How Much Does an Engine Swap Cost?
An engine swap is simply removing the car’s engine and replacing it with another. The basic idea of an engine is to increase the vehicle’s horsepower without the loss of dependability. An engine swap can also be performed if the existing engine in the car has failed.
How much does it cost?
- On average, an engine swap is going to cost anywhere from as little as $500 to as much as $3,500 for the labor alone. If an engine has to be purchased, this can tack on thousands of dollars depending on the make and model of the vehicle. If you plan on paying for the labor and the engine alone, you could be between the $5,000 and $10,000 range; again, this depends on the make and model of the car.
- At Midship Magic in the Central Florida area, the cost of an engine swap service ranges from $600 to $1,500. For example, an 85-89 MR2 4AGE to 4AGE will cost $600, while a 91-95 MR2 5SFE to Gen4 3SGE (beams) can cost $1,200.
What is going to be included?
- An engine swap process involves removing the engine of a vehicle and replacing it with another one. The swap is usually done when the previous engine has ceased to function properly such as in an engine failure due to overheating, lack of lubrication, and inadequate maintenance. An engine swap is also done to replace the current engine with a more powerful one.
- Engine swap services include the stock engine and transmission removal; horsepower and speed improvements; comprehensive engine evaluation and testing; and enhancing the fuel efficiency.
What are the extra costs?
- Add-ons depend on the type of engine being installed as well as the car or vehicle model. At a shop, a lesser priced Acura INTEGRA engine swap includes the following most common add-ons and their corresponding prices are: cable type transmission – $600; timing belt and water pump – $125 to $225; clutch kit – $200; plug wire set – $65; and, innovative replacement kit – $250.
- Additional fees can also include: rewiring – $25 to $150; fuel pump installation – $150; and, clutch/flywheel installation – $125; and installation of aftermarket components – $100 to $350.
- Other charges that some auto shops charge include dismantling costs, engine disposal fees, shipping costs, storage fees, and border/customs fees.
Factors that influence the price:
- Vehicle model. A simple engine swap done on an older car costs less, with the costs totaling $1,500 for the engine and labor. High-end engine swaps cost more. Premium engines can cost $3,000 to $7,000. Labor fees for extreme swaps can range from $1,000 to $2,000.
- Engine. One of the major factors that dictate the price of an engine swap is the cost of the replacement engine. There are basically two types of engines that can be used in an engine swap: remanufactured or used. Another option is to repair and rebuild the original engine. As more people buy performance engines, prices begin to climb. Engine prices fluctuate every year with the demand, increasing during the summer months and decreasing during the winter.
Tips to know:
- The engine swap task must be legal. Be sure to check your state’s vehicle code. Call the DMV and find out what is legal and what is not.
- Watch out for stolen engines. There are engines being sold that come with prices that are too good to be true. Prior to buying any engine, check it thoroughly and verify that it is in an exceptional condition.
- One of the most challenging tasks involved in an engine swap is ensuring the proper installation of the wiring and computer components. The swapped-in engine must match and be properly set up in order for the computer in the car to operate the new engine successfully.
- If you have a base model for a specific vehicle you want to swap in an optional high-performance motor, evaluate the cost of buying and installing the higher-horsepower engine against buying another vehicle with the larger engine already installed. In general, selling the base car and buying the upgraded car can be a cheaper choice, but this will result in an increase in the insurance rate.
How can I save money?
- Find auto shops that offer free estimates and computer check. Get free quotes and compare the rates and services offered at each one of them. If possible, try to stick with the independent shops since they tend to be cheaper than the local dealerships.
- Many auto shops and repair centers hold monthly specials now and then for various auto services including engine swaps. Check for online promotions and deals as well.