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Car engine repairs

Find which engine repair you need and see what it includes. Get quotes for the job and book a time that suits you at your chosen garage.

  • Cambelt change

    The average cost of a cambelt change booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £426.76. A damaged or snapped cambelt will cause damage to the car engine if it’s not replaced.

    Can include
    • Diagnosis
    • Cambelt repair
    • Cambelt replacement
  • Alternator repair

    The average cost of an alternator repair when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £438.62. An alternator is a fundamental part of your car's electrical system and allows components such as your lights, dashboard, windscreen wipers, and radio to function. If you're experiencing a problem with your car's electronics, you may need an alternator repair.

    Can include
    • Testing and diagnosis
    • Alternator repair
    • Alternator replacement
  • Timing chain repair

    The average cost of a timing chain repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £702.16. A timing chain is an essential part of a car engine and needs to be replaced every 40,000 to 100,000 miles.

    Can include
    • Diagnosis
    • Timing chain replacement
  • Head gasket replacement

    The average cost of a head gasket replacement when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £585.18. A head gasket helps to seal and separate the liquids in your engine. If your engine overheats, you may have a blown head gasket. It's crucial to get it replaced to stop further damage to your engine.

    Can include
    • Visual inspection and diagnosis
    • Head gasket replacement
  • Turbo replacement

    The average cost of a turbo replacement when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £1,125.99. Your car's turbo is designed to last a lifetime, but you may need a replacement if it becomes damaged. If you experience white/blue smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, a loss of power, and a drilling noise coming from the engine, you may need a turbo replacement.

    Can include
    • Visual inspection and diagnosis
    • Turbo replacement
    • Turbo fault repair
  • Spark Plug Replacement

    The average cost of a spark plug replacement when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £153.78.

    Spark plugs are essential for petrol cars and should be replaced every 30,000-90,000 miles.

  • Glow plugs

    The average cost of a glow plug replacement when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £212.85. Glow and plugs are fundamental parts of your engine's system and help ignite and start your car. Your glow plugs need changing every 100,000 miles to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly.

    Can include
    • Visual inspection and diagnosis
    • Glow plug change
  • Water pump repair

    The average cost of a water pump repair when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £272.67.

    A leak of any liquid from your car is a sign that you might have a damaged water pump. A water pump repair is a standard job that doesn't take long to carry out.

    Can include
    • Visual inspection and diagnosis
    • Water pump repair
  • ECU repairs

    The average cost of an ECU repair when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £154.23.

    The Engine Control Unit acts as a central information system for your car and for you, its driver. It allows you to receive the correct information from your vehicle and enables the engine to run efficiently.

    Can include
    • ECU testing
    • ECU repair
  • Engine replacement

    The average cost of an engine replacement when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £429.45

    In some circumstances, you may need a complete engine replacement. A professional will tell you if this is necessary or if other repairs may act as an effective solution.

    Can include
    • Testing and inspection
    • Engine replacement
  • Cambelt & Water Pump Replacement

    The average cost of a cambelt & water pump replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £468.99.

    The cambelt and water pump is essential for managing the timing & cooling of the engine.

    Can include
    • Water Pump
    • Cambelt

Servicing your engine

The best way to keep your engine in good condition and out of the garage is to service it regularly. You should regularly book an oil change every 5,000 miles and a diesel particulate filter clean every 6-9 months. If you have an older vehicle, you may also need to top up your engine coolant to make sure your engine doesn't overheat. If in doubt, book in for a full service every year to keep on top of your car's condition and avoid more costly engine damage in future.

  • Diesel particulate filter clean

    The average cost of a diesel particulate filter clean booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £188.30. A diesel particulate filter (DPF) clean involves removing and restoring the filter component of diesel engines that captures soot. Over time, a DPF becomes blocked and needs to be cleaned or even replaced to ensure your car runs efficiently and correctly.

    Can include
    • DPF chemical clean
    • DPF replacement
  • Oil change

    The average cost of an oil change booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £80. Regular oil changes are an important part of maintaining your car engine in between services. Most newer cars have a dashboard warning light to notify you when your oil level is low and in need of an oil change.

    Can include
    • Engine oil drained
    • Refilled with new oil
    • Oil filter replacement
    • Service light reset
  • Engine coolant

    The average cost of an engine coolant replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £88.11.

    If engine coolant levels are too low or are leaking, this can cause problems for your vehicle. A professional can top up your engine coolant quickly and easily to help avoid your engine overheating.

    Can include
    • Visual inspection
    • Engine coolant refill

Understanding your engine

Your vehicle's engine includes a network of components, all of which rely on one another to function. When everything goes smoothly, you've got an efficient engine that keeps your car going. But, when one thing goes wrong, suddenly, your engine won’t run as it should, and your car can't stay on the road. 

Because there are so many reasons your engine might start misbehaving, it helps to understand the different parts that might fail and how to get the proper repair to keep your car running smoothly. Luckily, this page goes into all that detail, and explains the most common repairs you might need when fixing a troublesome engine.

What can go wrong with your engine?

Your engine is the heart of your vehicle, so if you need an engine repair, you want to get it done quickly and effectively. The best place to start is by understanding the most common types of engine repairs you might require. 

Alternatively, if you're not sure what's causing the issue, then you can book in with a professional who will diagnose any diesel engine fault and give you a suitable repair.

You need a cambelt change or a timing chain replacement

The functioning of your car's engine is timed to perfection. The opening and closing of different valves and cylinders must happen in a specific sequence to make sure your fuel burns and gets converted into the energy your car needs. It’s common to need a cambelt change or a timing chain replacement every 4 years. However, if your car judders, you hear a high pitched noise, or the engine stops working altogether, it might be a sign your cambelt or timing chain is damaged.

You need an alternator repair

Your car's electrical system is essential for keeping your lights on, windshield wipers working, dashboard alive, and the radio playing. Your car battery stores and supplies all these components with the energy they need. If your car's electrical system stops working, you might need an alternator repair, as the alternator is what feeds the battery with energy taken from the engine.

Your head gasket is damaged or faulty

A head gasket is an integral part of your engine, keeping it sealed and stopping different liquids like oil and coolant from mixing. When damaged, you might notice your engine starts to overheat, or you see white smoke coming from your exhaust pipe. It's crucial to get a head gasket repair as soon as possible, to prevent further damage to your engine. 

Your turbo needs to be replaced

The turbo helps your engine function more efficiently, it involves a spinning turbine, which gives it the air it needs to run. When damaged, cracked, or worn, you might notice a loss in engine power, hear a drilling noise, or see blue/white smoke come from the exhaust. You might need a turbo replacement to get your engine back up to full health in these circumstances.

You need new glow or spark plugs

Glow plugs help ignite your engine, while spark plugs keep it going. Without either, you'll struggle to get your car to run. If you're having trouble starting your vehicle, you might need to get new glow plugs at your local garage. If you're struggling to keep your engine going, you might need to change your spark plugs, which you can do from home. However, it's recommended you get the issue diagnosed and repaired by a professional.

You need a water pump repair

A car water pump is necessary to keep your engine running and the coolant moving through the system. If you notice any liquid leaking from the system, you should get it checked by a professional as you might need a water pump repair. Fortunately, it's a quick and easy thing to fix.

Your ECU isn't working correctly

Your engine control unit, or ECU, is what keeps your engine functioning efficiently. It's a computer system that does a complex job, so it can be challenging to diagnose the exact issue. A tell-tale sign of a faulty ECU is a warning light on the dashboard. You'll need to visit a local garage for ECU testing and repair.

Your engine management light turns on

Occasionally, the only sign of an engine fault is the warning light that appears on your dashboard. It could light up for several reasons, and hopefully, the solution is a simple one. However, you should always get your vehicle checked out at a local garage if your engine management light stays lit.

Your entire engine needs replacing

If your vehicle is an older model or has suffered large amounts of damage, you might need an engine replacement. A garage will only replace your engine if they cannot repair the problem or there are too many different faults with the system.

Signs of common car engine problems

Because of the multiple components in your car's engine and the system's complexity, many things could be causing your problem.

There are a handful of key signs that suggest there's an issue with your engine:

  • An engine warning light appearing is the most obvious sign there's a problem with your engine. A professional will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the proper repair.

  • Experiencing a loss of power is a sign your turbo needs replacing. However, it can also be caused by faulty components outside of your engine. You can find specialist garages if you experience a loss of car power.

  • Hearing a ticking or knocking noise in your engine is most likely caused by bad spark plugs but could also be due to low oil levels or misadjusted valves.

  • An engine that is smoking is the result of overheating, which can be caused by a damaged head gasket or another type of leak.

  • A car that won't start can be caused by many things, including damaged glow plugs, a bad alternator, or a flat battery.

Average cost of common car engine repairs

The exact cost of repairs and replacements to components in your engine will depend on where the fault is, the extent of the damage, and your vehicle's make.

Our handy cost table gives you a rough guide to how much you can expect to pay for various car engine repairs.

Car engine repairAverage priceGet quotes
Cambelt change£266.80Get quotes
Alternator repair£335.80Get quotes
Timing chain repair£702.16Get quotes
Head gasket replacement£585.18Get quotes
Turbo replacement£868.60Get quotes
Glow plugs£157.27Get quotes
Water pump repair£239.42Get quotes
ECU repair£175.47Get quotes
Engine replacement£429.45Get quotes

Frequently asked questions

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