There are two types of engines in vehicles known as short or long blocks. Both the engines usually are similar in size and the only difference they carry is the number of components they carry. As their name suggests short block engines have less number of components and large block engines have more components consisting of all the parts of the short block package. To the skeleton that is the short block, it adds a cylinder head, camshaft, and valve train.

A crate engine is shipped from the manufacturer which comes with the installer in a crate. The long block, a turn key engine package usually includes a throttle pedal, spark plugs and other bits & pieces which comes handy while installing the engine. If you buy your engine from an independent dealer, you must have an idea what all will be included in a short block vs long block engine package so you do not end up with unnecessary replacements.

Short Block Engine

It is usually determined by the bottom end of the vehicle’s engine. It consists of many critical parts of the engine like pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft etc. Every company has different short block engines because of different automotive parts, some short blocks may come with camshafts and timing belts. However, all short blocks need some additional parts such as gaskets, cylinder heads, & oil pumps which have to be purchased separately as they don’t come with the engines.

Long Block Engine

It can be defined as the complete version of a short block. It comes with a valve train, camshaft, & cylinder head etc. Well companies define a long block engine as the complete package but it’s not. It doesn’t include many important parts like fuel system, intake & exhaust manifolds, or other electrical components. So, if you are looking to completely replace the car’s engine we suggest to order a “turn-key” engine.


Less number of components, less the price. A short block engine is cheaper than its nemesis long block engine. A long block engine cost anything in between $1500, & $5000. This price also depends on the make, model & year of the car for which it is made and especially designed. For less known car engines you need to pay a lot of money.

On the other hand, a short block engine requires additional components which already are a part of a long block. The short block engine also requires more installation time and price as different components needs to be match and fitted which eventually increases the labour cost.


Warranties on long blocks are for much longer time and more extensive as compared to short block engines. But the warranties only cover the parts included in the original purchase, the additional components installed on a short block are not covered. The warranty on both the engines doesn’t cover the faulty parts fittings. The company suggests to hire a professional and experienced mechanic for any of the engine fitting & installation.

Choosing the Right Engine for Your Car

If you are completely looking to change the vehicle’s engine then a long block engine offers more reliable & efficient performance. Most of the cars come with long block engines so it is easy to re-install a new one in the car with minimum replacement costs and the fear of getting the parts damaged.

As with other sub-assembled auto parts, not all long blocks work well with every make & model of your vehicle. You need to ensure the long block compatibility with your car for a seamless performance.

With a short block engine you have some external choice to add parts which can be beneficial for your car. You can invest in external quality parts to make your short block engine to perform in a much efficient way. For instance, a short block engine doesn’t come with a preinstalled cylinder head which allows the owner to add whichever head fits the performance you would like. You can easily replace the external parts if they are damaged which is not possible in check long block engines.


Now with the idea of both short block and long block engines you can find the right fit for your car. We suggest comparing both the engines with keeping your car & budget in mind, this will help you find the right engine for your car. It would be perfect if you were able to know why your engine failed in the place so you know which engine to go for.