How Much Does It Cost To Replace ATV Engine? | Hunt or Shred

Whether it's the excessive smoke from the exhaust pipe or startability issues, your ATV engine needs to be replaced as soon as you spot any of these problems.

A typical ATV engine replacement costs somewhere between $500-$700. This includes the cost of basic parts and labor. The lower end of the price range will be applied if you have a 2-stroke ATV whereas, the higher price range is going to be for a 4-stroke ATV engine.

Getting a legitimate Honda engine replacement can cost you up to $2,500 to $4000 in labor and parts costs. This includes everything from replacing simple seals, brake pads, and bearings to completely taking the engine out and re-installing it. In simpler words, the total engine replacement cost depends upon the type of engine, the damage done, and the services required.

A top-end engine replacement procedure includes valve seats, guides, shims, cylinder wall hone, piston rings, de-carbonized combustion chambers, base gaskets, seals, R&R idler guide, and spark plugs getting renewed. Therefore, according to my experience, it's wise to get the engine replaced by an ATV mechanic rather than trying to do Do-It-Yourself. Read on to learn more about the ATV engine replacement costs and signs.

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Signs That Your ATV's Engine Needs Replacement

Did you know that every year around 550 to 650 people end up losing their life in an ATV accident, most of these being a result of an unexpected to engine failure? An ATV is a rugged four-wheel vehicle that can be used for off-road or on-road drives, and so if you own an all-terrain vehicle keeping a maintenance check is always something to consider. Whether it's the valves imprinting into the piston, rod exiting through the side of a crankcase, or any other major/minor ATV-catastrophe, all of the dangerous events can be prevented by knowing the following engine malfunctioning signs of your 4-stroke:

1.      Startability

Does your ATV's engine struggle to start when kicked but easily ignite when the machine is either bumped start or the electric start is used? In all cases, difficulty in engine ignition is a major indicator that the ATVs engine is malfunctioning and needs immediate attention. Though injection or carburetor issues are possible, the cylinder head's existence could be a bigger potential issue.

2.      Excessive Smoke from Exhaust

White smoke from the exhaust pipe soon after ignition of the engine is a major indicator of the engine coolant burning within the combustion chamber of the ATV. Moreover, an ATV cylinder head gasket’s leak can also cause this. On the other hand, blue smoke exiting from the exhaust pipe is a sign of oil burning in the combustion chamber, and that either the piston rings or the valve stem seals may be compromised.

3.      Excessive Noise from the Top End

Although because of several moving components within the engine, audible mechanical noise is always present; however, it takes a special ear to distinguish between what is normal and what's concerning. For example, the metallic chain’s intensity increases when the chains become too loose for the tensioner to keep up with the frictional force. Moreover, the increased intensity of the rhythmic valve train sound can result from the valve faces and valve seats wearing together.

4.      Engine Oil

The ATV's engine composition oil says a lot about what's happening inside the ATV engine. For example, milky-looking engine oil indicates that moisture has been found inside the engine. In contrast, extremely dark-colored such as black oil is an indicator of poor maintenance by the owner and large amounts of combustion byproducts entering the engine’s oil stream because of worn-out piston rings.

5.      Leak Down Testing

Being considered one of the most comprehensive diagnostic procedures, a leak-down test can help you determine the condition of the head gasket, valve seats, valves, cylinder bore, and piston ring. The leak-down test basically pressurizes the engine's combustion chamber. It uses two pressure gauges and the spark plugs to compare the amount of pressure entering into the chamber to that is conserved. To perform the test all you have to do is strategically position a piston on the top dead center of the power stroke. This allows you to trace the air exiting from the combustion chamber towards the piston rings, valves, and head gaskets.

6.      Engine Coolant

Engine coolant highly contaminated with black specs can be a sign of leaking head gasket. This happens during the combustion process when the byproducts due to high pressure are forced into the coolant system, and as a result, black-colored particles can flow black into the engine coolant. You can spot them simply by removing the radiator cap.

7.      Engine Doesn't Idle

When your ATV is running and is left idling, it should normally run at over 500 RPM. However, if the ATV's engine starts cutting out, it could be a primary indicator of either an incorrect mixture of oxygen and fuel or a blocked air filter. Therefore, the quick way to fix the problem is by taking out the air filter, giving it a good blow with compressed air, and refitting it. Remember never to ride your 4-stroke without an air filter, as it can allow grime, dust, and dirt into the engine.

Things You Should Know Before Opting for an ATV Replacement

Though the average cost of an ATV engine replacement is $500-$700, it can be more or less on the basis of the damage done and the labor required. Here are some pointers that you should know before investing in an ATV replacement:

Know How to Protect Your ATV's Engine

ATV engines that haven't been maintained properly tend to break down more easily. This usually happens when the owners forget to change the oil or even keep an eye on the oil level. Although it is considered normal for ATV engines to spill out some amount of oil at higher RPM or speeds, this increases the need to ensure that the high-quality synthetic engine oil is always up to the mark. Moreover, always remember to follow a proper break-in procedure before testing your ATV at a higher speed and never use motor oil as it could damage the gears.

Seek the Help of Professionals

Even if you know a lot about ATV engines, it is always wise to ask a professional for help. However, ATV engine replacement may seem like a doable task due to the hundreds of videos on the internet. Your skills can never meet the standard of expertise of a professional service provider. They are trained to fix all ATV engine malfunctions to get you on the road in no time.

Understand the Costs Involved in the Replacement of Your ATV's Engine

If you are blind about the costs of involvement in an ATV engine replacement process, there's a high chance that you could end up paying more than what's required. Typically ATV service centers charge the customers upfront cost of the parts and an hourly charge if the entire engine needs rebuilt. The hourly cost may vary from $50-$100 based on the damage done.

Turnaround Time for an ATV Engine Rebuild

The average turnaround time of an ATV engine rebuilt depends upon the type and age of the engine. However, generally, it takes 4 to 6 weeks for a professional to rebuild your ATV's engine completely.

Tips to Increase the Life of Your ATV

Here are some tips and tricks to increase the longevity of your ATV:

●      Follow the break-in procedure

●      Take your ATV for a routinely wash

●      Check/change the engine oil and brake oil

●      Keep the air filter clean

●      Mind the coolant level

●      Check the belt

●      Monitor the nuts, bolts, and boots

Want your ATV to last forever? Don't forget to keep it in tip-top condition!




29 years old. I'm from Texas. I've been riding ATV's for the last couple years here in TX. I'm learning a lot about this hobby right along side you.

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