If your vehicle is overheating, you keep hearing noises from under the hood, or the valve train or hydraulic lifters are struggling, the oil pump may be the culprit.
Oil pumps regularly fail and most will have to be replaced at least once over the lifetime of the vehicle.
If that time has come, the average cost of replacing an oil pump is anywhere from $300 to well over $2,500, for a median of about $1,000. However, on average, you’re looking at $48-$500+ for the pump and about $200-$800+ in labor. On the other hand, these rates can change dramatically for performance vehicles.
The table below shows a quick price comparison of oil pump replacement cost estimates from reputable suppliers:
|Supplier||Oil Pump Cost||Labor|
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How Much Does an Oil Pump Replacement Cost?*
Oil pump replacement costs normally depend on two factors; the expense of the part and the cost of labor. Here, both can vary significantly as there are different types of oil pumps.
For instance, you could have a gear pump or a gear rotor.
In addition, it could be designed for different pressure levels. If you have hydraulics in your car, the oil pump will cost more.
You also have to consider labor, because the work involved with getting to and removing the oil pump varies significantly by make and model.
For example, the following chart covers quotes for popular vehicles.
|Vehicle||Oil Pump||Labor Cost|
|Chevy Silverado 1500||$76-$249.99||$290-$586|
*Note: Prices are estimates and were correct at the time of writing (June 2022). Cost estimates may have changed since, our figures should be used as a starting point for your own research.
Oil Pump Replacement Cost Factors
There are many things that affect the total cost of replacing your oil pump. However, for many vehicles, the largest cost factor is accessing the oil pump to begin with.
In addition, oil pumps can be quite costly. If you choose a new, original equipment manufacturer pump, the cost of parts may be about the same as the cost of labor.
Taking the Pump Out
Taking out and replacing an oil pump is a long and dirty job. In most cases, you can expect replacing your oil pump to take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.
That changes for some smaller vehicles, like the Toyota Camry or the Nisan Altima, where the job can be done in as little as 2 hours.
However, for the most part, you’ll have to remove the oil pan, the starter motor, the exhaust pipe, etc., before you can remove the oil pan.
In the easiest jobs, it will be just the oil pan. You’ll also have to drain and refill the oil, which takes time as well.
Labor normally costs around $100 per hour, or $15-$210 depending on where you live.
Condition and Brand of the Pump
If you buy a brand new original equipment manufacturer oil pump, you can normally expect it to cost between $300 and $700. That escalates for some brands like Lexus, where a new OEM pump may run as high as $1,655.
That aside, on average, you’re looking at about $300.
On the other hand, you can choose aftermarket parts. Here, brands like Melling deliver made-to-fit or universal parts that fit into many vehicles. These are made for more vehicles and therefore cost less to manufacture than OEM.
Therefore, you can expect rates to start at around $100 for made-to-fit and at around $28 for universal.
Of course, universal parts can be a risk because they may not perfectly fit your vehicle, which means you may not be able to get a good seal. Discuss your options with your mechanic before choosing one.
In addition, you may choose a remanufactured pump. These normally cost $50-$150 depending on the brand, and are normally the original part remanufactured after having been used and replaced.
Other Parts and Supplies
Replacing your oil pump is a good time to change your oil, change the oil pan gasket, and look at other gaskets.
In addition, if your oil pump has gone bad because of clogging or other issues, you might want to look into changing the oil lines or having them flushed.
All of these parts and supplies are relatively cheap. However, costs do add up. For example, if you’re paying $10-$40 for a new gasket, $35-$125 in new oil, and up to $100 for an engine flush, these costs add up.
3 Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pump
On a surface level, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a bad oil pump and clogs, low oil, or old oil. The primary result of a bad oil pump is that it stops properly lubricating your vehicle.
Therefore, you’ll get the same symptoms as any other issue with the engine oil.
If you check your oil levels, look at the color and viscosity, and otherwise try to rule out other issues – or get a diagnostics check – you can be pretty sure the issue is the pump.
Keep your eye out for the following three signs.
1. Noisy or Faulty Hydraulics
If your hydraulics are starting to get noisy, it’s a good sign they’re not properly lubricated. That can mean there’s debris in the drive train or in the hydraulic lifters. However, for the most part, it means there isn’t enough engine oil.
If your engine oil is working well, your hydraulic lifters should operate noiselessly. If they start making noise, head to a mechanic ASAP because poor lubrication causes damage, and having them replaced is expensive.
The same goes for the drive train, where pushrods, seals, and guides will wear and tear unevenly when poorly lubricated. Therefore, fixing your oil pump as quickly as possible could save you a lot of extra costs.
If your car is overheating or running hot, it may be because of the coolant but it may also be because of low or poorly circulating engine oil.
Here, it’s always a good idea to stop and check the coolant. If it’s low, top that up and see if the issue persists.
If it’s not, you’ll want to look into other causes. For example, poor lubrication causes increases in friction and heat. Of course, this will normally align with your engine making more noise, so it’s not generally a standalone symptom.
3. Low Oil Pressure
If your oil pressure gauge is low, it may be the pump. However, you should also check oil levels and the quality of the oil.
If the oil is old, contaminated, or wrong for the vehicle, you’ll experience the same issue. If none of those are true, it may be a bad pump.
How Do You Replace an Oil Pump? 10 Steps
If you want to replace an oil pump, you can generally do so on your own. However, you should be prepared to spend the better part of the weekend on the job. If you’re not familiar with the process, it could take longer.
This is a complicated job and you will spend a lot of time. Make sure you’re prepared.
Things you’ll need:
- Repair manual for your vehicle
- Floor jack + 2 jack stands
- Drain pan + funnel
- Replacement engine oil suitable for your engine
- Wrench and ratchet set
- Breaker bar
- Penetrating fluid
- Gasket scraper
- Brake cleaner
- Flat screwdriver
- Replacement oil pan gasket
- Replacement oil pump
- Gaskets/ seals suitable for your pump as specified in your manual
- Torque wrench
Park your car on a flat and level space. Chock the front wheels.
Then, with the key out of the ignition, remove the battery cable from the left/negative post. Tuck it up out of the way to prevent sparking.
- Jack up your car from the back and stabilize it with jack stands.
- Find the oil plug on the oil pan and drain the oil from the vehicle. Use a drain pan and plan to put this oil into the new oil containers later.
- Remove the oil pan bolts. Some of these are under covers. Some of them may also be on the top of your transmission, but this is unlikely. Use a breaker bar and penetrating fluid if the bolts are stuck. If you can’t remove the oil pan, you might have to remove the starter motor. You may also have to remove the exhaust pipes. Finally, in some vehicles, you’ll actually have to jack the transmission up slightly to get the oil pan out from over the frame. Consult your repair manual to be sure.
- With the oil pan off, take off the old gasket. Use a scraper and be careful. If you damage the oil pan, it will cost $300-$1500 to replace. Then, clean the surface with brake cleaner. Make sure you clean the pan as well.
- Apply the new gasket into the oil pan, following the instructions on the package.
- Unfasten the rear bearing cap bolt on the transmission. Then, pull the oil pump free.
- Lightly lubricate the seals on the new pump and put it into position. Replace the bearing cap bolt and tighten it to specifications in your repair manual using your torque wrench.
- Replace the oil pan and bolts.
- Refill the oil.
- Lower the car and idle the engine to make sure the fix worked and that there are no leaks.
If you still have questions, this FAQ should help.
How long does it take to replace an oil pump?
In most cases, replacing an oil pump will take 4-8 hours. However, in some vehicles, the job will be faster. In others, it may take a bit longer.
For example, some cars actually require that you jack up the transmission to take the oil pump out.
In most, it will be a simple job of taking the oil pan off, pulling the bolt, and putting a new pump in. In others, you’ll have to disassemble your exhaust and take out the starter motor to do so.
What causes oil pump failure?
Oil pumps can fail because of normal wear and tear. However, failed gaskets or seals, contaminated oil, and low oil can all cause premature failure as well.
The best way to keep your pump running is to go in for regular oil changes.
Where is the oil pump located?
The oil pump is located on the drive train, under the oil pan in the transmission.
Therefore, accessing it always requires taking the oil pan off, which can be quite a job depending on your vehicle.
Oil pump replacement is a big job. In fact, in most cases, oil pan replacement costs range from $300-$1500. Most of those costs are labor, as taking the oil pan off can be a lot of work. You can also choose to do the job yourself to save money – but it will take 4-8 hours. Good luck.
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