How much Does It Cost to Replace A Semi-Truck Engine?

Semis and other heavy-duty trucks keep the US running by moving a majority of national cargo and local deliveries. During this service, those trucks see an incredible number of miles, and those miles can end up taking their toll on every part of the truck, from the tires to the trailer. Even with the best care, those miles will eventually wear down the hardest-working component of your whole rig: the engine.

Sometimes, you will see some of the symptoms that indicate a potentially failing engine, or an engine that is in need of immediate service. In cases like this, the owner or operator is often faced with the possibility of replacing their engine. This can be a frightening prospect since engines are one of the most costly components to replace in any vehicle. We’re going to get into just how much an engine replacement in a semi-truck costs, a breakdown of those costs and the expected lifespan of a new engine. We’ll also take a look at whether a more economical engine rebuild may fit your needs, potentially saving you tens of thousands of dollars.


Semi-Truck Engine Replacement Cost Breakdown

The cost of a semi-truck engine is going to be one of the most expensive components of your truck. In the case of newer trucks, you may see an engine replacement cost starting at $40,000 to $50,000 and going up from there. The average diesel semi-engine replacement will cost between $20,000 and $40,000. Only part of that cost is going to be due to the cost of the engine itself, which can cost between $10,000 and $30,000. You also need to pay the labor fee for the shop technicians to install the engine.

It will take anywhere from 15 to 30 billable hours to reinstall a truck engine following an overhaul or replacement. In most shops that labor cost will be anywhere from $60 to $150 per hour, which can add a substantial cost to the overall project. However, your shop should give you an estimate of the cost for both the parts and the labor before beginning the job, so that you aren’t surprised by several thousand dollars in unplanned labor costs.

Assuming everything goes according to plan, you’ll only need to pay for the engine and the labor to install it. However, if during the removal of the old engine and the installation of the new engine, something else sustains damage, it can significantly increase the cost. Common issues like this are broken bolts which, while relatively straightforward to fix, are time-consuming and can be difficult to work around until fixed.


How Long Does A Semi-Truck Engine Last For?

Semi-trucks are made to operate under heavy loads and constant strain for very long periods. They constantly drive from one end of the country to the other or do countless regional loops, and while they do receive periodic maintenance they are designed to operate for hundreds of thousands of miles before needing any major service.

The average semi-engine can expect to see a useful lifespan of between 500,000 and one million miles. This may seem like a lot, but if the driver is putting several thousand miles on their truck each week, it may only be a few years before the operator has to perform major maintenance like an engine rebuild or even replace the engine entirely.


Extend The Life of Your Vehicle:

To extend the life of your truck and the engine that powers it, you should make sure that you are performing maintenance at regular intervals and getting repairs when needed. This includes ensuring the truck has tires in good condition, as well as performing other necessary vehicle maintenance. Failing to keep up on maintenance and repairs can not only put additional strain on your engine, but it allows minor failures and issues to become magnified, resulting in more costly repairs.

Getting oil and filter changes regularly is one of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your engine. The engine oil not only lubricates the engine to allow efficient and consistent operation but the detergents in it help to clean the engine and remove deposits that are already there. After a while, your oil is going to be full of contaminants, just as your oil filter will be, and it will also begin losing its protective abilities and viscosity. This means that it is no longer keeping your engine clean and it may also be actively contributing to the build-up of deposits, and allowing the progression of friction damage.

Paying attention to any internal engine noise is also imperative, and can help you minimize potential repair costs by catching repairs when they are still minor. This means calling a diesel technician and making a service appointment the moment you begin hearing that odd sound from the engine bay. It can be the difference between a relatively minor repair that has you down for a day or two and an engine replacement that may have your truck off the road for a week or more.


Replacing vs. Rebuilding

There is a lot of debate about whether it’s better to replace a semi-engine entirely or to get it rebuilt. Depending on your financial situation and what you want out of your truck, the answer may be different for you compared to another driver. Rebuilding is more affordable but, in the end, you still have a used engine that may require service sooner than a brand new engine would.

If, however, you’re wondering if it will really be worth it to completely replace an engine, the short answer is likely to be “yes.” There are a few reasons why this is generally the case, though the reasons may or may not apply to your situation. Some people may even consider replacing the entire truck instead of replacing the engine, though replacing an engine is often far cheaper than the additional expenses incurred with the purchase of a new vehicle.


fleet maintenance services mnAdvantages of Replacing Your Heavy Duty Engine

There are some significant advantages to replacing the diesel engine in your truck when the time comes. These advantages include:

  • New engines often come with full warranty coverage.
  • Rebuilt engines may still have issues, and if they aren’t related to the rebuild they may cause additional expenses.
  • Investing in a new engine is often cheaper than investing in a used truck which will require more repair costs down the road.
  • You can expect a full engine lifespan of approximately 750,000 miles.
  • Once the new engine is installed, your truck and all systems will be fully tested to ensure trouble-free driving.


Get Your Semi-Truck’s Engine Replaced With Us!

If you drive a semi and think you may need your engine replaced, the first thing you should do is reach out to Blaine Brothers. Not only can they answer any specific questions that you may have, but they can also help you decide if a replacement is right for you and your truck!

Blaine, MN


10011 Xylite Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55449

Cloquet, MN


1325 Hwy 45
Cloquet, MN 55720

Clearwater, MN


750 Heaton BLVD
Clearwater, MN 55320

Baldwin, WI


2500 Alreich Ave
Baldwin, WI 54002



9515 150th Avenue NE
Columbus, MN 55025