Up in Smoke: How Much Does a Complete Engine Rebuild Cost?

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

Is your car in desperate need of repair right now?

If so, there are some car repair jobs that shouldn’t cost you that much money to do. You can, for example, replace the starter in your car for just a few hundred dollars in most cases.

However, there are also car repair jobs that are going to cost significantly more than that. For instance, replacing your brake lines will often cost about $1,000, while replacing a catalytic converter can cost upwards of $1,500.

Then, there are engine repairs. “How much does a complete engine rebuild cost?” is a question you’re going to find yourself asking if you have a major issue with your engine. And the answer is that it is, unfortunately, going to cost a lot of money.

Including parts and labor, you could be looking at anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 as far as the engine rebuild cost is concerned. It’s why you need to think long and hard before agreeing to have your engine rebuilt by a mechanic.

Here are some of the important things you need to know about rebuilding the engine in your car.

What Are Some Signs That Your Engine Needs To Be Rebuilt?

The engine is obviously the most important part of your car. If it’s not working the way it should, your entire car is going to suffer as a result of it.

Keep this in mind when you’re driving around in your car and keep an eye and ear out for any potential signs of engine trouble. Something as simple as a bad oil leak could indicate a major issue with your engine.

Some of the most common signs that your engine may need to be rebuilt are:

  • Your engine makes a loud rattling sound when your car is idling
  • Your engine makes a loud clattering sound when your car is accelerating
  • Your engine sends thick clouds of smoke spewing out of your exhaust when you’re idling or driving
  • Your engine refuses to turn over when you try to turn your car on (this is usually a sign of trouble with your battery or starter, but it could also prove to be an issue with your engine)

You should not ignore any of these things if you see or hear them happening. Instead, you should take your car to a mechanic right away to see if you have a major engine problem on your hands.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Have an Engine Rebuild Done?

There are some people who will put off taking their car to an auto repair shop when they experience engine troubles. They’re fearful of the engine rebuild cost and aren’t sure if they would even be able to pay it.

They continue to drive their car around, bad engine and all, until one day it suddenly makes a loud noise and then stops working. This is usually a sign that the engine has seized and that it will need to be replaced altogether.

In the event that this happens, you’ll usually wish that you had taken the time to consider an engine rebuild. The cost of replacing an engine will often dwarf the engine rebuild cost, with many engine replacement jobs costing well over $5,000.

This is why you should never, ever ignore engine troubles or ignore a mechanic when they recommend an engine rebuild to you. You could put yourself into a terrible position if you run your car into the ground by neglecting your engine.

Is It Worth Rebuilding or Replacing the Engine in Your Car?

If a mechanic tells you that they would suggest rebuilding your engine or replacing it, you should take their recommendation seriously. But it doesn’t always mean that you should spring into action and have your car’s engine rebuilt or replaced right away.

Before you dump thousands of dollars into your car, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a series of questions to see if it’s worth it. Some of these questions should include:

  • “How much is my car worth right now?”
  • “Does it make sense to rebuild or replace the engine in my car based on its value?”
  • “How much longer am I going to be driving my car?”
  • “Are there other parts in my car that are going to need to be repaired or replaced soon?”
  • “Would it be a good idea to sell my car and have someone else deal with the engine problems?”

If you find that your car is only worth, say, $1,000 or $2,000, paying $4,000 to have your engine rebuilt or $7,000 to have it replaced might not be the right move. You may want to think about getting rid of it and buying something more reliable.

What Can You Do With a Car That Needs an Engine Rebuild?

Selling a car that has an engine that needs to be rebuilt or replaced is not always easy. You’re going to have a tough time selling it as part of a private sale or trading it into a dealership.

But you should know that those aren’t your only options. You can also sell your car to a company that specializes in buying cars in “as-is” condition. Even if your car has serious engine problems, they’ll still take it off your hands and give you cash for it.

Rather than paying thousands of dollars to repair or replace your engine, you can sell it for cash and move on with your life. It’s usually the best approach to take when you’re forced to deal with an engine that’s in bad shape.

Don’t Let the Engine Rebuild Cost Send You Deep Into Debt

If your car has seen better days and you’re staring down an engine rebuild at some point in the near future, you should at least consider your other options. You don’t have to allow the engine rebuild cost to put you into debt.

Sell your car for cash as opposed to spending a small fortune getting it up and running again. It’ll give you a chance to buy a new car and make your engine problems a thing of the past.

Contact us today to see how easy it is to sell a car that has an engine that needs to be rebuilt.

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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