The Average Cost to Replace a Motor Is $1,200 to $10,000, Depending on if You Go to the Mechanic or DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as transmission repair or replacement, spark plug replacement, and timing belt replacement, might also need to be done. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $4,000 to $10,000
Parts: $700 to $7,000
Labor: $1,200 to $2,000
A motor replacement is one of the most expensive fixes for a vehicle and the cost varies depending on the type of car, the engine, and the amount of labor needed to replace it. Motor replacement typically takes anywhere between 10 hours and 25 hours of labor to complete. It’s important to have a good working motor because your car cannot run without it.
Cost to DIY:$700 to $8,000
If you need a new motor, you’ll need to decide if the cost of the motor replacement is worth it. In some cases, it might be cheaper to buy a new car. It is a difficult task that should not be performed by anyone who does not have extensive knowledge of cars, and have the tools and equipment needed. You can save money by DIYing a motor replacement, and save even further by either replacing the engine with a used one or one that has been remanufactured, or if substantial damage hasn’t occurred to the engine, you can always have the old engine rebuilt.
Keep in mind: There are many different sizes and types of motors, and not all motors will fit all cars. If you plan to replace the motor yourself, be sure to choose the right engine to fit your vehicle. When in doubt, always refer to your owner’s manual.
What Is a Motor Replacement?
An internal combustion engine ignites the fuel and uses small explosions to power and move mechanical parts. The engine is comprised of multiple components that must work in perfect harmony for the engine to operate at peak performance, and if one of these parts starts to fail, it can create a domino effect for other components to fail, which can cause excessive wear and/or damage inside the engine. If any of this damage is too severe that it causes damage to the engine block, the engine cannot be rebuilt and it must be replaced.
What Does a Motor Replacement Include?
If you decide to replace the motor in your vehicle, you’ll need to start by taking out the old one. To do this, you’ll need an engine hoist or crane and load leveling bars. You’ll also need to determine if you need to replace the entire engine assembly, the short block, or the long block. In some cases, it’s more economical to rebuild the engine. Whether you decide to rebuild or replace it, the old engine will still need to come out of the vehicle.
When replacing or rebuilding the engine, there are many other components that might also need replacing. You should check them.
- Power steering
- Cooling system
- Air conditioner
- Sensors and relays
- Spark plugs
Depending on the type of motor and the type of vehicle, it can take an experienced mechanic anywhere from 10 hours to 25 hours or more to replace a motor. If you are doing it yourself, it might take longer.
What Happens if You Don’t Replace the Motor
The motor is the heart of your vehicle. If it is showing signs of failure and you don’t get it replaced, it will eventually stop working. You never want to put off bringing your car to the shop when you notice symptoms of engine failure. The longer you wait, the more you can damage the engine and turn what might be a minor problem into a much bigger one.
Replacing the motor is an expensive repair, so it is a good idea to consider the cost of replacing or rebuilding compared to getting a new car.
How Often Should You Replace the Motor
In most cases, the motor should last the life of the vehicle and will not need replacing. The only time you would need to have it done is if it fails. The best way to keep it working properly is to stick to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. This means changing the engine oil at regular intervals, checking the cooling system, replacing fuel filters at regular intervals, and not ignoring the check engine light if it goes on. Keeping up with all the scheduled maintenance is key to keeping the engine running and performing its best for the long haul.
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Common Symptoms You Need to Replace the Motor
- Knocking noise coming from the engine
- Excessive smoke coming from the exhaust system
- The car burns oil quickly
- Engine misfires
- Check engine light goes on
- Grinding noise coming from the engine
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed with a motor replacement:
- Transmission repair
- Replace spark plugs
- Replace belts
- Timing belt gasket and seals
- Change the oil
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At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.