Engine Repair: Everything You Need To Know

Updated October, 2020
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Repairing or replacing an engine can be an expensive and long process. The longer the problem persists the more expensive a repair is. An engine repair can cost up to $2,000 while a replacement can cost up to $6,000.

Signs your engine is failing

Your engine is what makes your car go. It produces all the power to turn your wheels. If your engine goes out, the car is useless. It's important to catch engine trouble early. Here are some signs of engine trouble:

  • Overheating engine
  • Oil Leaks
  • Misfires
  • Knocking

Repair vs. Replace

When it comes to your engine it's all about timing. Catching your engine troubles before it gets too bad is the difference between needing repairs or replacing your engine. Replacing your engine is going to cost you thousands of dollars. Comparatively repairing your engine could be in the low $100's.


Repairing your engine is only viable if you catch an issue early enough. Some common repairs are sealing an oil pan, replacing a gasket, and replacing a belt or chain. Most of these repairs run between $250 up to $1,000. The cost goes up dependent on labor costs and how much of the engine they have to take apart. Replacing a fan or belt is much cheaper than replacing a head gasket.


Replacing your engine is what happens when you put off repairs. The engine could seize or you could end up with a massive failure. Replacing an engine or rebuilding it can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on how much is salvageable from the old engine. A brand new engine after parts and labor can top $5,000 easily. An engine rebuild can take weeks at best.

Buying a new vehicle may just be your best option

Replacing an engine can be expensive. Most engine issues happen as cars get older. If your engine repair or rebuild costs more than your car is worth, it may be better to sell your car and get a new one. Why should you sink $4,000 into a car worth $2,500? It's better for the long term to sell the car and get a new one.

How to avoid engine problems in the future

The best way to keep your engine from breaking down is proper maintenance and controlling your fluids. Listen to your car. Any off noise needs to be inspected. Most of the issues that cause engine failure have warning lights. Here are some good practices to take:

  • Check your oil and change it regularly
  • Choose the proper oil
  • Don't idle your vehicle for too long
  • Check you coolant levels often

Does my insurance pay for maintenance and repairs?

Insurance companies don't cover regular maintenance and repairs. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, repairs can be paid for if it occurs because of an accident or wreck. Since insurance doesn't cover regular maintenance, it's a smart idea to not put off repair as they can become a much bigger problem.  

When the time arises, is my insurance going to be enough?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

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