There’s no denying the fact that supply chain issues have caused the cost of car parts to spike in 2022. The cost increases have put pressure on the cost of a rebuilt engine, but just how much does a rebuilt engine cost, and do supply chain problems influence that final cost?
There’s no one good answer to the question because the actual cost depends on the make and model of the car along with the parts that are replaced.
However, you can expect to spend anywhere between $2,500 and $5,000 on average on a rebuilt engine.
A rebuilt engine doesn’t always require new parts, which helps keep the cost down. The following is a look at what goes into a rebuilt engine and the factors that influence its final cost.
What is a Rebuilt Engine?
A rebuilt engine that is for sale is one that has been taken apart all the way to the block and had all of its components inspected by a technician.
As each part comes off the engine, it’s inspected for wear and tear and damage. If the part is in good operating order, it’s kept to be used as part of the rebuilding of the engine. Any parts worn out or deemed unusable for any reason are replaced with new OEM parts.
Once the technician has reached the engine block, they inspect the cylinder bores in search of damage to the walls or cracks in the block. If the bores are in good condition, the block is cleared for rebuilding.
How a Rebuilt Engine Improves on the Original Build
Sometimes an engine has a defect that keeps it from running at its best but doesn’t necessarily harm the engine.
Or there’s a part that was poorly engineered and is a common point of failure, requiring frequent replacement.
Taking out the engine for disassembly and rebuilding provides the opportunity to replace a defective component or part with a version that’s been re-engineered to run better.
The rebuild process focuses on keeping as many of the original engine parts as possible to help keep costs down.
The parts that are kept have undergone inspection to make sure that they’re sound and aren’t going to fail after the engine has been put back together.
These parts are capable of withstanding something known as downstream pressure that sometimes happens when a new part is put into an engine. The end result is a rebuilt engine that operates as expected and has an improved lifespan to boot.
The rebuilt engine can cost more than it did in the recent past due to the increase in part prices, but the overall impact is minimal due to the fact that only defective parts are replaced.
Factors That Influence the Cost of a Rebuilt Engine
The main factor that influences the cost of a rebuilt engine is how many engines were originally made, with age being the second factor.
One example of this is the GM 3.6-liter V-6 engine with timing chain issues. Specifically, the timing chain in these engines is prone to stretching, resulting in poor performance and error codes.
Rebuilding the engine with improved parts results in an engine that performs without issues. However, because there were millions of these engines built by GM, they’re easily sourced for rebuild, and OEM parts are plentiful.
In contrast, a rebuilt engine from a Mercedes Benz, regardless of make, costs about twice as much as a GM rebuild.
Mercedes Benz parts are more expensive as a general rule due to the fact that there are fewer cars manufactured by Mercedes Benz, their import aspect, and OEM replacement parts aren’t always an option.
Parts for a Mercedes Benz are naturally more scarce as a result, which drives up the cost of a rebuilt engine.
Another factor is the age of the car. The newer the car, the easier it is to find parts along with technicians who are capable of performing the rebuild.
Some vintage vehicles are so popular that many manufacturers regularly produce OEM or aftermarket parts even though their production ceased decades ago, and a skilled technician can easily rebuild them.
However, as time passes, the number of cars on the road from a particular era becomes fewer and fewer, resulting in less demand for parts and fewer technicians who are familiar with their quirks.
Manufacturers cease production of the parts, making them scarce, and the price goes up as a result.
Should I get a Rebuilt or Remanufactured Engine?
There’s no one good answer to the question as it depends on your budget and your intended use of the car.
A rebuilt engine can make a lot of sense for a high-mileage vehicle with a lot of life left in the body and mechanical systems, whereas you may want to use a remanufactured engine for a restored vehicle or restomod.
Getting a rebuilt engine makes a lot of sense for a car you’d like to get more use of and save money on purchasing a new vehicle.
A rebuilt engine is much less expensive than a brand-new vehicle and restores its performance to like-new. You also get a warranty on the engine that typically lasts either one year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
If there’s a defective part that causes the rebuilt engine to break down, you can get the repair covered under warranty.
Replacing your current engine that’s on its last legs with a rebuilt engine makes a lot of sense no matter what the current economic conditions are.