How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild an Engine?

Rebuilding the engine of your car can be a great way to minimize the cost that goes into buying a brand new one. And the best part? It works! It’s a feasible solution to the problem at hand, so why not?

But, how much does it cost to rebuild an engine? It depends on the engine that you have with you right now. Is it a common model? Or a rare one? If it’s a common model, then it would be much easier to rebuild. A rare model needs rare parts, making it more expensive to rebuild.

Want to rebuild the engine of your car? Well, I’m going to lay out all the details you need to know about the cost. Let’s see if it’s going to break your bank or not.

How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild an Engine?

It depends on a ton of variables. But an average of 2500 to 4000 dollars will be needed to rebuild it. But this is only an assumption; the cost can go up or down depending on the type of engine, parts that need replacement, labor cost and etc.

What Does It Mean to Rebuild an Engine?

Rebuilding? What does it mean to rebuild? Do you have to make a mold for the engine, or does it mean to get every part separately and glue it all together? Well, it’s quite not that. Let me explain.

It’s just like building your personal computer. You can choose storage options; you can choose the ram, or you can choose the processor that it goes with. Almost a similar view goes on while rebuilding an engine.

Instead of getting a new, you rebuild and discard the problematic parts. You change the piston rings or the bearing. Or, recondition the cylinders to get the most out of your engine.

And if worse comes to worst, then you get a new one. But that can cost you a lot compared to just rebuilding the one you have.

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What Are the Signs of a Dying Engine?

There are some potential red flags that indicate you might need to look over your engine. These are the sign when you must take a look at your engine and either get a new one or rebuild the existing one.

It Won’t Start

Well, it’s a no brainer. Suppose your car won’t start, then something may be wrong with the engine. One of the two things can happen, you need to replace it, or you need to rebuild it.

If you experience something like that, then first check if your car battery is okay. After you do that, make sure the starter motor is okay. It’s that tiny thing that can cost you about 350 dollars to replace it and additional labor.

And if that’s okay too, check if everything is well connected. If you get a green signal there, too then, it means something is wrong with the engine definitely.


Can’t hear the radio clearly? Or there are weird noises coming from somewhere in the car, probably from the engine area, then it’s a sign as well. Get this straight, the average engine rebuild cost is about 2500 to 3500 dollars. But compare these numbers to actually buying a new one.

A good quality new engine can set you back about 9,000 to 10,000 dollars or so. To me, rebuilding seems like the most economical option.

Cloudy Smoke Out of the Exhaust

Keep an eye on the smoke consistency of the exhaust. If it’s very dense and cloudy, that indicates that something is wrong. Look at the color of the smoke too. A cloud of blue smoke usually means that oil is somehow getting into the combustion, or if it’s white and dense, that means water is in the combustion.

Oil Leakage

If there’s oil leaking all over the place, then buddy, you have something seriously wrong somewhere in the car, and most likely, it’s the engine. It can denote the sign of a decaying engine gasket or rusty connections, and so.

If it especially has metal, I mean in the leaking oil, it can wave some red flags about the engine.

So, these are the signs that are begging you to do something about your engine.

How Much Does It Cost to Have an Engine Rebuilt?

Rebuilding an engine isn’t as simple as it sounds. First of all, you have to know what type of engine you have. Do you have a super rare type or a regular engine? Because depending on that, you will get to have the parts replaced.

Let’s suppose you don’t know anything about that, then you do need to consult a licensed technician that can get the job done for you.

Just like the human body, with some vain symptoms, you can’t really pinpoint what disease you have; you can’t always really diagnose the problem that your car has unless you know your cars really well.

After you know what’s wrong, only then can you pinpoint the areas or parts that need either a total replacement or they need to just get some work done. You can’t treat the disease if you don’t know what it is. So, knowing exactly what’s wrong is a part of the process.

Then, you can have a rough number based on the factors mentioned above.

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What Factors Play a Role Deciding an Engine Rebuild Cost?

Some factors are present that can either reduce the cost of rebuilding or increase it, comparatively, of course.

Age of the Vehicle

If you own a vehicle that’s super old, chances are the parts that you need replacements for are scarce now. Because in the era of constant discovery and new technology every minute, things are constantly changing.

So, an old vehicle will cost you more compared to a new one.


There are some car brands that make it impossible to repair things so that you are forced to buy a new one. Those engines will cost you a lot more to rebuild. And there are some brands that cater to the general population that wants you to have value for your money.

Those are cheaper to rebuild in comparison.

Type of Engine

Let’s talk about the common engine types your vehicle will most likely to have.

  • Diesel Engine

So, yes, the type of engine is also a concern here that may make you wonder about a diesel engine rebuild cost. A diesel engine is a unique type of engine. And a lot goes into rebuilding one. You may need to replace parts or adjust stuff, plus the labor cost. Adding up everything can give you a number between 1000 to 4000 dollars.

  • Motorcycle Engine

A motorcycle engine rebuild cost can be just as much as a diesel engine. But from a broader spectrum of things, it can cost a little more. You see, a motorcycle engine is a complex one, and depending on the parts you need, the labor that goes into it, and even where you live can contribute to the numbers.

You can always save some bucks by doing everything on your own. Obviously, if you think you know what goes into doing something like this. Otherwise, I wouldn’t suggest something so crafty to be done by an amateur and cause even more damage than there is to begin with.

So, what’s the number? It can vary somewhere around 3000 to 7000 dollars. I know it’s a lot. But a new motorcycle engine will cost a lot more than this.

Regularly Maintained

If you have taken good care of your engine, then it should remain in pristine condition for years. If not, then it will act upon you earlier than expected. Yep, that’s the reality.

If you haven’t paid attention to the oil leaking problem or some noises that you thought were just a bad road, sorry, you are going to have to pay for it now. Because rebuilding is now more expensive for you.

Don’t Push It

If you find a lot of problems and your engine is in its final days, don’t push it. I know initially rebuilding saves a ton, but if you stumble upon problems very often, the numbers can add up to a lot more, which can cross the price of a new engine.

So, if there is still room for rebuilding, go for it. But if there’s not, my suggestion would be not to push it too hard and just get a new engine. It will be a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Final Words

So, how much does it cost to rebuild an engine is truly a multidimensional question that just cannot be answered with one simple sentence. Because there goes a lot to determine which factors to consider and which ones can be ignored. And even before you can assume a number, you need to know why it is even that your engine needs to get rebuilt. I hope you now know the basics and can safely proceed with a plan ahead.

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