As vehicle engines become old, or improperly maintained, internal engine component failure can occur. While some vehicle owners may choose to simply buy a new car, there are many people that want to repair their engines so that they do not have to take on a car payment for a new car. Especially in this economy, it is understandable how people want to stretch their money as far as it can go. In many cases, rebuilding a damaged engine is more cost effective then buying a new car in the long run.
When an engine has failed, a skilled automotive technician will remove it from the vehicle. This is a laborious process and can often cost around seven hundred dollars to remove and reinstall automotive engines. Once the engine is out of the vehicle, it normally is given to a skilled engine builder for further assessment.
Once the engine builder has the engine, it will be carefully disassembled. Notes will be taken during this process to document the damage found. Once the engine is completely disassembled, all of the components are chemically cleaned to remove the oil, carbon and any contaminates. At this point, the engine builder can use specialized measuring tools to determine whether or not the internal engine parts are within acceptable tolerances. After a full assessment is made, the engine builder will then quote out the parts and labor necessary to repair the engine.
The labor to repair an engine is the largest component of the overall engine repair bill. In many cases the cylinder block must be bored, new pistons installed on the connecting rods and the cylinder heads reconditioned. Another labor intensive process is repairing the crankshaft.
When you hear people saying that their engine has a “spun bearing,” this simply means that one of their crankshaft bearings has failed. Bearing and crankshaft failure, by most accounts, are the leading cause of failed engines being removed from vehicles. When the crankshaft must be reconditioned, the process is completed in a crankshaft grinding machine. The equipment to perform this task can cost well over $50,000, which is why repairing crankshafts is not inexpensive.
After all of the engine components have been repaired or replaced, an engine builder will thoroughly clean all of the components before assembly. This is needed to remove any contaminates from the internal engine parts. With clean parts in hand, the engine builder may assemble the engine in a clean environment so that it is ready for the automotive technician to install.
After the automotive technician has installed the rebuilt engine, in most cases they will offer a limited warranty of one to three years. This warranty assures vehicle owners that the investment they made in repairing their engine is protected by a contract. With a typical car payment being $300 or more each month, vehicle owners can often save nearly $10,000 when they repair a failed engine instead of buying new. In these tight economic times, those savings can allow consumers the opportunity to save a significant amount of money over just a few years.
This author is an engine builder and certified automotive engine machinist. As part of his