Engine repair tends to cause panic in many car owners, especially when thinking of the prices that tend to go into it.

Yes, engine repairs can get costly, but many vehicle owners tend to forget that there are a variety of different things that go into engine repair.

This does not always mean a total overhaul costing a few hundred, if not, thousands of dollars.

Before you hit the panic button, take a look at some common engine problems and their costs to be fixed.

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Does the Check Engine Light Mean the Engine Needs Repairing?

The first sign of engine trouble tends to be the ever-trusty check engine light.

Whether the light is flashing or steady, it means there is something that needs looking at under the hood, and it really could be any number of things from a loose gas cap, worn spark plugs, or even pump failures.

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What Causes the Check Engine Light?

Lose connections, worn plugs, and failed sensors – the check engine light can be any number of issues. Before drivers would even panic, they should bring it to their mechanic, dealership, or any number of vehicle maintenance shops to have it checked out.

In most cases, the mechanic will pull out their nifty code scanner, plug it into your car’s computer system that will spit out a code or a few codes that will help them diagnose your problem.

Here are a few common scan codes that may come up:

  • P0128 – Coolant Thermostat/Temperature
  • P0456 – Evaporative Emission System Leak Detected (Small)
  • P0566 – Evaporative Emission System Leak Detected (Large)
  • P0300 – Random Misfire Code
  • P0301 – Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected
  • P0457 – Emission Control System Leak Detected (Fuel Cap)


Common Engine Problems and Their Costs

Engine problems can lead to costly engine repair, but if properly maintained, those costs may not be nearly as high as drivers think. Just a look at a few common engine problems and you can see that the price to repair different aspects can be very minimalistic.


  • Oil Pump Failure – First signs that there may be an issue with your car’s oil pump will likely be either your check engine or oil light indicator on your dashboard lighting up to alert you that there could be a problem. While an oil pump failure happens less frequently than most engine problems, it can cause severe damage to your car. If you are skilled enough to replace your oil pump, you are looking at a price range of $100 – $300. However, if you are taking it in to have it professionally done, CarsDirect states to take into consideration labor fees of about $200 – $300, bringing the total cost up.
  • Dirty Oil – Oil is an essential part of your engine system. It acts as a lubricant in your engine, and without oil, the metal-on-metal friction can lead to your engine seizing up. As it runs through your system, the oil will get dirty and become less effective. While cars these days can go longer and longer without an oil change, it is one of the more straightforward, and less costly bits of engine maintenance as an oil change can range from $25 – $35 by a professional, and even cheaper if done at home by a skilled buddy.
  • Worn Spark Plugs – Spark plugs are another vital part of your vehicle’s engine system. According to RepairPal, the spark plug’s sole function is to “ignite the air/fuel mixture as it enters the engine.” It does this by sending high voltage electricity from the ignition coil into a strong spark inside the engine. When a spark plug fails, it is in a constant state of attempting and failing to ignite air and fuel. Signs of a worn spark plug can include a number of things, including poor gas mileage, engine vibrations or even engine stalling. The average cost to replace a spark plug can be anywhere from $35 and $102 for the parts, with an additional $100 – $300 in labor cost to have it installed.


Does My Car Need Engine Repair?

There are some different signs drivers can look for other than the check engine light to tell them if they need to have their engine repaired or not.

By driving your car regularly, you will be able to notice a few different signs that you may need to bring it into the shop, including listening for any unusual rattling noises or checking for any off smells.

Should you notice anything off, there is no need to panic.

Merely consult a trained mechanic, or better yet, multiple mechanics and see what they say. Before panicking over price, make sure you get multiple repair quotes, so you find what works best for your budget.

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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