Is it safe to overhaul an engine?

view under the hood of a car engine

Should I overhaul my engine?

Are you one of those people that trades your car in for a new one every three or four years? Or do you drive your car until it can’t go anymore? If you’re the latter one, after many miles and a few years have gone by, an engine overhaul may be just what you need.  For a car owner interested in an engine overhaul in Venice, FL, here are a few things to keep in mind to decide if this is the right option for you.

What is an engine overhaul?

The engine is the centerpiece of your car. It is an intricate piece of machinery that converts heat from the gasoline it’s burning into a force that makes it go, along with other components and parts.  

There is a chain of reaction that makes this happen is started by a spark that ignites a mixture of the gas with compressed air inside a cylinder that is momentarily sealed, and then it burns that gasoline.  As that mixture burns, it creates the power that motivates the car. Confused? 

If you’re not a mechanical person, it can sound complicated. When an engine quits function as we just described, a trained mechanic can do an engine overhaul, i.e., give it life again, and get it going again. 

Essentially, an engine overhaul is the process of taking the existing engine apart and putting it back together with new parts on the inside. This involves installing new cylinders, springs, valves, and more. 

Is an engine overhaul a major repair?

There are different terms used in the auto industry when talking about an engine overhaul. For instance, some mechanic shops may refer to it as an ‘in-chassis’ rebuild, which is where the mechanic doesn’t take the entire engine out of the car to rebuild it. They only replace the components on the top part of the engine which includes the following parts: 

  • Cylinder lining
  • Pistons rings
  • All of the pistons

This type of engine overall, in-chassis rebuild, will get the engine back in good shape and performing better than it was. While this may seem like a major repair to the non-mechanical person, to a mechanic, it isn’t as a major repair job as an extensive engine rebuild.

An extensive engine rebuild, however, is considered a major repair. This type of engine overhaul requires the mechanic to remove the entire engine out of the car body. The mechanic then takes every component and part off, including bolts and nuts. All removable parts are then cleaned and replaced or new OEM parts are purchased and installed. This is the more expensive option. 

How long can an engine last after an overhaul?

This can vary from engine to engine and driver to driver because how you drive your car has the biggest impact. If the engine overhaul is done properly, and you keep the oil changed as recommended by the mechanic, you get another 10,000 miles on an engine that has been overhauled.  Keep in mind that the mileage also includes idling time.

How long does an engine overhaul take?

The engine overhaul process can take up to a week for the mechanic to complete the task. If the mechanic has any issues getting parts, it can take longer. 

How much does an engine overhaul cost?

An engine overhaul can cost between $25,000 and $50,000, depending on the make and model of the car and the type of engine. So, it is worth having an engine overhauled? That is a personal decision to be made with the owner and their mechanic. 

Is it worth it to overhaul an engine?

For a classic car, the owner will usually be willing to pay what it takes to get it back on the road headed to car shows! For a daily driver, and engine overhaul for a car that didn’t even cost $20,000,  you probably wouldn’t want to make that level of investment. 

What is the disadvantage of an engine overhaul?

The advantages gained from an engine overhaul far outweigh the disadvantages in the opinion of a classic car owner.  For the everyday car owners, some disadvantages to consider include: 

  • The Expense: An engine overhaul is an expensive endeavor, not something that everyone who has a  daily driver can afford. 
  • Challenging: An engine overhaul can be challenging for an inexperienced person. It is always best to have this done by somebody who knows car engines. 
  • Performance: In most cases, an engine overhaul will perform as good, or better, than it did before. Some say it is just as good as a brand-new engine. 

Are there any indications that your car may be ready for an engine overhaul? 

Yes, the following are indications that you should get your car checked out by a mechanic. They can advise you if you need an engine rebuild, an engine overhaul, or it is just done: 

  • Unusual warning lights illuminate typically because the computer sensors are telling you something is wrong. 
  • Rough jerking, surging, or stalling are indications that something isn’t running right with the engine. If your car isn’t running smoothly, an engine overhaul may be needed. 
  • Any loud sounds like popping or tapping while you’re driving could be coming from the cylinders. Don’t waste any time getting it checked by a mechanic for a possible engine overhaul. 
  • Any odd odors and smells are another indication that something is wrong with the engine. It may just be an oil leak, but it could also be more severe. 

Get The Motor Running! 

An engine overhaul will typically last up to 10,000 miles or more if the overhaul job is done correctly. The average time frame between engine overhauls is between 500,000 to 100,000 miles. If you’re interested in an engine overhaul in Venice, FL, our team can be there to help. Give us a call at 941-493-6511 to learn more about the options available to you.