How Much Does it Cost to Put a New Engine in a Car?

Budgeting

Your car is filled with many moving parts. The wheels allow it to travel smoothly. The brakes make it so that you can come to a complete stop. Suspension makes it possible to get from point A to point B comfortably. But arguably the most important part of your entire car is the engine. They come in innumerable shapes and sizes and use different combustion cycles and fuels. They are the powerplant of all combustion-powered vehicles and are designed to work for thousands of operation hours, so long as they’re maintained properly!

How Much Does It Cost to Put a New Engine in a Car?

There are hundreds if not thousands of parts that make up each engine, and they generally all work in perfect synchronicity for a very long time. However, as with all things in life, they too will deteriorate – whether it be through hundreds of thousands of miles and use or a quick collision into a pole. Whatever the reason, there are times when a new engine has to go in.

So, what will it cost to put a new engine into your car? The answer is: well, it depends. Though there are many factors that affect the final price, you can expect a new engine to cost no less than $1,000. Read on, as we will go into some of the more nuanced factors and actions necessary to get a proper estimate for your specific engine replacement.

Key Considerations for Engine Replacement

There are a lot of different components that go into installing an engine, and many of them are completely dependent on what the make and model of the vehicle is, and whether you want to replace the motor with a new exact copy or with a different motor from another vehicle. If you are going with an exact replacement, the process is more straightforward (though still complicated and time-consuming). If it’s a different motor, there could be numerous parts that will need custom fabrication in order to make the motor fit and operate properly.

For simplicity’s sake, if you are going with a stock replacement of your existing motor, the cost of the parts will be able to be broken down from the start. You will need to choose your replacement engine first, deciding if you want to have:

  •  A motor from a donor car (one that is purchased for its parts, which is usually the least expensive option, but also brings the most risk of something going wrong);
  • A remanufactured or restored motor (a used motor with all of the wear items already replaced and tested to ensure proper operation, still with the possibility of failure, and with a shorter lifespan due to the fact that it is already used from the start); or
  • A brand new engine from the manufacturer (all new parts tested at the factory, which makes this the most likely to succeed long-term but also the most expensive).

The next step is to find a reliable shop to handle the installation or the personal courage to do the job yourself. The process can be broken down into these simplified steps:

  1. Disconnect and label everything connected to the engine, taking many photo notes along the way that you can refer back to later on.
  2. Drain all fluids out of the engine (this will prevent a possible large mess later on, as well as make the motor lighter for the removal process).
  3. Using a hoist or other similar lift, remove the old engine from the chassis (though this step sounds simple, it usually isn’t).
  4. Insert the new motor to its new forever home (go slow, and be careful not to hit anything too hard, as this can lead to important mating surfaces being bent).
  5. Reconnect all detached wires, hoses, and other various connectors (refer back to the pictures – believe me, they will save you on more than one occasion).
  6. Fill the motor with fluids, and force it to circulate, allowing all necessary parts to be well lubricated.
  7. Test everything separately to lower the chances of failure on the first startup.
  8. Start the motor (or try to), troubleshoot, and tune it all to work as it should.

After all of that is done, you would still need to replace any trim pieces or parts you had to move out of the way. Plus, there’s the important task of the break-in procedures to prevent premature wear and tear while the new motor gets used to moving.

If you have any doubts about your ability to replace your engine on your own, it’s best to leave the work to a professional auto technician. The money you think you could save by tackling the project yourself will be quickly lost if you aren’t able to get the job done correctly the first time around.

How to Break in a New Engine

Breaking in a motor is rather specific to the type and make of the motor you’re installing, so it’s recommended that you take the word of your trusted mechanic for the procedure, or check out what the manufacturer recommends to make sure you’re doing so properly. This is a crucial step in your new motor being happy in it’s home, as it allows all of the moving parts to mate to their housings, and allows the oils to seep into all of the cracks and crevasses that they should.

For the most part, the process of breaking in a motor requires you to keep the RPMs low, usually about half of the rev range. So, if the car redlines at 7,000 RPMs, you are supposed to keep it below 3,500 for a certain amount of miles, usually between the first 5,000 or 10,000 miles since the motor was installed. After that, it will be safe to operate the vehicle normally. Some motors have special cams in them (these are the parts that tell the motor when to let air in or out of each cylinder) that require fluctuating RPMs for their break-ins (so no freeways), but these motors usually have a much shorter period than others, measured in operating time instead of traveled miles.

Your Engine Experts in Portland, Oregon

Repairing and replacing parts on your vehicle can quickly get expensive, which is why preventative maintenance and regular inspections are so important. You’ll also need to know how to budget for car repairs so that you can be prepared when the time comes to get out your checkbook.

AG Automotive has been working on engines for over 27 years, so we have tons of experience with all of the nuances that come with these procedures. We have handled the installs of engines in cars, SUVs, and trucks of all makes and models. Experienced in both gas motors and diesel installs, our skilled mechanics will follow all necessary guidelines, test all aspects of the operation, and give you all of the needed information to get your car back on the road as safely and efficiently as possible. If you currently need a motor installed, come in for an inspection today and we’ll provide a fair and detailed quote for the necessary repairs!