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The Average Cost of a Complete Engine Rebuild

engine rebuild

Car maintenance is an ugly side of life. You may not be the most knowledgeable when it comes to the inner workings of an automobile. It doesn't have to stay that way. Even if you're not familiar with automobiles, you should at least know what to look for on a trip to the mechanic's office.

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The stories are everywhere- people being taken advantage of because mechanics have more knowledge. Why not educate yourself?

Next time your car breaks down or you inherit a car that's been out of commission, you'll want to be prepared. Important knowledge can save you a lot of money. It could also make you a lot of money.

Bring that old Stingray that's been sitting in the garage back on the road. Don't let your car or your bank account suffer because you're too nervous to negotiate repairs.

Read on to find out how to take your car in for a complete engine rebuild in confidence.

engine rebuild

How do I Know When It's Time for an Engine Rebuild?

You never know when the dreaded noises will start. You know what the dreaded noises are- the clanking, choking, retching noises that sound like someone is dying. Your poor car.

It could be the result of many different afflictions. It could be the result of a gas leak or clanking piston heads, bad oil leaks or an engine misfire. You never really know when you'll need an engine rebuild, but when you do, you'll want to be prepared.

The only real way to be certain you need an engine rebuild is to consult a professional. However, you don't just want to take a stranger's word for it. Consider getting multiple opinions if there is a shred of doubt.

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Common Engine Rebuild Symptoms

You may be unsure of whether or not your car is in danger. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult with a mechanic right away.

  • Engine clatter during acceleration.
  • Broken timing belt or chain.
  • Failure to start or turn over. The engine could be seized, but check the battery, the starter motor, and the wiring before an engine rebuild.
  • A thick cloud of smoke emitting from your exhaust. Caused by worn-out seals prompting the burning of oil.
  • Knocking or rattling while idling. Usually caused by a bottom-end knock from worn-out bearings

Checking these symptoms can be the difference between an easy repair and a large, expensive repair. Make these a priority and you'll thank yourself later.

engine rebuild

Mechanic Vs. Machinist

Choosing whether you want to repair your current engine or buy a new one is a tough choice. Depending on your individual situation, one will be more beneficial than the other, but no matter what, you'll be dealing with two main parties: a mechanic and a machinist. So how do you know what qualities to look for in them?

1. Examining the Machinist and Mechanic's Relationship

Rebuilt engines don't just appear out of thin air. Mechanics obtain parts from machinists.  This relationship is crucial. If you're mechanic is getting expensive parts from their machinist, or they don't have a great working relationship with their machinist, it could mean you'll pay the price.

2. Understanding What The Machinist Does 

Machinists usually clean the engine block and the connecting rods. They are responsible for boring the block, milling the cylinder heads, installing bearings, plugs, and piston pins as well as installing the pistons onto the piston rods. You can see why they are important.

Mechanic Responsibilities

The importance of choosing the right mechanic cannot be understated. The skill and precision of the mechanic will invariably affect the engine rebuild cost or the engine replacement cost.  Mechanics understand how and where to lubricate the parts, adjust the valves, set the torque, adjust the timing, and check pressures. They also have the ability to listen to any problems or adjustments that need to be made.

A mechanic who knows how to rebuild an engine may not be hard to find, but one who knows how to do it well for an affordable price is. Choose wisely.

How to Save Money on Car Maintenance

Mechanics' Specialties

Car engines are substantially different depending on the make or model. Because of this, finding a mechanic who is familiar with the make and model of your car is important. You don't want someone who specializes in European cars to work on your Chevy and you don't want someone who specializes in American muscle cars to work on your modified Honda Civic.

What does an Average Engine Rebuild Cost?

By now, you should realize that putting a general price on an engine rebuild is difficult. Engine rebuilds must be based on the individual engine and not a random number. However, a rough estimation for a simple engine rebuild without problem parts is anywhere from $1,200-$4,000. For rarer and more expensive cars, a new engine can run as high as $7500.

With that price, it’s important to think about whether or not cutting your losses and buying a new car might be a better option than replacing your existing engine. As with any car trouble, you should test the field, and get multiple opinions.

Make Your Engine Rebuild Count

If you’re concerned with the most cost-effective method, learn how to rebuild an engine. The skill is life long and you’ll thank yourself for the savings you enjoy. Training yourself can add to the cost, but rebuilding an engine will cost you anywhere from $600-$1000. That’s a good amount of savings that will be worth it in the long run.

Once you become proficient at rebuilding engines, you’ll have to decide whether you want to deal with individual parts or look for engine rebuild kits.

Don’t wait until the engine catches on fire to decide you have a problem. Even if you’re fully covered by insurance, take your car to find opinions the second you notice something amiss. It’s not worth the extra damage and cost to avoid noises or irregularities.

The cost to rebuild an engine depends on your individual needs. Don’t wait to consult with mechanics and get second and third opinions. Those opinions make the difference between an uninformed choice and a confident decision.

If you have any more automobile questions, learn how to approach them by reading these informative blogs!

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