Cracked Engine Block – Now What?

Cracked engine block. Those three little words will send shivers down the spine of any car owner. Just hearing those words immediately makes you think that you are about to pay a ton of money in repair bills. Let’s take a closer look at what this actually means for you and what you can do to lessen the expense.

What Causes a Cracked Engine Block?

Engine blocks are usually made from cast iron or aluminum, and they are designed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle. However, sometimes things happen that cause them to fail. Your coolant and oil circulate through passages inside the engine block, so any cracks in the block can cause a mixture of these fluids or leaks. Neither is good!

So just how does an engine block develop a crack? The most common cause is overheating. If your car is allowed to overheat and operates in extreme temperatures, then the block expands beyond what it is designed to handle. The thinner parts of the block expand more and the thicker parts not as much. This uneven expansion of the metal can cause small cracks to develop that can turn into larger cracks if not addressed and corrected.

Freezing temperatures can also cause engine block cracks, especially if you do not have the proper level of antifreeze in the car. If the passages inside the block are not protected with antifreeze, the water in those passages will freeze and expand. The expansion of that liquid can press against the walls of the passages and cause a cracked engine block.

How to Fix a Cracked Engine Block

Repairing a cracked engine block is no small task. It requires an adept mechanic with the proper tools, and it is typically quite expensive. There are a few ways they can attempt the repair, such as welding, cold metal stitching, cold metal patches, or an engine block sealant. There is no guarantee that the repair will be successful, and you can expect to pay a qualified mechanic anywhere from $50 -- $150 per hour. This type of repair can often take up to 30 hours to complete!

One way to avoid excess repair bills is to stop driving the vehicle as soon as you suspect you may have an issue. Continued driving can lead to additional damage such as a cracked head gasket or blown cylinder heads. The more damage you do, the higher the repair bill will be!

Another option is to contact a car buying service who will buy the vehicle for cash without the need to perform any repairs. These nationwide car buyers will buy your vehicle for cash regardless of its condition. You could then use this money to purchase a new car instead of spending money you may not have on repair bills!


If you suspect your vehicle may have a cracked engine block, then stop driving it immediately until you can get to a mechanic. This can help reduce the chances of doing further damage. While it is possible to repair a cracked block, it can be time-consuming and expensive. If you don’t have the money for that, consider selling your car to a car buying service who will pay you cash even if the car does not run.


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