How Long Does It Take To Replace An Engine? Full Guide

How long does it take to replace an engine?” is something you might be wondering if your engine is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced. No one wants to have their car in the shop for too long, even if it’s for a swap.

How Long Does it Take to Replace An Engine

If you’re replacing your engine yourself, it will take much longer than if you work with a professional, especially when it comes to finding some parts. In this guide, we take a closer look at how long it would take for an engine replacement and what factors affect the process.

How Long Will it Take to Replace an Engine?

It will take an average of 5 to 6 hours to replace a simple gas or diesel engine if it is being done by a professional mechanic that is using the right tools. Trucks and larger vehicles would take longer, up to 8 to 9 hours.

If you are driving a hybrid or electric car, it will take a longer time to replace the engine, depending on the parts that are being replaced. A complicated replacement can take 15 hours, even if it is being done by a professional mechanic. But a straightforward engine replacement can be done within 5 hours.

There are different reasons why your car engine change can take a long time. For instance, if you have an older car, the mechanic would take a shorter time to replace the engine. There might also be some other faulty parts of your car that would require replacement in the process. Also, if your engine is rare, it would be hard to find parts.

What Determines How Long An Engine Swap Takes?

What determines how long an engine swap takes includes the expertise level of the mechanic, the age of your vehicle, the engine accessibility, the type of vehicle, the type of engine, and any additional components that might be needed for your car.

You can ask your mechanic to inspect your car and give you an estimate of how long it would take to change the engine based on the different factors.

The Mechanic’s Expertise Level

Replacing an engine requires a high level of expertise, and so if you are trying to replace it yourself and you don’t know about car mechanics, you can end up making a mess of it. So, ensure that the person carrying out your swap is an experienced and qualified mechanic.

Two Professional Car Mechanic Smiling Beside a Car

Also, ensure that your mechanic has the right tools to replace the car’s engine. If your car’s engine is complicated or you drive a hybrid vehicle, ask your mechanic if they have the necessary equipment to carry out the replacement.

How Old Your Vehicle Is

The vehicle’s age would also affect the length of time to replace your engine. Keep in mind that older cars have simpler designs and connections, so mechanics can quickly replace the engine. The engines are usually easier to get to.

Abounded Old Car In a Parking Lot

But keep in mind that it might be hard to replace an old car engine if the parts are scarce. Also, if an older car is not properly maintained and has a lot of rust, it would take longer to replace the engine. There would also be repairs needed in the car.

The Type of Vehicle

Another factor that comes into play when replacing an engine is the type of car, especially the size. If you swap the engine of a pickup truck, it will take two hours longer than if you swap that of a sedan.

The Type Of Engine

There are different types of engines, including gasoline, diesel, electric and hybrid engines. Gasoline and diesel engines have a simpler system and so you can easily replace the engine, unlike with a hybrid system.

A V Type Engine From A Close Look

With a hybrid or electric engine, you would have to inspect it thoroughly first to understand the system.

The Engine Accessibility

An important factor that determines how long it takes to replace an engine is accessibility. In some vehicles, the engine is covered by other systems, and this makes it hard to get to the engine. The ease of accessing the engine without removing additional parts is important to consider.

In a car like a minivan, there are a lot of obstacles to the engine, and it is in a tight space. So it would take longer to replace the engine. Engines located in a tight space would take longer to replace too.

Additional Components

The more components that a car’s engine has, the longer it would take to replace it. It’s not only about disconnecting and reconnecting wires, but you might have to remove several parts of your engine. Then, you would put the engine back and replace all the components that you removed.

What Factors Should You Consider Before Replacing An Engine?

The factors you should consider before replacing an engine include the extent of damage to the engine, the cost of labor, the cost of a new engine, how long it would take to replace the engine and the availability of parts.

If your car needs a new engine, you should take these factors into consideration before deciding. Ask your mechanic to inspect the engine and see if car repairs can be made, especially if you cannot afford a new car engine and the labor cost.

If you have an older car, you would most likely be faced with the question of replacing engine sooner or later. A new engine would be expensive, especially if labor is part of the costs, so you should check how much money you have. Also, look for a reliable mechanic that can do the work for you.

You also need to check if the parts that you need are available. If you are driving an older car, it would be harder to get the components that you need, especially if it is rare. Also, if you rely on your car for transportation regularly, you need to consider how long it would take to replace your engine.

What Are The Reasons Why You Should Replace Your Engine?

The reasons why you should replace your engine include the cracked block, high mileage and a collision. Engine replacement does not happen constantly, but once it is required, replacing it quickly would prevent further damage and expenses. If you notice any of these causes, you should replace the engine.

Cracked Engine Block

Your engine is covered by a block, and due to constant overheating, it might crack. If the engine block cracks, you would have to replace your engine. If you avoid replacing it, your car will lose power. You might notice the check engine light is on when the engine is damaged.

A Used Engine Block

High Mileage

Your engine is an important part of your car, and so if you have high mileage, the engine will eventually wear down and stop working. Once your car reaches maximum mileage, which is usually 200,000 miles, parts like the gaskets and cylinder rings will wear out.

Collision or Accident

If you were involved in an accident or collision and the front part of your engine was the most affected, the engine would become damaged. You would have to visit a mechanic and replace it as soon as possible.

A Tragic Car Accident

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Your Engine?

It costs between $1000 and $8000 to replace your engine, but this depends on the model of the car and the new engine you want to use. Most mechanics would charge between $50 and $80 per hour for the labor, and the replacement engine might also be really expensive.

If you want to replace your engine, it’s best to shop around and ask for the replacement cost. The price quotes can differ, but it depends on your specific vehicle. Also, most mechanics would give you a higher estimate on the labor time because there might be unforeseen complications that would take a longer time.

You might also be wondering if it is cheaper to replace your engine or rebuild it. It is less expensive to rebuild your engine rather than buy a new one and replace it, but it would take much longer. A rebuilt engine involves taking it apart, then repairing and replacing damaged parts before putting it together.

Your mechanic would have to thoroughly inspect your engine to know what parts they should replace, repair or leave as it is. The more they have to rebuild, the longer the time it would take, and the cost of labor would also be higher. If you are short on time and want to save money, you should replace the engine instead.

Should You Replace Your Engine Or Buy A New Car?

You should replace your engine if it is damaged and you cannot afford to buy a new car, especially if your present car is precious, like a classic car. Swapping your engine is also way cheaper than buying a new car.

It is obvious when your engine is damaged. You might notice that your exhaust pipe gives out blue or white smoke or it sounds very loud when you start it. In some cases, the car won’t start at all. Your engine might be replaced because of damaged rods and bearings, piston failure, timing belt and warped heads.

Also, if your engine is regularly overheating, the coolant is leaking, and you hear rattling or thumping sounds when you speed up your car, then it is damaged. If you notice any of those signs, you should take your car to the mechanic for an inspection and replace the engine.

You might also want to consider the cost of replacing your engine versus getting a new car. If your car is worth keeping because it is classic or rare, or there are sentimental reasons attached to the car, you should just replace the engines and enjoy using it. But, if there are additional concerns like your transmission and suspension are damaged, get a new car.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should You Do After Replacing Your Engine?

After you replace your engine, you should avoid pushing it too hard and keep it under 4,000 rpm within the first 1,000 miles before pushing it further. Also, you should take longer trips rather than short trips and avoid using cruise control.

How Long Does It Take To Rebuild Your Engine?

How long it takes to rebuild your engine depends on the type of engine, the availability of parts and tools, the extent of damage, and the skill of the mechanic. It can take from a few days to a few weeks to rebuild your engine.

Is Replacing an Engine Similar in Time to Painting a Car?

Replacing an engine is not similar in time to painting a car. While engine replacement typically takes a few hours or even days based on complexity, car painting requires meticulous preparation, multiple coats, and curing time. To learn more about the detailed guide on car painting duration, consult professional automotive resources.


With our complete guide on how long does it take to replace an engine, you can get prepared for how long your car will be at the repair shop. Here’s a summary of our article:

  • It takes 5 to 6 hours to replace an engine, but a truck or larger vehicle would take 8 to 9 hours.
  • What determines the length of engine replacement includes the mechanic’s expertise, the car’s age, the type of engine and the type of car, and more.
  • You should replace your engine if it has high mileage, was involved in a collision, or has a cracked block.

It’s better to replace your engine with a professional rather than doing it yourself, as it would take a longer time.


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