The Average Cost for Replacing a Rod Bearing is $10 to $5,000, Depending on Whether You Have it Done by a Mechanic or DIY
The listed average cost is based on the national average for all vehicles and does not factor in any fees or taxes or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as replacing gaskets, seals, connecting bearing rods, cylinder head bolts, or flushing the cooler and engine lines, are also not included. For a more accurate estimate based on your specified make, model, and mileage, check out the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Get a more accurate estimate for your rod bearing replacement using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $2,000-$5,000
- Parts: $20-$3,000
- Labor: $800 to $2,000
Rod bearings should be replaced during an engine rebuild or any time the engine’s crankshaft and/pistons are removed, and performing either of these tasks can take up to eight hours or more of labor. A failed connecting rod bearing can severely damage the engine block, which will necessitate a new engine block instead of being able to rebuild the old one.
Cost to DIY: $10-$3,000
- Difficulty Level: Advanced
- Parts Needed:
If you have the mechanical knowledge to tear down and rebuild an engine, you can perform this job yourself and save on the rod bearing replacement cost since that actual parts and supplies are relatively inexpensive. That being said, any time an engine is torn down and the crankshaft removed, there are other gaskets and seals that must be replaced for reassembly.
Keep in mind: Rod bearings, gaskets, seals, and other engine components are designed for specific makes and models. If you decide to DIY this repair, make sure you purchase the right parts for your vehicle. If you’re unsure, consult your owner’s manual for specifications as well as manufacturer recommendations on parts.
What Is Rod Bearing Replacement?
Unlike a ball bearing that contains small balls for rotating parts, the connecting rod bearing is a plain bearing using just friction and oil supply to allow the connecting rod to rotate as the crankshaft spins. The rod bearing lets lubricant reach the bearing’s interior through a pinhole near the top. It also allows free rotation on the crankshaft with reduced friction within the bearing.
What Does Rod Bearing Replacement Include?
Rod bearings are a vital component of your engine, so you may want to consider leaving the replacement of these crucial parts to a trained professional. However, if you feel that you have the mechanical expertise to DIY this project, be sure to take all the precautions necessary to prevent damage to engine components. Rod bearing replacement involves significant disassembly of the engine to separate the connecting rods from the crankshaft. It is very important to keep the bearing end caps and connecting rods together so they don’t get mismatched. Once you get to this point, the bearings are actually very easy to remove and reinstall; do not use any metallic instruments to remove the bearing as you could damage the connecting rod or end cap.
Using a lint-free rag, you’ll want to clean the bearing surfaces to keep them free of dirt and debris, as these can cause bearing failure. Once you’re ready to replace the bearings, you’ll slide one into the end cap and one into the rod’s big end. Bearings include notches on each end that must be lined up as opposites to ensure proper oil pressure. The bearings also need to fit tightly within the connecting rod to avoid loose play. Use a press to push out the bearing on the rod’s small end. Install the new rods on the crank and tighten the bolts.
Using engine assembly lube, replace the rods on the pistons and crankshaft, and wrist pins. Be sure to tighten everything up according to the manufacturer’s exact torque specifications.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Rod Bearing?
If you fail to replace your rod bearings, your engine will lose all friction between the motors and the engine bearings. In a worst-case scenario, this lack of friction could cause the connecting rods to separate from the crankshaft causing severe damage to the cylinder bore and engine engine block. Needless to say, if your engine is suffering from faulty rod bearings, you should stop driving the the vehicle and get the engine rebuilt in a timely manner.
How Often to Replace Your Rod Bearing
Connecting rod bearings are internal engine components that don’t have a regularly scheduled maintenance plan. They are usually only replaced as a preventative measure when rebuilding an engine, but if the bottom end of your engine is knocking or your engine is losing oil pressure, faulty rod bearings could be the cause. The longer you wait to replace the rod bearings, the more potential damage you may cause to your vehicle’s engine. Replacing your rod bearings at the first sign of trouble can mean the difference between replacing rod bearings or replacing your entire engine.
Common Symptoms You Need to Replace Your Rod Bearing
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if your rod bearing needs to be replaced:
- Engine noise. The most common symptom is a knocking noise coming from the engine.
- Loss of oil pressure. A drop in oil pressure can result from excessive bearing wear.
- Transmission noise. Noise in the transmission can be caused by the crank turning backward or dirt clogging the oil pump.
- Worn belts. If the rod journals move too far forward, they can cause irregular wear on the belts.
Related Maintenance Services
When you replace a rod bearing, it’s also an excellent opportunity to check other engine parts for irregular wear and tear. These parts include:
- Timing chains
- Other bearings
- Cylinder head bolts
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