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Engine Swap Cost: 2022 Prices & Rates

Whether your car’s original engine has reached its end of life or you want to replace it to improve performance, know that engine swap comes with a price. 

The average engine swap cost varies from $2,050 to $24,250, including parts and labor, to replace a vehicle’s engine with the exact same engine type. Upgrading the engine type to improve performance, such as swapping a V4 for a V6 or V8, is more labor-intensive and much more expensive. In some cases, costs can go up to over $30,000. 

How Much Does An Engine Swap Cost?

The table below shows a quick price comparison of engine swap costs for popular car brands*:

Car Make and ModelAverage Engine Swap Cost (Parts + Labor)
Ford F-150$2,300 - $10,699
Chevrolet Silverado$4,195 - $10,350
Ram 2500$3,999 - $17,250
Toyota RAV4$3,199 - $12,587
Honda CR-V$2,379 - $5,315
Toyota Camry $2,466 - $15,528
Honda Civic$2,399 - $8,325
Toyota Highlander$3,145 - $15,585
GMC Sierra$3,495 - $5,250
Toyota Tacoma $2,869 - $23,793

*Engine swap costs in the table refer to replacing the car’s original engine with a used, remanufactured, or new like-for-like replacement. Installing a non-factory specification engine might require modifications that can drive costs up. For all calculations, we considered an average labor cost of $1,500. All prices in the table are correct as of October 2022 and should be used as reference only. 

The engine swap costs vary widely, depending on what type of replacement you require. 

Like-for-like engine swaps enable you to keep using the vehicle after the engine has reached its end of life. This refers to replacing the factory engine with an identical or compatible model. 

Used or remanufactured replacement engines can help keep costs low, between $2,300 and $4,195 on average. 

New engines cost around $14,521 on average. However, car brands often discontinue the production of parts for older car models, and sometimes, using a used or refurbished part could be the only option.

Swapping the original car engine with a non-factory specification engine can be done to improve a vehicle’s performance. However, the process can be so laborious and expensive that it might make sense to buy a new car altogether. 

That said, it is totally possible to swap a V4 to a V6 or even a V8. The final cost will depend on the engine make and model, vehicle make and model, and labor fees. 

Most mechanics charge $90 to $150 per hour, on average. Like-for-like engine swaps require between 8 and 15 hours of labor.

A custom engine replacement can require 20 hours or more, depending on what modifications and adaptations must be made.

7 Factors Influencing Engine Swap Costs

Engine swaps can be an affordable alternative to replacing a broken vehicle, or an expensive affair. The factors below influence the engine swap costs.

The table below is a list of average engine swap costs*:

FactorAverage Cost Range
Engine block type/age$500 - $10,000+
Swap kit$100 - $6,000
Additional parts$100 - $6,000
Labor (x 15 hrs.)$1,350 - $2,250
Total costs$2,050 - $24,250+

*All costs in the table are industry averages correct as of October 2022 and should be used as reference only. Actual prices and quotes can vary based on location, vehicle specs, reason to swap, automotive repair shop tariffs, and actual work required. 

1. Car Specifications

The brand and model of your car can affect repair and labor costs. Most mechanics have experience in repairing local cars or popular imported brands, including Ford, Toyota, and Honda. 

Parts for these vehicles are also easy to find, either on the secondhand market or new from the brands. 

Luxury imported cars, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Maserati, are more expensive to maintain and repair. European-produced vehicles are generally more complex than US-made cars, and not all mechanics have experience in servicing them. 

For this reason, you might have to contact an authorized dealer or mechanic to perform the engine swap. 

Because these luxury cars are not very common in the US, finding a used or remanufactured replacement engine can also be challenging. 

More often, the only option is that of ordering a new engine from the manufacturer; it goes without saying that a new engine is much more expensive than a used or refurbished one.

The type of vehicle also matters. Gasoline and diesel engines have been around for decades and are the cheapest to repair. An engine swap for either gasoline or diesel cars costs between $3,000 and $7,000 on average. 

Costs go up for hybrid engines, which can set you back about $6,000 to $9,000. 

Electric motors last significantly longer than all other types, but swapping them would also cost between $6,000 and $9,000 on average.

2. Engine Block Type

The table below shows a price comparison between the various engine block types*: 

Engine Block TypePrice (Used/Remanufactured)Price (New)
Short block$1,000$3,000
Long block $1,500$5,000
Crate engine$3,000$10,000+

*Prices in the table are industry averages and should be used as a reference only. Actual replacement part costs depend on the vehicle’s make and model and various other factors mentioned in this article. 

The engine block configuration you must or decide to buy is one of the main elements impacting the engine swap cost. There are three block configuration types you can choose from. 

Short Block

A short block is the main engine block comprising the combustion chambers and the rotating assembly. The rotating assembly consists of connecting rods, pistons, bearings, freeze plugs, and, sometimes, extra parts like the timing gear and camshafts. 

Short blocks are the least expensive option for an engine swap, especially if the mechanic can use the other parts of your old engine. 

For popular vehicle makes and models, short blocks are easy to source from the used market or salvage yards.

Refurbished engine suppliers sometimes provide short blocks for imported brands, or you could buy a genuine remanufactured short block from an authorized car dealer. 

The main downside of a short block purchase is the warranty.

If you buy it from a dealer or engine remanufacturer, the warranty will only cover the parts included in the short block. Additional parts installed by your mechanic may or may not come with a warranty. 

Average short block costs vary from $1,000 to $3,000.

Long Block

Long block engines get their name from the longer list of components included. They comprise everything included in a short block and additional parts, such as camshafts, timing gear, valve train, lifters, and cylinder head. 

Similar to short blocks, long blocks may sometimes include components that don’t normally come as standard. Common add-ons include the valve covers, water pump, and oil pan.

Of course, all these extra components come with a higher price tag.

However, the difference may not be that significant, and buying a long block could turn out cheaper in the end if you don’t have to do a lot of customizing. 

In fact, long blocks require less engineering since the components are well-balanced and designed to work together.

This translates into faster installation times, and they even require less knowledge of engines, so a new mechanic should be able to swap it successfully. 

Long blocks also have a more comprehensive warranty. Keep in mind that you would still have to buy the fuel system, intake and exhaust manifolds, and the electrical components if your vehicle’s parts can’t be used.

While long blocks are the most common engine replacement option, they also limit the amount of customization you can make.

Average long block costs vary from $1,500 to $5,000.

Crate Engine 

If you don’t want to worry about component compatibility, a crate engine is your best bet. This is also the most expensive solution.

Crate engines are complete, ready-to-install engines that make engine swapping a breeze. 

They comprise everything included in the long blocks plus any additional parts, such as the electrical components, fuel system, and intake and exhaust manifolds.

Like short and long blocks, basic models of crate engines can be sourced from salvage yards or found on the used market. 

Used crate engines for luxury or rare imported brands are challenging to come by, though. If you own such a vehicle, you may have to buy a remanufactured engine from a dealer or authorized mechanic.

Alternatively, you can order a new engine from the manufacturer. 

The main advantage of buying a new engine is the comprehensive warranty. When installed by an authorized mechanic, the factory warranty typically lasts five years or 60,000 miles.

An extended warranty may also be available from the manufacturer or dealer. 

However, depending on the engine’s state (used or new) and vehicle type, a crate engine can cost anywhere from around $1,000 to over $20,000.

Note: Installing a crate engine with different specifications than the car’s original engine can be done, but the new model may not be compatible with the car’s cooling and fuel systems. If this happens, the mechanic might have to change the car’s radiator and fuel tank too when swapping the engine, driving up costs.

3. Swap Engine Age 

Whether you decide to buy a short block, long block, or crate engine, one thing that will influence the final swap cost is the engine’s age.

The table below shows a price comparison between the various engine types*: 

Engine TypeAverage Price Range
Used $500 - $5,000
Remanufactured$1,900 - $6,000
New$5,000 - $20,000

*Prices in the table are industry averages and should be used as a reference only. Actual replacement part costs depend on the vehicle’s make and model and various other factors mentioned in this article. 

Used Engine

Used engines are the cheapest option. They are available at salvage yards or online (eBay, Craigslist, and similar marketplaces).

However, buying a used engine is risky if you don’t have any industry knowledge. Unless you’re a skilled professional, it is best to ask your mechanic for assistance.

Mechanics or auto repair shops may also be able to source a used engine for you.

Depending on the car make and model, a used engine can cost anywhere from around $500 to $5,000 on average. 

Remanufactured Engine

Refurbished/remanufactured engines are used engines reconstructed by an authorized mechanic, dealer, or the manufacturer. 

They are cheaper than new engines but more expensive than used ones. Typically, they are still considered bargains, though. 

For instance, you could pay between $2,670 and $5,900 for a remanufactured Toyota Tacoma long block (depending on components and engine year), but a new crate engine from the brand costs around $22,300

If opting for the long block and adding all missing parts and labor costs, the full engine swap will still be cheaper than buying the new engine alone.

A remanufactured engine also comes with a warranty, but it is important to check who is doing the rebuild before buying. Ideally, the company should be a member of the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association.

New Engine

New engines are obviously the most expensive, but also the safest, option. They are generally only available from the dealer or manufacturer.

Authorized mechanics may also sell them, or your mechanic may be able to source a new engine at a better price. 

The only thing to keep in mind is that new engines may not be available for discontinued or vintage car models.

As mentioned above, new crate engines can cost $10,000 or more depending on the car’s brand and model.

4. Swap Kit

Aside from the actual engine and additional parts, an engine swap operation often requires the purchase of an engine swap kit. 

These kits contain adapters, mounts, spring spacers, and other miscellaneous parts needed to install the new engine – especially when upgrading to a new engine type rather than replacing it with the same engine model. 

Depending on how many parts the kit contains, what type of car/engine it is compatible with, and the material quality, a swap kit can cost anywhere from $100 to $6,000.

5. Additional Parts

When replacing a car’s engine with the exact same model, a new crate engine or engine block and a swap kit are all you need.

If you’re upgrading the engine, however, you may also have to replace the fuel pump or tank, the regulator, exhaust system, and other components. 

These parts don’t come as standard in any swap kit, so you’ll have to buy them separately. Depending on what you have to replace and the vehicle brand and model, you could spend between $100 and $6,000.

6. Location 

Where you live also impacts the engine swap cost. Nationwide, mechanics charge $90 to $150 per hour on average.

Based on the car’s complexity and type of swap required, they could spend between 8 and 20 hours on the job. This averages to $720 to $3,000 for labor alone. 

However, the actual labor costs can be lower or higher depending on your location. 

For instance, rates in Detroit are below the national average, with mechanics charging between $80 to $100 per hour.

Meanwhile, California and Wyoming are some of the most expensive states for car repairs with average rates between $145.16 and $149.03, respectively.

7. Reason To Swap 

Another factor that influences the engine swap cost is the reason to swap.

Most mechanics charge their base hourly rate for a basic engine replacement. That’s because the new engine and car configuration will need no alterations. 

However, prices often go up for upgrades or custom work. The hourly rate for custom jobs and upgrades is generally higher because the task requires more attention and expertise.

Making alterations to accommodate a bigger engine also takes a lot of time and, often, an extra set of hands. All these factors are reflected in the final price.

How Long Does It Take To Have The Engine Swapped?

With most mechanics charging hourly rates for labor, you might want to know how long the job actually takes. 

The truth is that it’s hard to estimate. 

A skilled mechanic doing an easy engine swap could complete the job in around six to eight hours. Bigger jobs, such as a full engine upgrade, may require 15 to 20 hours. 

Additional repairs or alterations may also require more time than initially quoted. 

Typically, it is safe to calculate around 10% to 20% more than the original quote. You may have a pleasant surprise and be charged for fewer hours, but in the worst-case scenario, at least the excess won’t catch you unprepared.

FAQs 

Is swapping an engine worth it?

An engine swap is worth it if you have a popular car with a broken engine.

Replacing the original engine with a used or remanufactured model enables you to use the car longer and generally doesn’t set you back more than $5,000.

Swapping the engine is also worth it if you want to revive a classic. Vintage car engines are hard to come by, but a skilled mechanic may be able to build a new engine from scratch and replace the old one. 

Upgrading an engine, such as replacing a V4 with a V6 or V8 is not usually worth it unless you have a lot of money and want to customize your vehicle for fun. 

A like-for-like engine swap with a new engine may or may not be worth it based on the type of vehicle you drive.

It could be worth it for a local brand, but it is often more convenient to buy a new car if your imported luxury car needs a brand-new engine.

How much does a 2JZ engine swap cost?

Race-ready 2JZ engines are among the most expensive to replace, with average quotes ranging between $15,000 and $17,000

How much does it cost to swap an engine and transmission?

The average cost to replace a transmission goes from about $300 to $1,500, but you can expect to pay up to $3,000 for a remanufactured automatic transmission for an imported model. New transmissions are even more expensive.

Skilled mechanics usually need around six hours to replace the transmission alone.

Add all these costs to the engine swap costs mentioned above to figure out how much you could spend.

Summary

For common car makes and models, a like-for-like engine swap costs from $2,050 to $10,000 on average. Quotes can go up to around $25,000 for luxury or imported vehicles, vintage car revivals, or engine upgrades. 

The type of car, your location, engine type and state, additional repairs, and type of swap kit required influence the final price.