Engine Replacement & Engine Swap Cost 2018: Here’s What You Need to Know

With the rising cost of new cars these days, a lot of people are finding it hard to buy one. It is becoming a luxury that is unaffordable for the average individual. Luckily, there are many ways to upgrade your old car and make it deliver peak performance. Rather than buying a new one, a better thing to do is to swap or replace your engine. You can equip your car with plenty of hi-tech electronic gadgets such as a radar detector or a dash cam, but until and unless, your engine is weak and outdated, you won’t get that feel of driving a performance car.

In the rest of this post, I will let you know how much does an engine swap cost. By knowing the costs that are involved, it will be easier for you to decide if a replacement is a sound alternative to improve your vehicle’s performance. At the end of the day, you will realize that it is indeed an economical option.

engine swap cost

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What is an Engine Swap?

To put it simply, an engine swap refers to the act of removing the original engine of a car and having it replaced with a new one. The engine can be similar to the same that has been removed, which is going to require simpler work. A more complicated alternative, on the other hand, is to have it replaced with a totally different engine, usually, one that is more powerful.

Replacing an old engine instead of buying a new car is an economical choice. It will help to upgrade the performance of your vehicle. It will lead to thousands of dollars of savings. However, keep in mind that this is not a simple process. You have to look for one that is suitable for the car that you have. More often than not, consultation with a pro is necessary.

Before an engine swap or replacement, these are some of the most important factors that should be given attention:

Wiring: You need to understand the complex science behind how wires work. From wire gauge to amperage, you need to make sure that they are suitable for the new engine that will be used as a replacement.

Cooling System: When the engine is replaced, you might also need to have an auxiliary cooling system. This is going to prevent overheating and other problems. This could add up to the cost of the engine replacement.

Fluid Reservoirs: Aside from the replacement of the actual engine, you also have to install new fluid reservoirs. Make sure that there is sufficient space for new reservoirs as they contain fluids that are essential for the performance of the engine.

How Much Does an Engine Swap Cost?

Now, let us go to the main part of this post. Before considering an engine swap or replacement, the first thing that you have to do is to ask around from three to five mechanics within the neighborhood. This will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate their offers and decide which one is doable for your budget.

Factors that Affect Price

Before I provide you a rough estimate of the costs that are involved, let us look at some of the factors that will dictate the costs. One thing that will have an impact on how much you will pay would be whether you need a short block, long block, or complete engine. Here is a short look at how they are different from one another:

Short Block Engine: It is one-third of the total size or components of a complete engine. Aside from the block itself, some of the components that are also commonly included are pistons, bearings, connecting rods, and freeze plugs, among others.

Long Block Engine: In this case, the engine is almost complete. They have the same parts as a short block, but there are add-ons, which include cylinder heads. Some external parts will also be required for installation.

Complete Engine: As the name implies, this refers to a complete set of an engine.

The type of the engine will also have an impact on its cost. Look at its technical specifications, brands, features, and performance, among other things. Lower-end engines, obviously, will be cheaper compared to their higher-end counterparts.

Speaking of the type of the engine, the brand and the model of the car that you have also affects the costs of the engine swap or replacement. Obviously, if you have a high-end sports car, you should expect that its engine will cost a fortune.

Lastly, the mechanic doing the replacement of the engine will also be another factor with an impact on how much the swap will cost. This makes it important to ask around so that you can take advantage of the best rates that are available.

Rough Cost Estimates

In the case of complete engines in high-performance cars, the cost can easily go above $9,000. In the case of long blocks, on the other hand, they will be usually from $1,500 to $2,000, which are already reflective of superior quality. For a short block, meanwhile, expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

Aside from the cost of the actual engine, you also have to factor in the cost of the labor. In most cases, the hourly rate of local mechanics will be anywhere from $50 to $100. In most cases, the replacement of a new engine will take up to 20 hours to complete, depending on the extent of the job. With this, you can spend $500 to $1,500 on labor costs alone.

The cost of the engine replacement should also include all other parts that you have to replace. A new engine will not work if the other components are already damaged. With this, consider replacing other parts as well for a one-time upgrade. 

Tips when Looking for an Engine Replacement

If you are searching for a replacement for your engine, think beyond cost. While financial considerations are important, there are other things that should matter, including the following:

  • Don’t do it on your own. Ask for help from a professional mechanic who has an expert knowledge when it comes to engines.
  • Consider buying a used engine if you want an upgrade. It is cheaper, but you can never be sure of the quality. You should exert effort to evaluate the engine and to be sure that its quality is not compromised.
  • If you will look for a used engine as a replacement, you have to examine the parts and see to it that they are in excellent condition. To add, focus on those with low mileage.
  • Look at the warranty of the engine, especially if it is brand new that you will be purchasing. With an extensive warranty coverage, you can have peace of mind.

Engine Care and Maintenance

From the things that have been mentioned in this guide, it is apparent that the engine swap or replacement is going to be costly. To prevent being burdened by such cost, you need to take care of your engine. That being said, here are some of the most important maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  • Look at the mileage of an engine. If it has already run for more than 150,000 miles, this is an indication that you will need to have it replaced. If you keep it running longer, the performance of your car and your safety can be compromised.
  • Regularly changing the oil is also a must. This will provide the lubrication that the engine needs. Friction will be minimized because of the oil, and in turn, it will be lesser prone to wear and tear. Oil is cheap and this can save you a lot in the long run as it will prolong the lifespan of the engine.
  • Same with the oil, the cooling system is also important in maintaining the peak condition and performance of the engine. If the cooling system is not working properly, the engine can suffer from extremely high temperature and it can be prone to overheating. This is another thing that can shorten its functional life.
  • The replacement of your fuel filter is also an important part of engine maintenance. The filter has the primary role of preventing impurities and contaminants from getting to the engine, and hence, prevent damages.
  • Regular inspection is also necessary, which will provide you with the opportunity to detect problems early on and execute the necessary solution as soon as possible. Minor problems, such as leaks, can be easily detected. Some things, however, will require the trained eye of a mechanic.

Conclusion

From the discussions above on engine replacement cost, I hope that you now have an idea on how much money you need to prepare if you need a replacement for your current engine. If you still have any confusion, then go to Best Consumer Reports. The costs will differ based on the engine that will be used and the rates of the professional who will be doing the job. If you want nothing but the best, do not hesitate to spend and see it as an investment.

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