance and repair to function smoothly.
Symptoms of Engine Failure
Compression loss, excessive smoke, the rapid burning of oil, a sudden drop in your miles per gallon, engine knocking, and sludge found during an oil change, are the most common signs that your engine is in need of a replacement.
With compression loss, in particular, your car’s engine will misfire frequently. You may also notice excessive smoker coming from your tailpipe, which signals a problem with your vehicle’s exhaust system. You can determine if your engine is burning oil excessively if you are going through at least a quart of oil every thousand miles.
And when it comes to oil sludge, this can be an indicator that your cooling system is on the fritz.
Signs That Engine Replacement is Imminent and Necessary
If you see the previously mentioned engine failure symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to replace your engine yet. But if you have experienced any of those symptoms and start to experience these next big red flags, you can assume that an engine replacement is in your near future.
Your vehicle’s engine stops operating and is making loud noises. This could be an indication that your engine has seized.
You have been driving for miles on end with ongoing engine issues that you have not addressed, and the frequency of such problems is increasing.
You have found large pools of oil underneath your vehicle, and you are finding small pieces of metal inside those pools of oil.
If you are experiencing one of these issues, it is definitely time to call a mechanic for an engine replacement, or Carbrain, who may be interested in purchasing your less-than-perfect vehicle from you.
Is it worth it to put a new engine in a car?
Whether or not you should install a new engine in your car is a personal decision. There are absolutely times where it will be worth the cost to replace the motor. On the other hand, in many cases, it can cost far more to replace the engine than what the car is worth.
On average, today’s cars will last about eight years or 150,000 miles. While there are always exceptions to this rule of thumb, most cars that last longer are meticulously cared for or have had significant investments made to keep them running.
The closer a car gets to 200,000 miles, the more numbered its days are. Though it is possible to elongate a vehicle’s life, it is essential to consider the bigger picture. If you take care of required maintenance religiously, fix small problems as soon as they come up, let your engine warm-up before you drive, and have the engine cleaned each year, chances are your vehicle will last longer than the average.
Making the Decision
When deciding if you should put a new engine in your car, consider your answers to the following questions.
- Can you complete the repairs on your own?
- Is it financially worth it to replace the engine?
- Do you want to keep driving this particular car or is it time for a new one?
- How much is the vehicle worth?
- How much could you sell the vehicle for?
If you decide that it will be too expensive to replace the engine, then consider reaching out to a company some trusted company that will purchase your used vehicle from you. Not only does this take away the time-consuming process of selling your car, but it puts cash in your hand faster so that you can purchase your next new vehicle and get back on the road.