How much?! The Auto Engine Repair Price Guide

February 15, 2012

If you need to have your vehicle repaired, it helps to know what the going rate for auto engine repair costs are. While the price you pay for any car engine repair will vary, here are some general pricing guidelines that will help you know what you can expect to pay for different types of car engine repairs and maintenance.

Oil Changes

Oil changes are probably the most common type of maintenance performed on vehicles. The cost to have it done will depend on the type of vehicle you own. Average pricing for an oil and filter change ranges from about $20 - $75. With most vehicles costing around $30 - $40 to have the maintenance performed.

ECU Repairs or Replacement

Because most modern vehicles use some sort of onboard computer, the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is a common item repaired in many vehicles. Inspection of an ECU will run you about $150 - $500 depending on the complexity of your vehicle's onboard computer. If you need to replace a faulty ECU, expect to pay $1000 - $3000 in most cases. ECUs can be reprogrammed between $150 and $600.

Transmission Repairs and Replacement

Transmission repairs can be really costly. Transmission fluid changes, flushes and filter changes will usually run you around $50 -$100. Major repairs can be $300 and up. If you need to have a transmission rebuilt, expect to pay between $1400 and $3000. If you are thinking of purchasing a brand new transmission, don't - they cost too much money. Stay with a rebuilt or remanufactured transmission.

Engine Cylinder Head Gasket Replacement

If you blow a head gasket in your car engine, you should be prepared to pay some very costly repair bills. Prices will vary, but be ready to shell out between $1000 and $2000 to replace blown head gaskets with remanufactured heads. New ones will cost you a lot more.

Oil Pump Replacement

When your car loses oil pressure, all sorts of bad things can happen. Average prices for replacing an oil pump are between $350 and $600.

Replace an Alternator

An alternator repair can be relatively inexpensive if you do the work yourself. However, if you need to take your vehicle to a shop to have the alternator replaced, it will cost you between $250 and $450.

Starter Replacement

A bad starter is very aggravating and usually results in having a tow to the repair shop because the engine won't even start. Including the cost of the tow truck, you should expect to pay around $500 for the new starter, labor and towing.

With many of the above mentioned repairs, you can save more than half by doing the work yourself. Find a how-to guide on the Internet to help you through it and save a lot of money. Websites like and offer in depth how-to guides that provide step-by-step instructions on many types of car engine repairs. Most are simple to understand that almost anybody can make a car engine repair.

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