If you love your Chevy Tahoe, you may not want to part with it, even if it needs extensive repairs. Whether your engine has worn itself out or suffered damage, you may decide that it’s worth it to replace the engine instead of buying a new car. In that case, knowing how much a new engine costs can help you make the best decision for your Chevy Tahoe.
Replacing the engine in a Chevy Tahoe costs between $2,000 and $7,000. The final price depends on the specific engine that you use and where you take the vehicle for the work. The new engine alone may cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,500 (or more) depending on the specifications.
How Much is a Replacement Engine for a Chevy Tahoe?
The first step in determining how much you’ll pay for an engine replacement is understanding the cost for the engine itself. The engine is the most important part of the vehicle and it’s a very complex piece of equipment.
However, there are many options when it comes to what motor you’ll select for your Tahoe, which means there’s quite a bit of variation in the pricing.
Replacement engines range from several hundred dollars for a used motor that may need some work to $7,000 or more for a high-performance model.
The price that you pay will depend on the manufacturer, the specifications, where you purchase it from, and the condition. When you buy a replacement engine, you’ll have to decide if you want something new, used, rebuilt, or remanufactured.
These distinctions can be confusing, but they make a big difference when it comes to what you’re paying for.
In most cases, you’ll be dealing with a remanufactured engine. These engines are not brand new, but they’re “like new.” A remanufactured engine is assembled in a factory setting using factory-specified parts and settings.
The entire engine is disassembled, cleaned, repaired, and put back together with brand new components. A remanufactured engine is typically the most expensive option, but it will also be the most reliable and come with the best warranty. It will be assembled and calibrated just like the original engine was when the vehicle was first built.
If you take your Chevy Tahoe to a garage and they take your engine apart and rebuild it using new parts and components or with a special kit, then you’re not actually getting a new engine.
In that case, the technician is rebuilding your current engine by replacing any of the damaged or worn out parts with new, functioning components.
Another option is a used engine. A used engine is from a matching vehicle, which means you’ll know for sure that it will be compatible with your Tahoe if it came from the same type of vehicle.
Used engines are less expensive than remanufactured, but they usually don’t have the same level of warranty coverage. You also don’t know for sure how well the vehicle was cared for or what kind of underlying problems you might have to deal with later on.
You can purchase a used engine from an online retailer specializing in used car parts or from a private seller on eBay. Another option is to visit a junkyard or salvage yard, but these are typically the riskiest options when it comes to getting quality parts.
New engines are sometimes a little harder to find. You will have to purchase these directly from the factory, and typically they will still be remanufactured using components from existing equipment.
If you do purchase a truly “new” engine, you should expect to pay top-dollar without much (if any) added benefit over a quality remanufactured unit.
Sample Price for Replacement Engine – Chevy Tahoe
|Retailer||Sample Engine Specs||Sample Price|
|Car Part Planet||2000 4.8L (used – 130k mi.)||$1,250 – $1,399|
|Car Part Planet||2000 4.8L (remanufactured)||$2,400 – $2,700|
|GM Parts Super Store||Complete Engine (remanufactured)||$4,500 – $4,740|
|AutoZone||NuTech Long Block (remanufactured)||$3,200 – $3,500|
|AutoZone||Dahmer Premium Long Block (reman.)||$4,400 – $4,725|
|eBay||2006 5.3L (used)||$3,400 – $3,600|
|eBay||6.2L Short Block||$2,200 – $2,500|
|Advance Auto Parts||Spartan/ATK Engine||$3,200 – $3,550|
In addition to the engine’s condition, the price is also impacted by whether it’s a complete, long block, or short block unit. The most expensive option is the complete engine, which comes with everything needed to install the motor and get the vehicle running.
The long block engine comes with most of the necessary components, but there are still a few items that you will have to purchase separately.
The least expensive option is the short block engine, which is essentially just a base to work from. For these motors, you’ll have to purchase many components separately, which will raise the price significantly.
Labor Costs for Chevy Tahoe Engine Replacement
The labor involved in replacing an engine can be quite expensive because it’s a complex and time-consuming job. Depending on where you take it for the work, you should plan to spend between $1,000 and $3,000 for the labor alone.
Most experienced auto shops need between 14 and 18 hours to replace the engine in a Chevy Tahoe.
Of course, this amount of time could be more or less depending on how skilled the technician is, whether or not they run into any problems, or if there is more than one person working on the job at the same time.
The labor costs per hour vary based on the specific shop and your geographic location. In some areas, the going rate is much higher than others. However, the average hourly rate is between $75 and $150 per hour.
Estimated Labor Cost for Chevy Tahoe Engine Replacement
|Labor Cost – low-end estimate||$1,050 – $1,350|
|Labor Cost – high-end estimate||$2,100 – $2,700|
|Average Labor Cost Estimate||$1,400 – $1,800|
DIY Costs for Chevy Tahoe Engine Replacement
Unless you’re experienced with working on vehicles, it’s not advisable to attempt to replace an engine yourself. However, if you have some skill working under the hood or know someone who can help, you could save yourself thousands of dollars by going the DIY route.
If you decide to replace your own engine, you’ll really only need to pay for the engine itself and any tools that you need, if you don’t already have them.
To replace your own engine, you should plan to spend between $3,000 and $4,000 depending on how much the engine costs you.
The total amount that you actually spend might be lower if you go with a used engine or something on the lower end of the price scale. On the other hand, high-performance engines cost much more.
If you need to buy a lot of tools and equipment, you’ll need to plan for an additional increase in your total cost. Some hardware stores will allow you to “rent” specialized tools and equipment, which can be a big cost saver when compared to buying them outright.
The Bottom Line
Most people won’t ever need to replace the engine in their vehicle. However, there are some situations where it makes sense to get a new engine, even if it is a complex job.
If you plan to keep the vehicle for several more years, it may be a good idea to replace the engine rather than purchasing a new car.
Or, if you really love your Chevy Tahoe and you don’t want to get rid of it or buy a new one, an engine replacement may be the way to go. If you can find a good deal on a remanufactured unit, then the vehicle should last you many more years at a fraction of the price of a new Tahoe.
If you decide to replace your engine, you will probably spend around $2,500 to $3,500 for the engine itself, and then another $1,200 to $2,000 for the labor to have it installed.
Of course, your final price will depend on your specific engine, your vehicle, and where you take it for the work. Your geographic location may also play a role in the going hourly labor rate for auto shops.
Since a good deal of the cost is due to the labor charges, it’s always a good idea to shop around and get multiple quotes. When you have rates to compare to one another, you can be sure that you’re getting a fair estimate.
Some shops offer discounts for AAA members, military service members, first responders, senior citizens, or students. It never hurts to ask if any of these discounts are available.
Remember that there’s more to consider than just price alone, especially when you’re dealing with something as complex as an engine replacement. The least expensive option may not always be the best.
It’s always smart to look at the shop’s reviews and recommendations, check the BBB website for complaints, and talk to people you know to get recommendations.
Be sure to ask about what kind of warranty the shop offers for the parts and workmanship. It’s always a good sign when a garage stands behind their work. Even if it costs a few extra dollars, it may be worth it to go with a shop that you can trust for high-quality services.