What’s The Best Place To Get My Car’s Engine Replaced? A Small Repair Shop? A Dealership?

An engine is pretty much a plug-and-play part. Still, an engine replacement is a big job. You want to make sure that the shop replacing your engine does it right.

So what type of place will take care of the engine replacement without screwing it up? Should you take your car to a small repair shop or a dealership? Which type of place offers the most value for your money?

The answer is it depends. It doesn’t matter where you have the engine replacement done. That is, as long as the technician taking care of the job:

  • Has experience replacing engines in vehicles like yours
  • Is trustworthy

What If You’re On A Budget?

engine cost

Many small repair shops charge less per hour than dealerships. For that reason, you may feel inclined to have a small repair shop replace your engine. The thing is, you may end up paying more money at the end. It all depends on how experienced their technicians are.

Let’s say you bring your car to a shop with an inexperienced tech. The tech will take longer than usual to complete the job. In that case, you may save money by having an experienced tech at a dealership replace the engine. The experienced tech would do it faster, which means fewer hours to pay for. At the end, you may even pay less than if you had the job done at a small shop.

You can say the same if the roles were reversed. A small repair shop that charges more than a dealership, for example, may have more experienced techs.

The bottom line? You want an experienced tech to replace your engine. This means:

  • A smaller bill (in most cases)
  • A smaller chance of something going wrong during the replacement process

Why Trust Is Important

It’s important to work with a shop you trust (and vice versa). You may be safe having any shop take care of a minor job. For example, oil changes (as long as you make sure that the oil drain plug is tightened correctly after the job!) But when it comes to an engine replacement, it pays off to be selective.

An engine replacement is a big job, so it’s important to have a shop you trust take care of the job. If the shop makes a mistake during the engine replacement process, they might not want to own up to it. If they don’t, they’ll try and blame you for the failure. In that case, you’ll have to fight them. It’s better to pay a little more to work with a shop you know and trust. Likewise, if you tell them that they made a mistake, and they trust you, they’re more likely to own up to that too.

Finding An Experienced Shop You Trust

What do you do if you don’t have a shop you trust? There are some things you can do to maximize your chances of ending up with a smooth engine replacement:

  1. Compile a list of all the shops nearby and narrow down the options by:
    • Finding out which shops have experience replacing engines like yours
    • Finding out which shops offer a labor warranty. (If a shop offers this, it shows that they have confidence in their techs’ work.)
    • Checking online reviews and eliminating the shops with poor ratings
  2. Order a replacement engine that’s under warranty

Once you have a short list of shops, get a quote from each of them. You can also spend some time chatting with each shop to get a feel of their experience and trustworthiness. It’s worth spending some time to shop around for a place you can trust to replace your engine.

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