How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild an Engine?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A rebuilt car engine is an engine that has been overhauled using both new and used parts that have been approved by the manufacturer.

Technically, a rebuilt engine means you will get an engine with new pistons, rings, bearings, gaskets, seals, oil pump and timing belt.  Although the basic block head, crank and connecting rods have been reused, they are all re-manufactured to meet the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) specifications.

If you’re looking for a new car engine, a rebuilt one may do just as good of a job, for a fraction of the cost.

Engine detail by matchity, on Flickr
Engine detail” (CC BY 2.0) by matchity

How much does a rebuilt engine cost?

The price of a rebuilt engine depends on factors such as the car you drive, who you choose and where you live.  On average, for a rebuilt engine, with a warranty, the price is going to be anywhere from $500 if your current engine can be worked on to as much as $3,500 or more for a complete swap.  Refer to our table below to see what it would cost to purchase a brand new “rebuilt” engine for specific makes and models.

If you were to choose a machinist, for example, then the costs could be in the $250 to $650 range, depending on the damage done to your current engine.  The reason a machinist would be cheaper than a mechanic is due to the fact they can work with your current engine by cleaning out the entire engine block and will be able to bore the block, mill the cylinder head, along with the capabilities of installing bearings, plugs and piston rings.

A mechanic, on the other hand, will know where the parts go, how they work and will be able to adjust the valves, adjust the timing, check pressure, lubricate the part and replace any parts that aren’t working as they should.  Since most mechanics charge by the hour, the costs are hard to estimate; however, with our research, a mechanic, for a complete rebuild, will often charge anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 using your engine.  A reputable mechanic will always replace what’s necessary, so the costs will really come down to these specific repairs.

Lastly, a rebuild kit, which is designed to update all of the parts in your car’s specific engine could cost far less than replacing the engine.  These kits, at a minimum, will include the bearings, piston rings, camshaft, head gaskets, valve seals, valve cover gaskets, water pump gasket and timing gear cover gasket.  Depending on the kit and your vehicle, the prices can be anywhere from $250 to more than $1,500, not including professional labor. says a rebuilt engine will typically cost $2,250 to $4,000 or about 10 to 20 percent of the car’s value.  They also created a handy chart, showing us what popular types of vehicles may cost if it were to need a rebuilt engine.  A full-sized V8 truck, for example, could cost $2,700 to $3,450 for a rebuilt engine, whereas a 2001 Ford truck could cost $3,675 to $4,475.

Cars Direct says the average rebuilt engine will depend on what kind of engine you’re rebuilding.  An older Volkswagen air-cooled engine, for example, could cost $300 to $400, whereas an eight-cylinder engine could cost $500 to $700 to rebuild it back to original specifications.  Block and head machine work, according to the website, could add as much as $400 to the prices.

Make and ModelRebuilt Engine Cost (no professional installation)
BMW 540$2,000 to $3,700
Chevy Aveo$1,000 to $1,900
Chevy Equinox$1,000 to $2,100
Chevy HHR$900 to $1,500
Chevy Silverado$1,200 to $2,100
Ford Escape$1,000 to $1,400
Ford Expedition$850 to $2,200
Ford Explorer$800 to $1,700
Honda Accord$700 to $1,600
Honda Civic$750 to $1,100
Jeep Wrangler$1,000 to $1,400
Lexus GS300$1,800 to $3,000
PT Cruiser$1,000 to $1,400
Toyota Camry$850 to $1,200
Toyota Sienna$800 to $1,500

NOTE:  The costs for the rebuilt engines were for the engine only and wouldn’t include the professional labor.  If you were to choose a professional mechanic, it’s safe to add another $2,000 to $3,000 to the total to play it safe.

What are the extra costs?

Even if the rebuilt engine goes according to plan, it doesn’t mean it will still work to your liking.  The steering, suspension, transmission, tires, fuel injection and a lot more, according to Art’s Automotive, can still make your car run poorly.  If any of these parts were in poor working order, then it would be wise to budget for a repair and/or replacement.

Tips to know

A rebuilt engine, usually, will be warranted for, at a minimum, at least a year or 12,000 miles.  Some engine remanufacturers may offer warranties as long as 36 months.  Check with your local providers to figure out what kind of warranty your rebuilt engine may come with.

An in-house rebuild can fix just about any engine problem found.  Oftentimes, a mechanic will start by replacing the ring and valves where the cylinder walls are found.  For this type of repair, the engine block will be removed and the heads, cylinders, pistons, rods, bearings, freeze plugs and new timing components will be replaced.

How can I save money?

As a general rule of thumb, if you decide to purchase a rebuilt engine, it’s best to spend half of what a new engine would cost.  If you were to spend more than this 50 percent, then it’s probably best to purchase a new engine.  Rebuilding an engine, most of the time, will come down to personal choice, and in some cases, there won’t’ be a solution.

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