My Engine Failed - How Much Does An Engine Rebuild Cost

engine-rebuild-costs

When your engine goes, you know. It can happen in a bunch of different ways, though. The mechanic could let you know your engine is all sludged up when you go for an oil change, which is why it’s been knocking more and more.


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You thought all you needed was routine maintenance, but you’re going to need an engine rebuild. Your truck isn’t as powerful as it used to be and there’s a cloud of blue smoke out the tailpipe. It might be a very sudden thing - a clunk and a bang, then your engine stops running with a certain finality.

Did You Know

Rebuilding an engine is one of the most costly repairs you could ask for on a vehicle. Most of the time it’s better to just sell your car and put that money towards a new one.

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With just these few examples, but you get the idea. Engine failure comes in all different forms. Often, the same repair, an engine rebuild, can take care of your engine problems. But take note: it’s not an inexpensive repair. And in the end, you might find out that a complete engine replacement is necessary after you diagnose your engine.

How Do You Know When You Need an Engine Rebuild?

How Do You Know When You Need an Engine Rebuild?Some of the common problems have already been mentioned. Running issues like an engine misfire, bad oil leaks, engine burning oil, engine head gasket leaks, or your engine pistons slapping inside the cylinders are all reasons your car could need an engine rebuild.

It really comes down to this: a technician has checked out your car, eliminated any other problems as being the cause, and said to you, “You need an engine rebuild.”

You truly need it properly diagnosed because other concerns can make it seem like you need an engine rebuild, even when you don’t. A failed knock sensor can make it seem like your engine’s about to blow up. Low oil level will cause engine knock too. And other timing-related sensors can cause your car not to start. Even electrical problems could mean you need a replacement engine wiring harness, not a whole engine rebuild.

Common Engine Failure Symptoms

Think you might need an engine restore or rebuild? Check out these common symptoms and see if yours matches up:

  • The engine knocks and rattles when it’s idling. It’s usually a bottom-end knock caused by worn-out bearings.

  • You’re always puffing a thick cloud of smoke from your exhaust. It’s worn-out seals that usually cause your engine to burn oil.

  • The timing belt or chain broke. Many engines have interference-style engines that are badly damaged internally when the timing belt breaks.

  • It won’t turn over. It could be seized, but you’d better check the battery, the starter motor, and the wiring before an engine rebuild.

  • The engine clatters when you’re accelerating. The pistons are moving around in the cylinders too much, and you’ll need an engine rebuild to fix it, even though it runs alright.

There could be other symptoms too. Always have a certified technician check it out.

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What Does an Engine Rebuild Cost?

I bet you’re wondering how much does an engine rebuild cost. It’s not quite as easy as putting a fast and hard number on it. That’s because a motor rebuild cost is different for every engine, and it’s also different based on how in-depth the repair needs to be. How to rebuild an engine? Well, let's just say you will almost certainly require the help of an expert mechanic.

What Does an Engine Rebuild Cost?A typical engine rebuild is between $2,500 and $4,000 in parts and labor costs. This type of engine repair might include simply replacing bearings and seals, and obviously taking the engine out and re-installing it.

It could be much higher too. If the crankshaft is scored, the cylinder head can’t be rebuilt, the pistons need to be replaced, or the engine block is badly damaged, the engine rebuild cost could be thousands of dollars higher yet.

Sometimes, an engine rebuild just isn’t worth it, like if your engine seized. You could need to replace an engine when your car breaks down.

What Are Signs Engine Replacement is Necessary?

If a rebuild isn’t possible or isn’t cost effective, an engine replacement could be a better choice. But how do you know without getting too deep into the repair? Here are a few signs:

  • The engine stops running suddenly with a loud noise. It could very well be seized.

  • You’ve been driving thousands of miles putting up with engine trouble. It’s probably too badly worn to be repaired.

  • There’s a massive puddle of oil under your car very suddenly with chunks of metal in it. Can you say ‘catastrophic failure’?

Common Reasons for Engine Replacement

It’s what you can’t see inside that determines if engine replacement costs, not an engine rebuild, are necessary. And, there’s one external thing too:

  • If there’s a hole in the side of the engine, it can’t be rebuilt. You’ll need engine block replacement, and that’s pretty much the whole thing.

  • If the whole cost of the engine rebuild is the same as a replacement - or more - it’s a good reason to change the engine itself.

  • Some older cars don’t have rebuild kits available anymore, but there could be a used engine available. It could be your only choice.

How Much Does a New Engine Cost?

It comes down to the dollars, folks. So how much is a new engine? Engine replacement cost is expensive, we all know that. There’s a wide range too, depending on the year, make, and model. It could be $3,000 for engine replacement or it could be $7,500. High-performance engines are even more. Engine replacement labor cost is usually about a third of the total cost when you’re buying a new or reman engine.

For an example, the average F150 engine replacement is roughly $7,000, for a 5.4L V8. Of that cost, about $2,000 to $2,500 is labor while the rest is parts.

You could save a few thousand dollars if you buy a used engine replacement, but who knows what condition that engine will be in? You could be changing it once again very soon. It is probably worth selling the car over fixing a car’s engine.

What About Selling the Car with CarBrain?

What About Selling the Car with CarBrain?If the thought of dealing with an engine rebuild or engine replacement is stressing you out, let CarBrain help. Trading in a car with a blown engine is almost always out of the question. So, instead of paying thousands to get your vehicle fixed, why not sell it as-is, where-is for a fair price?

Just request a guaranteed offer online. Give your vehicle information and a few pictures of its condition, and you’ll get a guaranteed offer. If it seems fair to you, accept the quote.

We’ll do the rest! We’ll put money in your pocket quickly, and pick up your vehicle from where it is. No need to sell it privately or trade it in, and certainly no massive repair bills. Get your guaranteed offer for your car now.

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