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Guide to Crankshaft Repair & Replacement Costs

Guide to Crankshaft Repair & Replacement Costs
Austin Kilham
Austin KilhamUpdated September 19, 2023
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The crankshaft is the backbone of the engine. It is powered by the pistons and converts their linear motion into rotational motion, driving the transmission and the camshaft. If your crankshaft fails, you’ll need to repair or replace it immediately. You can expect costs for replacing a crankshaft to run as high as $2,500, including parts and labor. In some cases, if a very small fix is needed, you can repair the crankshaft rather than replace it. Repairs cost $270, on average, including parts and labor.  Keep reading to learn what the crankshaft in your vehicle does, the factors that affect the price of repair or replacement, and options for covering the cost. 

Crankshaft Repair and Replacement Cost Breakdown

The cost of repairing or replacing a crankshaft will largely depend on two factors: labor and parts. Generally, you can expect to pay $75 to $130 per hour for an auto mechanic, with rates varying depending on where you live. For example, a mechanic in a big city will likely charge more than one in a rural town.Replacing a crankshaft is not an easy fix and can take up to 16 hours or more. On the high end, you could be looking at nearly $2,000 in labor costs alone. Repairs, on the other hand, may take much less time, which significantly reduces the cost. The remainder of your expenses will largely be related to cost of parts. If you have a relatively common make and model of vehicle, you might be able to find a replacement crankshaft for as little as $100. However, the cost of parts for high-performance and luxury vehicles could run you as much as $1,000. On average, you’re likely to pay somewhere in the middle, around $500 for parts. Recommended: Expensive and Cheap Luxury Cars to Maintain

Lowering the Cost of Crankshaft Replacement

Replacing your crankshaft is an expensive fix, but there are ways you can work to reduce costs. First, gather information on average costs in your area. You may want to use online tools, like Kelley Blue Book’s Repair Pricing tool or the Consumer Report’s Car Repair Estimate, to give you an idea of the price range you can expect in your area for a given repair. With that information handy, you can contact mechanics and ask for a price estimate from them. Compare their estimates to the average cost you’ve found to determine where you are getting a fair price. If you’re unfamiliar with a mechanic, look up reviews online to see how other customers have fared with them. You may also want to look them up on the Better Business Bureau to see if they’ve received any complaints. Another way to reduce costs is to purchase the parts yourself and take them to the mechanic. Aftermarket parts may be available for your vehicle, as well, so make sure to search for those, too. 

What Is a Crankshaft?

The crankshaft is the part of the engine that turns the vertical motion of the pistons into rotational motion, which helps to turn the wheels of your car. When gas and air combust in the cylinder, the combustion drives the piston down. The reciprocating motion of the pistons moving up and down turns the crankshaft. It then delivers that power to the transmission, which directs the power to the wheels. 

Why Do Crankshafts Fail?

Your crankshaft will likely fail due to wear and tear or damage caused when another part fails, such as problems with the cylinders misfiring. 

Signs of a Bad Crankshaft

Keep watch for the following signs that your crankshaft may be failing: 
  • Trouble starting your engine. If your crankshaft is damaged, your engine may have trouble starting, and if it’s completely broken, your engine may not start at all. You may also notice that your engine is stalling more frequently. 
  • Knocking sounds. A broken or damaged crankshaft may cause regular or intermittent knocking sounds, which may happen every time the engine turns over. These sounds will be coming from directly under the engine and between the two front seats. 
  • Check engine light is on. The crankshaft position sensor senses when something is off with the crankshaft. When there is, it triggers the check engine light to turn on. 

Ways to Cover Crankshaft Repair and Replacement Costs

With the price of a crankshaft replacement topping $2,500 in some cases, it is important to strategize how to cover the expense. 


Cash is the cheapest way to cover the cost, as it doesn’t involve fees or interest. In fact, you may consider putting money in a cash savings account specifically for auto repairs. However, if you don’t currently have enough cash on hand, you may consider financing the expense. 

Credit Cards

Credit cards are one option worth considering. However, they work best when you are able to pay off your balance each month. If you carry a balance, you’ll owe interest, often to the tune of 20% or more. Continue carrying a balance, and your interest will compound. In other words, you’ll start to owe interest on your interest, which can send you deeper into debt. 

Personal Loan

Personal loans are another option, and they may offer better interest rates than credit cards. A personal loan allows individuals to borrow a lump sum that can be used for almost any reason, including car repairs. In exchange, you agree to pay back the loan in regular monthly installments with interest. 

Auto Loan Refinance

Finally, you could consider refinancing your auto loan. When you refinance your loan, you pay off your old loan with a new one, preferably with a lower interest rate. A lower rate can help you save money over the life of the loan, and you can use these savings toward auto repair. Look into how much you might save with a car loan refinancing calculator

The Takeaway

The crankshaft sits at the bottom of the motor and helps with the rotational motion that drives the wheels. Signs you may need your crankshaft replaced or repaired include hearing knocking sounds coming from the engine, the engine light turning on, or trouble starting your car.Replacing a crankshaft can be as much as $2,500, with most of that being spent on labor. Options for paying for it include using cash, putting it on a credit card, taking out a personal loan, or choosing to refinance your car loan.If you want to refinance your car, you could consider applying for a cash-out auto loan refinance. With this type of refinance, you’ll get cash back from your loan that you can put toward car repairs.If refinancing is something you’re considering, allow Lantern by SoFi to help. Lantern allows you to compare multiple lenders, including rates and terms, all in one place, with just a single application and no obligation to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I continue driving my vehicle with a damaged crankshaft?
Can a crankshaft be repaired, or does it need to be replaced entirely?
How long does it take to repair or replace a crankshaft?
Does the make and model of the vehicle affect the cost of crankshaft repair or replacement?
Can I attempt to repair the crankshaft myself to save money?
Photo credit: iStock/dragana991

About the Author

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles. He focuses on personal finance, retirement, business, and health care with an eye toward helping others understand complex topics.
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