How Much Does An Engine Swap Cost?

An engine swap can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 depending on the type of car you have, the replacement engine you use, and a few other factors.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
An engine swap typically costs between $2,500 and $10,000 for parts and labor—or up to $20,000 for luxury models or complex high-performance engines. 
  • Expect to spend an average of $5,000 on a car engine swap.
  • High-performance and luxury model engine swaps can cost tens of thousands.
  • Labor costs are fairly consistent, though some engines are more complex.
  • Long block engines cost more, but short block means you need to buy more parts.

What is an engine swap?

What: An engine swap is the process of removing the engine from your car and replacing it with a new or remanufactured one.
Why: This is usually done for one of two reasons—the old engine has sustained irreparable damage or the owner is looking to upgrade the vehicle’s performance. 

How much does an engine swap cost?

Average cost: $2,500 to $10,000
The cost of an engine swap will depend on the reason for the swap, the type of replacement engine, and the type of car you have. You can expect the swap to cost thousands, including parts and labor—and some swaps can cost as much as $20,000 or more.

What affects the cost of an engine swap

The most important factors that affect the cost of an engine swap are the labor, type of replacement engine, used engine or brand-new engine, block type, transmission, vehicle make/model, and swap kit that are used. 
It also depends on whether you’re doing an engine replacement vs. an
engine rebuild
, and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional.

Labor costs are consistent, but may be higher for more complex engines

With most automotive services, the cost of labor is one of the more unpredictable expenses—but this isn’t really the case with an engine swap. This price of labor for an engine swap is fairly consistent: you’ll typically pay $2,000 for this labor-intensive process.
However, for more complex or specialized engines, that might be a bit higher. Plus, some cities have higher labor rates in general.

Replacement engines are more costly in high-performance vehicles

The type of replacement engine used is the most important factor in determining the price of a swap. A replacement cost for a new engine could run anywhere from $500 to $15,000 depending on the reason for the engine swap. 
Stock engines ($500 to $1,000): In most cases, the engine installed will be the same type as your car’s original engine. Stock engines are cheaper and are already specifically designed for your vehicle, so you won’t have to replace as many parts.
Custom or designer engines ($1,000+): These include engines that people get when building a high-performance vehicle with a different engine.
If your car already comes standard with a high-end engine, even the stock replacement will be expensive—because an engine’s price directly correlates to its performance, torque, number of
cylinder heads
, and overall power. 

Longer block type means higher cost

Long block:
Long block engines
(engines that come with all their parts) will be more expensive.
Short block: Short block engines, which only come with about one-third of all the required components, are less costly. However, you’ll end up paying more to purchase all the additional parts that are needed for a complete engine (like gaskets to go along with those pistons).
You may want to go with a short block if there are a lot of parts from your old engine that can be salvaged.

Transmission quality correlates to cost

Another factor that heavily impacts the cost of an engine swap is whether you need a new transmission. 
You generally won’t need to replace the transmission, even when your engine has been totaled. If your old transmission can be salvaged, you’ll save yourself a lot of money! 
Just like the type of engine you use, transmissions range widely in terms of quality and cost. 
If your old transmission is headed to the junkyard, a new low-end aftermarket transmission can be as cheap as $250. Top-tier transmissions, on the other hand, can easily be $3,500 or more. 

Luxury vehicles cost more to service

In general, more expensive vehicles will require more expensive engine swaps. A new engine for a
Toyota Camry
will cost a lot less than one for, say, a
Jaguar F-Type

Swap kit and other expenses can add up fast

Apart from the engine itself, an engine swap will require miscellaneous parts.
Cost of swap kit: $100 to $6,000 (depending on the quality of the parts) 
Additional elements: Another $100 to $6,000 
Some components are not included in the swap kit but may still need to be replaced, such as a regulator, fuel pump/tank, exhaust system, etc. 
All said and done, you can expect the total cost for a swap kit and miscellaneous expenses together to range from $200 to $12,000 or more.
If you’re also switching out the headers, the cooling system, the water pump, and other performance-related parts in the pursuit of more horsepower, get ready to pay upward of $20,000 on parts alone.
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