How Much Does an Engine Swap Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

An engine swap, as the name implies, is removing the car’s engine and replacing it with another.  This can either be done due to an engine failure or to install a different engine that’s more modern and more efficient.

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Hemi in a Studebaker” (CC BY 2.0) by  33,333,333 views, and I thank all of you

How much does an engine swap cost?

The cost to swap out an engine will depend on the car you drive, where you live and who you hire to complete the job.  On average, swapping out an engine, again, depending on the prior factors, can take an average of 10 to 20 hours in labor alone.  With some cars, it could take as little as five hours, while others could take more than 20 hours.  A good mechanic can tell you what the average labor time is by referencing a database such as AllData.  With most mechanics billing $60 to $110 an hour, it’s safe to assume, swapping an engine, for the labor alone, can cost anywhere from $600 to $2,200 as long as the engine is intended for the vehicle in question.  If not, the job can still be performed; however, it will require more labor time since the car will need to be modified so the engine can fit the car.  For example, an engine that’s not designed for the car will need its mounts and the drive shaft customized in order to accommodate the new engine.

We researched some of the most common engine swaps performed and included the prices we found in our table below.  These quotes came from various websites, forum threads and mechanics.

Type of Engine SwapAverage Price (labor only)
BMW e30$1,100 and another $600 for hardware/mounts
Chevrolet Silverado 1500$1,000
Dodge Charger$1.450
Ford F150$1,125
Ford Mustang$1,250
GMC Sierra$800
Honda Civic$725
Jeep Wrangler$2,000, but the block was reworked
Mini Cooper$1,550

NOTE:  These are the labor rates only and won’t include the engine and necessary parts.  Greatly depending upon the engine you purchase, this could easily add another $2,000 to $4,000 to the labor rates mentioned above.

According to a forum member on this Miata.net forum thread, he was quoted $1,500 to $2,000 from a few local mechanics to swap the engine.  Another member on the same forum thread said he was quoted $600 for the engine, another $100 for the tow and $2,000 for everything else, which included a new timing belt, water pump, clutch and tune up.

1A Auto Parts broke down the parts they had bought in an itemized list when swapping an engine out.  The costs, in the end, totaled close to $4,000.

What are the extra costs?

If the engine is being swapped due to age, then there’s a good chance your power steering, air conditioner, charging system, starter, transmission and/or radiator all need to be replaced as well, according to TheCarConnection.com.  For example, a mechanic may be hesitant to hook up a new engine to a worn transmission since the added strain, due to the transmission, could cause the engine to fail even faster than expected.  With this being said, it’s wise to budget for the cost of repairing these engine-related items.

The estimates mentioned won’t include the additional parts such as the engine and the parts needed to successfully install a new engine such as the mounts, fan belts, radiator belts, carburetor and fuel injectors.  All in all, it’s best to budget at least $3,000 for the engine, parts and labor.

How can I save money?

An auto mechanic should be able to offer a ballpark estimate over the phone if you explain your situation.  Even if they can’t, most are more than happy to meet with you in person to offer a free estimate.  Try your hardest to receive at least three to five quotes before deciding on a mechanic.


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Average Reported Cost: $300

100 %
0 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Morgan (Annapolis,  Maryland) paid $300 and said:

    $300 installed myself in 2004 Honda Civic. $230 for engine and $70 for random hardware.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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