If you own a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the engine has failed or is showing signs of significant wear, a replacement may be necessary. But how much does it cost to replace the engine in a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee? Let’s dive into the key factors that impact engine replacement costs and how to get the job done more affordably.
Replacing an engine is one of the most complex and expensive repairs for any vehicle. But when faced with major engine issues, it is often cheaper to replace the engine altogether rather than replacing the SUV.
With professional installation and the right parts, a new or quality used engine can restore your Grand Cherokee to like-new performance and add years of additional longevity.
In this detailed guide we’ll cover:
- The main engine options for the 2011 Grand Cherokee and their specs
- Key variables that affect replacement costs
- Cost estimates for used, remanufactured, and new OEM crate engines
- Ways to reduce engine replacement costs
- Additional parts and repairs to factor into your budget
- Pros and cons of replacing the engine versus selling the vehicle
By the end of this article, you’ll have a much better understanding of realistic 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine replacement cost ranges and how to get this major repair done affordably.
Table of Contents
Main Engine Options for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee came equipped with two main engine choices from the factory:
3.6L V6 Pentastar
- 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft torque
- All-aluminum construction
- Variable valve timing
5.7L V8 Hemi
- 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft torque
- Iron block, aluminum heads
- Fuel saver technology to deactivate cylinders
The V8 Hemi engine will typically cost more to replace due to higher parts prices and increased labor for the larger displacement engine. But there are also more used and remanufactured options available compared to the newer Pentastar V6.
What Impacts 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Engine Replacement Cost?
There are several key factors that influence the overall engine replacement cost:
Type of Replacement Engine
The condition and source of the replacement engine make a big difference in the parts cost:
- Used/salvage engines – The cheapest option but higher risk. Around $1000-$2000 plus installation.
- Remanufactured engines – Professionally rebuilt to spec. Cost $2500-$4000.
- New OEM crate engine – Most expensive at $5000-$6000 but like new.
Ideally you want an engine with lower miles that comes with some sort of limited warranty on parts and workmanship.
Where You Get The Replacement Engine
There are several options for sourcing replacement Grand Cherokee engines:
- Auto salvage yards – Used engines removed from damaged vehicles. Lower cost but more unknowns. Inspect carefully before purchasing.
- Independent remanufacturers – Professionally rebuild used engines or manufacture new replacement engines. Higher quality standards than salvage yards. Many offer warranties.
- Dealerships – Most expensive option but you’re getting an OEM new crate engine made to Jeep’s specifications.
Pricing can vary greatly between providers, so search thoroughly and get quotes from multiple suppliers before deciding.
OEM vs Aftermarket Replacement Parts
While aftermarket engine parts are cheaper, sticking with OEM components for critical items like heads, pistons, crankshaft and timing components ensures the highest quality replacement and helps maintain resale value.
You can save money on accessories like alternators, water pumps and starter motors with aftermarket parts. Just be cautious of really cheap no-name knockoffs.
Labor Costs and Replacement Time
The typical book time for an engine R&R (removal and replacement) on a Grand Cherokee is around 20-24 hours. This can increase to 30+ hours if there are complications or additional repairs needed.
Independent mechanics will charge $70-90 per hour, while dealership rates are typically over $100/hr. This labor cost difference of $1000 or more is a major factor in the total engine replacement cost.
Additional Parts and Materials
Beyond the engine itself, you need to account for other components like:
- Engine mounts
- Replacement fluids (oil, coolant, transmission fluid)
- Any damaged hoses, belts, sensors or wiring
- Miscellaneous nuts/bolts, shop supplies
These extra parts and materials will typically add at least a few hundred dollars, possibly more if other damaged related components are uncovered.
Cost Range Estimates for 2011 Grand Cherokee Engine Swaps
Now that we’ve covered the major factors impacting engine replacement costs, what are typical price ranges?
Used Engine from a Salvage Yard
For a used engine sourced from a salvage yard, $1000-2000 is typical for an engine with 80,000 miles or less. Make sure a shop you trust inspects the engine before purchasing to check for damage or wear issues.
With 20 hours of labor at $70/hr, you’re looking at $1400-1600 for installation. Plus $500 or more for related gaskets, hardware, fluids, etc.
The total for a used engine replacement would be around $3000 or less if you get a good deal on a salvage engine and utilize an independent mechanic.
For a professionally remanufactured engine with a warranty, expect to pay $2500-4000 depending on the remanufacturer’s standards.
Add similar 20+ hours of labor and other materials, you’ll end up in the $4000-5500 range for a quality remanufactured Grand Cherokee engine replacement.
New OEM Engine from Dealer
Getting a brand new OEM crate engine from the dealer is the most expensive option, but gives you essentially a zero mile engine. Expect to pay $5000-6000 just for the engine from the dealer.
With $2000+ for installation labor at dealer rates and other parts costs, you’ll end up over $7000 total for this OEM engine replacement route.
Additional Costs to Factor Into Your 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Engine Replacement Budget
Beyond just the engine itself, here are some additional costs and repairs to keep in mind:
Engine Customization or Performance Upgrades
If you’re modifying the engine or adding any performance upgrades like a more aggressive camshaft, forced induction, etc – this will drive up parts and tuning costs substantially. A custom engine build can easily double the total cost.
Diagnosing and Fixing Problems that Caused Original Engine Failure
If the original engine failed due to issues like coolant leaks, oil sludge, or timing component wear – those root causes need to be properly diagnosed and fixed or you’ll likely have the same problems. Expect added diagnostic time and parts/repair costs.
Additional Repairs Needed
When doing an engine R&R, mechanics will inspect other components. If the radiator, sensors, or exhaust manifolds need replacement, that adds more in parts and labor. Factor in a contingency fund in case repairs spiral beyond just the engine itself.
Extended Labor Times
While 20-24 hours is typical for a straightforward Grand Cherokee engine swap, issues can arise during disassembly that add hours or even days to the book time estimate. This labor overage directly impacts the total cost.
Tips for Reducing 2011 Grand Cherokee Engine Replacement Cost
Here are some tips to help reduce engine replacement costs:
- Shop around for the best deal on replacement engines and get quotes from multiple mechanics.
- Consider a used engine, but have it compression and leakdown tested before purchasing.
- Negotiate pricing – both on labor rates and the replacement engine cost.
- Supply any parts you can source cheaper yourself.
- Only use OEM internals like heads, pistons, crank, and camshaft to maintain reliability.
- Ask if the mechanic will waive the diagnosis fee if you end up doing the repair.
Finding a trustworthy independent mechanic you can develop a rapport with will give you the most cost savings versus taking it to the dealer. A little research and diligence finding good engine and shop options can potentially save thousands on your Grand Cherokee engine swap.
Pros and Cons of Replacing the Engine vs Selling the Vehicle
While engine replacement keeps your current Grand Cherokee on the road, there are also arguments for unloading it as-is and putting the money towards a newer used vehicle. Here are some pros and cons to weigh:
Pros of Engine Replacement
- Often cheaper than replacing the entire vehicle
- Restore engine to like-new performance and longevity
- Avoid depreciation cost of a new vehicle purchase
- Improve reliability of a well-maintained high mileage vehicle
- Increased resale value with a new engine
Cons of Engine Replacement
- Significant downtime during the 1-2 weeks for repair
- No guarantee other components like transmission won’t fail later
- Could invest that money into a newer, more efficient vehicle
- Unknown maintenance history on a used replacement engine
- Still have an aging 11+ year old vehicle after swap
For many Grand Cherokee owners, the ability to keep their well-maintained SUV at a fraction of replacement cost makes engine swap a smart money choice. But weigh your own pros and cons carefully before deciding.
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Engine Replacement Cost – The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that a full engine replacement for a 2011 Grand Cherokee will typically cost $3000 or more for a used engine, closer to $5000 for a remanufactured engine, and over $7000 if going with a new OEM crate engine.
However, there are ways to reduce costs like finding a quality used engine, comparing quotes between shops, negotiating pricing, and sourcing your own parts. With some diligence you can potentially save thousands compared to paying full dealer pricing.
If faced with major engine problems in your 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, don’t immediately think it’s worthless and jump into a new vehicle. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of replacement versus repair. An engine swap conducted by a qualified mechanic can give your Grand Cherokee years of additional reliable life at a fraction of replacement cost.
Replacing the engine in a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a major endeavor, but when faced with engine failure the repair cost can be tens of thousands less than getting a new vehicle.
The key factors that influence overall replacement expense are the type of engine purchased, where it’s sourced from, labor rates, and your mechanic’s skill and efficiency.
With some research and shopping around, you can reduce engine replacement costs substantially compared to paying full retail at a dealership. Weigh the pros and cons carefully for your situation before deciding whether to repair or replace your aging Grand Cherokee.