How Much Does an Engine Swap Cost?

Car Engine Swap Costs

An engine swap is a common practice amongst auto enthusiasts that want to experience new levels of power and torque at different times. Engine swap costs around anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on the type of engine, vehicle make, and other possible factors that may apply.

Swapping your engine for another one is more like buying a new engine for your car. The swapped engine usually offers more power and durability.

Before opting in for an engine swap, ensure that you understand the implications and you may be changing a few other components to install new sets that are compatible with the new engine you’re getting.

What Does an Engine Swap Mean?

As it sounds, an engine swap means exchanging your car’s current engine with another one. This next engine being installed on the car may be a brand new one or a rebuilt model.

Engine swapping is done to achieve several purposes - from getting a much better (and more powerful engine) to replacing an almost wrecked engine to keep a car running smoothly.

Apparently, this means the same as getting a new engine; when an engine is irreparable, it needs to be swapped with a new one, and when you probably want to upgrade your car’s driving power, you’d also need to swap to a more powerful engine. An engine swap is best done by mechanics who are experienced in the field.

How Much Does an Engine Swap Cost?

The cost depends on the state of your current engine and the specs of the “new” one you’re planning to install. Of course, other factors will affect the total amount you will spend to have your car’s engine swapped. So, hereunder is a quick list of the possible factors that affect the price of engine swapping.

  • Car make and model
  • The current state of the engine to be swapped
  • Specifications and build of the new engine to be installed
  • The mechanic doing the job
  • Additional components that need to be installed along with the new engine

Apparently, if your current engine is wrecked (damaged beyond repair), you’d pay more for it to be swapped and replaced with a good one.

On the other hand, if your car’s current engine is in perfect condition, but you only need to change it because you want a more powerful engine, the cost will depend more on the new engine's specs.

An engine swap will cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, or even more, depending on the factors listed earlier. The state of health and specs of the new engine to be installed is the core determining factor for the price.

Also, if your car is built to drive with a six-cylinder engine and you want to install an eight-cylinder engine, it won’t work unless a complete overhaul of the engine components is done, which should cost tens of grands.

What Needs To Be Changed in an Engine Swap?

First things first, you need to get an engine swap kit, which typically costs from $600 to $6,500, depending on the products’ quality and brand. You’d also need to buy new components of the regulator, exhaust system, fuel pump/tank, and other needed parts. Miscellaneous buys might clock up to $2,000 or even much more.

Furthermore, swapping an engine may involve changing your vehicle’s transmission, too. A new transmission costs from $2,000 to $4,000. Well, you can trade in your old transmission and save a reasonable amount in getting a new one that matches the engine you’re about to install. Finally, the labor costs could be up to $2,500.

Factors Affecting Price of Engine Swaps
$500 - $4,000
Misc. parts
$500 - $4,000
Engine swap kits
$1,000 - $6,500
Engine type (Diesel or Gasoline)
$2,000 - $15,000
Labor costs

You can save on labor costs by requesting quotes from different mechanic workshops and then going for the one offering the best price. Notwithstanding, you could still have your favorite mechanic handle the job. If you are swapping the engine of a luxury car or supercar, the cost may reach up to $25,000 or higher.

What Happens When You Swap a Car’s Engine?

During the swapping process, the mechanic will remove quite a lot of components used by the old engine and replace them with new ones that are compatible with the new engine being installed.

Also, rewiring will be done to suit the new engine - there are definitely lots of changes to be made, and to that extent, after the swap the done, you’d notice that the car drives and feels totally different from before. Even so, the car’s ECU or PCM will need to be reprogrammed to work with the new engine.

The summary of it all is that swapping an engine can make a car perform much better than it used (if the new engine has much better specs than the old one). But on the contrary, if the engine swap wasn’t done professionally, or the new engine is of the same specs as the old one, you may not notice any difference after the swapping is done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swap a gasoline engine for a diesel engine?

Yes, you can, but it’s going to be an expensive job as all the components used by the gasoline engine would be swapped for their diesel components, which could cost from $1,000 to $10,000 or even more. Also, diesel engines are more expensive than gasoline engines, so the total cost of swapping from gasoline to diesel may reach up to $15,000, or way higher, depending on the engine’s specifications.

Can you swap V6 for V8?

Yes, it is very much possible to upgrade from V6 to V8 if you feel that’s best for your driving style. The process will include modifying components such as the fuel tank, regulator, and other important ones. Similarly, you can swap a V8 engine for a V6 engine if that’s preferable for your driving style. The cost for this is roughly $5,000 to $12,000.

How long does it take to swap an engine?

When done by a professional mechanic, the entire process should last for roughly 4 to 5 five hours. Notwithstanding, in some cases, it may take days for the swapping to be completed - you should allow the mechanic enough time for this since it’s a delicate job, and even the slightest of mistakes would cost much.