Can I recycle my engine block?

This article discusses whether an automobile’s engine block can be recycled, in order to reduce the waste generated in the process. We discuss the various components in an engine block and the method by which they can be recycled.

Can I recycle my engine block?

Yes, you can recycle your engine block. The machinery is mostly made out of metals such as steel and aluminium, which can be sold for scrap and fetch a decent amount of money.

Preparing the engine for recycling

Before you take your engine to a recycling part, there are some important steps to carry out before doing so. This is to be done in order to ensure that the engine block is primed and ready for the recycling plant. The steps are:

  • Draining the Fluids
  • Removing Smaller Components

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Draining the fluids

Draining the fluids from the engine block is the first stage in engine recycling. Motor oil, antifreeze, and petrol are among the fluids found in car engines. 

These fluids include a variety of toxic substances that are potentially detrimental to the environment and must be properly disposed of.

It’s critical to ensure that these toxins are safely eliminated by skilled personnel when recycling an engine. As a result, you should take your engine block to a car repair so that the fluids may be drained before the engine is recycled.

Removing smaller components

The removal of smaller components from the engine is the next step in the engine recycling process. 

Small engine components composed of precious materials, such as alternators, compressors, and ignition system elements, should be removed before the remainder of the engine is recycled.

You may hire an auto technician to assist you in removing all of these minor components and transporting them to a recycling or remanufacturing facility.

These parts may be recycled for raw materials (usually aluminium or cast iron), reconditioned, or sold and utilised on another vehicle, depending on their condition.

How to recycle an engine block

In order to recycle the engine, you would first need to remove it from the scrap car, disconnect all the connections, clean up, and then prepare it for recycling. Given below are the steps one should follow before giving the engine block for recycling.

Disconnecting the engine block

Remove the hood and any connections or bolts before lifting the engine out of the engine compartment with an engine hoist or cherry picker.

After the engine oil and coolant have been emptied, separate containers should be used for recycling. Remove the intake, exhaust, and coolant lines from the system.

The engine blocks, which are normally made of aluminium, are usually made of steel. It may be feasible to obtain something from your current location, but you will always make more money if you can obtain it yourself. They are accepted for scrapping by the majority of scrap yards.

Removing the car engine and motor oil

The first step is to take the hood off and unhook the battery. The next step is to drain all of your engine’s fluids. In step 3, disconnect the intake, coolant lines, radiator, and exhaust pipe.

Disconnect the accessories and hoses in the fourth step. Lastly, you must disconnect all wires and cords that are attached to the engine.

Motor oil recycling is included in the company’s recycling activities. CalRecycle, for example, accredits used oil collection locations around the state in order to promote the recycling of old motor oil. 

Used motor oil collected by approved used oil collection sites will be worth 40 cents per gallon. At a time, the average centre will take five gallons.

Scrapping an engine

In some cases, when there is not a suitable option available when it comes to recycling the engine block, your only option is to scrap the engine. It’s alright to throw it out right now.

Everything has a set price. Scrapping engines, either to a yard or to tinkerers willing to spend the effort to restore and sell them, has been a tradition for years. Engines are used to crush scrap automobiles in order to extract aluminium.

The price of a small block engine is determined on the model you select. The cost of a long block engine varies depending on the manufacturer.

Alternate uses for an engine block

In some cases, if your engine block can still perform optimally, you can repurpose it for other uses. Some of the places where an engine block can come handy are:

  • Air boats
  • Long-tail boats
  • Large water pumps
  • Tractor engines
  • Chainsaws
  • Motor cycles

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Air boats

An airboat, also known as a planeboat, swamp boat, bayou boat, or fanboat, is a flat-bottomed watercraft driven by an aircraft or car engine and propelled by an aircraft-type propeller. 

Fishing, bowfishing, hunting, and ecotourism are all typical uses for them.

Airboats are popular in marshy and/or shallow regions where a typical inboard or outboard motor with a submerged propeller would be impracticable, such as the Florida Everglades, the Kissimmee and St. Johns rivers, the Mekong River and Delta, as well as the Louisiana bayous and Mesopotamian Marshes.

Long-tail boats

The long-tail boat is a form of Southeast Asian watercraft that utilises a standard car engine as a reliable and easy-to-maintain powertrain.

A lightweight long canoe hull, up to 30 metres long, and a canopy may be included in a craft meant to transport passengers on a river.

The only distinctive feature of these boats is a second-hand automobile or truck engine. Some have grown from conventional ship forms, while others have a more improvised look—the only defining feature is a second-hand car or truck engine.

Tourists are now frequently transported by long-tail boats. In several Thai areas, there are additional tournaments featuring long-tail boats.

Large water pumps

Some water pumps can incorporate a car engine block. This is especially useful for larger water pumps that typically have a high value of flow rate.

One of the disadvantages of doing so is that these water pumps require a constant RPM value, which may not be feasible for an automobile engine block.

Tractor engines

For people that have a tractor, using a car engine with a similar output than that of the tractor engine can help to get the job done when the tractor engine is beyond repairs.

Although doing so would require a significant amount of investment, it would still be ideal rather than to invest in a new tractor engine altogether.


Some chainsaws, such as the V8 and the V12 chainsaws, repurpose a car engine or the engine of a powerful bike (eg.: Harley Davidson).

An advantage of doing so is that due to the high RPM (revolutions per minute) supplied by the engine block, the chainsaws perform with a higher efficiency.

This is commonly seen in lumber companies that require a high output of lumber in a relatively shorter amount of time.

Motor cycles

Motorcycles, particularly cruisers, can also make use of a car engine block, especially the V8. An eight-cylinder piston engine with a common crankshaft and cylinders arranged in a V shape is known as a V8 engine.

The earliest known operational V8 engine was built by the French firm Antoinette in 1904, but the American Cadillac L-Head engine, which was produced in substantial quantities from 1914 until 1935, is regarded the first automobile V8 engine. 

Following the debut of the Ford Flathead V8 in 1932, the popularity of V8 engines in automobiles skyrocketed. Renault and Buchet commenced small-scale manufacture of V8 engines for use in race vehicles.

Nowadays, the V8 engine has started to gain a lot of popularity amongst motorcycle enthusiasts, as it provides a higher power output than that of a conventional bike engine.


An engine block from an automobile can be recycled. The machinery is mostly made out of metals such as steel and aluminium, which can be sold for scrap and fetch a decent amount of money.

However, if the engine is still in a working condition, it can be repurposed for a variety of uses, as an air boat, a long-tail boat, larger water pumps, tractor engines, motorcycle engines, chainsaws, and even in snow blowers.


What is the most expensive part on a car to scrap?

The engine is one of the most valuable pieces of an automobile to scrap. Because replacing an automobile engine may be somewhat costly, many people turn to the used market to obtain what they want. 

The same may be said for transmissions. If your engine is still in good working order, it may be a simple sell to someone in need of a replacement.

Even though your engine is no longer functional, it can still be of use to you. They are frequently trashed for their aluminium content. 

Because aluminium is more precious than steel, don’t throw away any aluminium from your old automobile. Although engines are useful, they do need some planning ahead of time. 

You’ll need to remove the engine, drain the fluids, and take the engine to the junkyard if you’re not selling the car as a whole. A technician could be the best person to help you with this.

Sell your engine to rebuilders or remanufacturers if repairs can bring it back to life. The firm will repair and sell your engine if it passes examination.

These engines are less expensive than brand new OEMs since they are technically used. As a result, they’re quite popular among those looking to replace their engines.

You can still get money from your engine’s metal parts even if it’s entirely dead. Aluminum components, such as engine blocks and heads, are found in most engines. Aluminum is also more valuable than steel.

Why are engine blocks not made of steel?

Heat just does not flow as rapidly through iron. The fundamental issue with aluminium is that metal degrades fast as a function of temperature. 

At room temperature, the strength of an iron and aluminium engine block may be fairly similar (because the aluminium block will be thicker in key areas).

What is the maximum profit to scrap a car?

If you want to get the most money from scrapping your automobile, sell the pieces first, then the remaining shell for scrap metal. The automobile audio, the car’s engine, gearbox, windows, mirrors, doors, and windshield wipers are all easy to sell and will quickly double or quadruple your money.


Leave a Comment