Have you ever opened up the hood of your car and asked yourself what is going on under there? What do all those pipes and gadgets do that make the engine so complicated and possibly expensive?
You need to consider three main factors before you decide whether or not your engine is worth revamping, replacing, or rebuilding. This may be especially the case if your engine is damaged and you are staring at a car that can longer function.
If your garage is not meant to store a standing car, and you have places to be, then read this article to learn more about what you need to know to get it going again and the engine price for car repairs.
Factors Influencing Engine Price for Car Repairs
Three factors to consider when replacing or fixing an engine include:
- The size of the engine
- The complexity of the engine
- The labor costs of the facility doing the work
Your car's make, model, and year will also impact the engine price you will pay in addition to the above.
Let's break down the three main factors in more detail.
The Size of the Engine
Traditionally when we look at a car, we look for all the convenience features it comes with. Does it have electric windows, and is there power steering? Do we go with the sunroof and mags or just the base model?
These are all extras we consider when buying a car, but one thing we tend to overlook is the engine size. The engine size will impact your engine price.
If you are not mechanically inclined, you may understand what is meant by a 4-cylinder, 2.5L engine. However, do you know that it is a piston engine where the cylinders are arranged straight across a common crankshaft?
It is important to explore the intricacies of the engine of the car you are buying, in the same way, you worry about the luxury and cosmetic options. Understanding your engine and the size could impact the money you spend on it.
Before we can understand whether the engine is worth rebuilding or replacing, we need to understand its components, what they cost, and what they do.
- Cylinder Head
- Spark Plugs
- Piston Rings
- Connecting Rod
The core constituent in any engine is the cylinder head. The cylinder head is the part of the engine that seals off the combustion chamber (where the engine burns fuel to make power).
The size of an engine relates to the total volume of air and fuel being pushed through the engine by the cylinders.
The more air and fuel an engine can displace – the more power it can create. In layman's terms, the bigger the engine, the more power it has.
The main problem one encounters with the cylinder head is that it can crack from overheating. This means it will need to be replaced. A cylinder head can be repaired, but this comes with a huge risk that will ultimately end up costing you more and is often not recommended.
The average cost of a new cylinder head is roughly $300 – $500. For larger engine sizes, the price will go up to $1,000 and possibly more.
Your spark plugs supply the spark that the engine needs to start. They have a seemingly small but integral function in the engine. Without them, your car will simply not go.
Replacing these is a relatively easy task and can cost you anywhere from $50 to $240.
All cars have two types of valves; intake and exhaust valves. The valves open and close at periodic intervals to let air and fuel in and exhaust fumes out.
These valves will cost you approximately $18 to $330; again this depends on your engine size.
The piston is the cylindrical piece of metal that moves up and down inside the cylinder head.
These replacements retail for anything from $75 to $200.
Piston rings serve two purposes. They prevent fuel and air or exhaust fumes from leaking into the sump, and they keep oil from leaking out of the sump.
These parts are vital to the cylinder head's functionality and can cost you up to $3,500 to replace.
Connecting rods connect the piston to the crankshaft. It is responsible for converting the reciprocating motion of the piston into the rotation of the crankshaft.
These parts are moderately priced, ranging anywhere from $20 up to $80.
The crankshaft turns the pistons in a circular motion, similar to that of a jack in a box. Its purpose is to convert the linear motion of the pistons into a circular motion.
To replace the crankshaft on a car, you could pay between a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars with various factors influencing the price. The labor cost alone to replace this engine part could be between $300 to $800.
The sump surrounds the crankshaft and serves as a reservoir of oil for the lubrication system. The sump also collects oil acting as an oil pan.
The average price for the installation of a new sump is $1,022.
Engine Price for Car Motor Spares
The parts listed above are the basic components that all engines have. Any one of them breaking can cause your engine to fail and further complicate the existing issue.
Totaling a possible $7,000 for all these parts, you may be better off selling your used, damaged engine and buying a new one. That alone is just the cost of the parts; you will also need to look at the cost of the labor involved to fix the engine and install it again.
New engines are priced from $4,000 for a 4-cylinder engine to $7,000 for a V8 engine.
A used engine can be acquired for far less at between $300 – $700. Just remember to look into the history of the car it is coming from. Does the car have a full-service history, high mileage, and how old was the car?
In essence, all engines have the same function. The main difference is the engine size and the performance requirements.
Some of the most complicated engines built include:
- Porsche Type 547; Built with a wide throttle, this Porsche engine design had a 4-camshaft race engine and a complex bevel gears arrangement.
- Oldsmobile Turbo Rocket; A V8 turbocharged engine that required a complicated water injection system developed to cool the engine down.
- SAAB Variable Compression; Although this model never reached production, it consisted of a 5-cylinder lump with a twin-screw supercharger.
- Cadillac V-8-6-4; This Cadillac model was designed to shut off either 2 or 4 cylinders based on the information gained from sensors monitoring speed, temperature, etc.
Although we have discussed all the important components of a car, your woes increase when you are facing electrical engineering problems.
30% of today's car engines' problems are purely electrical, where it boiled down to filters and spark plugs in the past. Electrical issues are causing more and more people the frustration of having to return to their dealership for an evaluation that the dealers themselves cannot solve most of the time.
Over the past 40 years, a trend has rendered old engine technologies useless and raced forward with new technology.
In essence, the actual engines themselves are the same. However, the electrical components added to them to give a car more spunk have overly complicated car engines and how they operate. These new technologies add to the engine's complexity and influence the engine price for car spares and labor.
Lastly, we look at the labor costs involved.
On a regular engine, the shop may quote you 8 hours of labor time. A more complicated engine could result in 15 hours.
Eight hours to fix an engine at an entry-level rate is roughly $80 per hour. That's $640 for a simple repair.
More complicated jobs require specialized knowledge and more labor time. Fifteen hours at $150 per hour hands you a quote of $2,250.
The above is for labor only; you still need to consider the costs of the parts you need to replace if you repair or rebuild the damaged engine or the cost of a new or used engine if you choose to replace it.
Sometimes a car engine replacement or repair is not worth the cost. If you find that the quotation is a little heavy for the budget you had planned, then the alternative is to sell your car to Cash Car Buy and to replace the car itself without the hassle of engine repairs. They will buy your car with the damaged engine for cash. They also provide a free towing service to take your car away.