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How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Engine? Facts & FAQs (2024 Update)

mechanic repairing car engine

Are you looking for information on the cost of replacing a car engine this year? If so, you’ll find engine replacement costs for different vehicles and engines below. The average cost is between $3000 and $9000. We’ll also look at whether replacing your engine or purchasing a new car, including today’s hybrid cars, is cheaper. Plus, we’ll answer whether your car’s warranty will pay the engine replacement cost. If that sounds like the actionable info you’re searching for today, read on.

car and road divider

Is it Worth Replacing Your Car’s Engine?

Depending on your vehicle’s age and condition, replacing the engine might be the better and cheaper option than purchasing a new vehicle. However, there are some situations in which purchasing a new car will probably be a better choice. Before you decide, here are several factors you should consider:

Things to consider

  • Manufacturers Warranty: If your car’s engine is still under warranty, replacing it is a no-brainer as it won’t cost you extra money.
  • Affordability: Replacing the engine will be significantly cheaper than buying a new car. (A used car? Maybe not, but used cars come with their own set of problems.)
  • Extended Life: If your car is otherwise in good condition, a new engine can extend its working life by several years.
  • Collectability: Does your car have collectible (or sentimental) value? If yes, replacing the engine makes more sense.
  • Mechanical Condition: A car running perfectly except for the engine is a good candidate for an engine replacement. However, it might be worth moving on if your car has several other mechanical problems.
  • Overall Condition: If your car is in great shape, with a ding-free exterior and a clean, minimally worn interior, replacing the engine is a good choice. Purchasing a new car might be better if it’s older, with significant wear and mileage.
engine of a blue car
Image Credit: Devolk, Pixabay

How Much Does Engine Replacement Cost?

The range of prices for replacing a car engine isn’t expansive. However, there is some difference between the costs of replacing different types of car engines, including gasoline, hybrid, and electric.  Let’s take a look at all three so that you can compare:

Traditional Gasoline Engine

On average, a traditional gasoline engine will cost between $4,000 and $6,000 to replace. If you replace it with a used engine, your costs drop from $3,000 to $4,000. A new V8 engine will set you back about $7,000.

Hybrid Car Engine

Hybrid cars feature an electric motor and a conventional gasoline engine. The engines are typically much smaller, reducing the cost of replacement. Since hybrid engines consist of both a motor and an engine, it’s hard to determine the cost, as it depends on whether the electric motor or gasoline engine was broken.

The cost of gasoline engines is partly based on the size of the engine. Assuming the cost of a regular-size engine, replacing the gasoline engine would likely cost between $2,000 and $3,000. Replacing the electric motor will be a bit more expensive and cost between $6,000 and $9,000.

Electric Engine

The term “electric engine” is a misnomer as it’s a motor, not an engine. Electric motors last significantly longer than gasoline engines since they have only two major components. Therefore, electric motors rarely fail or must be replaced, and they usually outlast the car. If the electric engine fails and the car is still under warranty, the warranty will usually cover the cost of replacing it.

car engine
Image Credit: BruceEmmerling, Pixabay

What Are Some Additional Engine Replacement Costs to Anticipate?

One of the biggest expenses when replacing a car’s engine is the cost of labor. Two factors determine labor costs: the time it takes to perform the engine replacement and the cost per hour the mechanics charge.

Removing your car’s old engine and replacing it with a new one takes between 10 and 15 hours, depending on the car, the engine, and several other factors. The labor cost depends on where you live, the quality of the repair shop, etc. Typically, the range of hourly costs is between $90 and $150 per hour.

Based on those costs and the usual time to replace the engine, the typical labor cost to replace your car’s engine will run between $900 and $2,250. However, high-end automobiles that demand highly-trained technicians and mechanics cost substantially more. We advise you to check with your car dealer before making any decisions.

Do Auto Manufacturer’s Warranties Cover Engine Replacement?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. First, if your car is still under the initial bumper-to-bumper warranty, the manufacturer will have no choice but to replace it (barring any extreme misuse issues on your part).

You might also have a 2nd extended warranty purchased when or after you bought your car. Depending on what this warranty covers, it’s possible that it would cover an engine replacement. However, it’s not guaranteed and depends on the extended warranty and its terms.

Some car owners also purchase a 3rd extended warranty. However, most of these types of warranties only cover specific parts. That might include, for example, the ignition, gearbox, or clutch, but typically not the entire engine.

In other words, the manufacturer’s warranty might cover the cost of replacing your car’s engine, and it might not. Before proceeding, it’s a good idea to check the warranty and, if unsure, check with your car dealer.

mechanic removing car engine
Image Credit: Waranya Sawasdee, Shutterstock

How to Ensure Your Car’s Engine Lasts as Long as Possible

As we’ve seen, replacing a car’s engine is no small cost. Below are a few suggestions, tips, and ideas to help you extend the engine’s lifespan:

How to get the most out of your engine

  • Maintenance: Maintaining your engine is one of the best ways to ensure it stays in excellent condition. Proper engine maintenance includes:
    • Replacing the air filter when required
    • Replacing the oil and oil filter
    • Maintaining the transmission fluid
    • Replacing the fuel filter
  • Break-In Period: Breaking in your car’s engine is a critical time when you should drive under 70 mph and keep the RPMs under 3,500.
  • Warm-Up Time: Letting your car warm up for about 30 seconds and then driving slowly for the first 10 minutes is a great way to extend the engine’s life.
  • Shifting: The better you learn to shift gears with a manual transmission, the longer your engine (and transmission) will last. Also, driving in the correct gear is essential.
  • Starting, Stopping, and Speed: Treat your car’s engine well by starting slowly, stopping gently, and keeping your speed at or below the limit.
  • Overloading and Towing: The more weight you have in your car, the more stress it places on the engine. Whenever possible, remove anything heavy that you won’t need, like equipment, tools, etc. Also, depending on the car, towing a trailer can put stress on its engine. If you tow anything frequently, regular maintenance becomes even more vital.

car and road divider

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, replacing a traditional car engine generally costs between $3,000 to $6,000, but it could cost more or less. For example, imported luxury cars will cost more than standard domestic vehicles to replace their engines. Plus, you also have to consider the labor costs. The choice to replace your car’s engine should be based on several factors, including the mechanical and overall condition of the car itself.

Featured Image Credit: A_stockphoto, Shutterstock


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