LTO Vehicle Modification Guide: Changing the engine unit

LTO Vehicle Modification Guide: Changing the engine

Out of all the different types of vehicle modifications, engine modification seems to be the most tricky one. A car’s engine unit is like its heart, and changing it would be a lot more tricky and expensive than the rest.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Do all the LTO offices nationwide accept engine change applications?

    No, therefore it is recommended to check with the LTO branch before leaving to apply.
  • How much does it cost to get an engine changed in the Philippines?

    It all depends on the type of engine you are picking (new, used, or donated) along with the unit’s type, condition, power configuration, transmission etc. How much fee does the LTO charge from an engine change applicant? PHP 100 along with other fees.
  • Can you modify your car in the Philippines?

    Yes, an interested owner can make several changes at once, however, they need to first declare the change with the LTO by applying.
  • Though not prohibited, changing a car’s engine - be it the entire unit or a few basic components, first requires you to procure a Certificate of Road Safety from the manufacturer along with a thorough inspection by an LTO officer for possible reclassification. You see, the LTO permits engine modifications as long as there is no change in the vehicle’s classification.

    Also, changing or modifying the engine would impact the car’s performance and therefore LTO’s rule book will only permit it in the cases where road safety (both for the driver and others on the road) is not compromised.

    LTO Vehicle Modification Guide: Changing the engine

     

    In short, a vehicle has to check the following boxes to proceed with engine change -

    • It meets the standards of approved parameters
    • No change in the vehicle’s classification
    • It does not compromise road safety
    • Certificate of Road Safety is presented
    • Clears LTO inspection
    • Application for permit is duly accomplished

    If you are wondering what is the need to change a motor vehicle’s engine? Well, it allows the owner to customize the vehicle as per his/her preference and needs. However, as mentioned above, it is one of the most difficult modifications and requires different approaches based on the engine type - new, rebuilt, or taken from a donor car. Also, a lot depends on the make and model of the vehicle which will undergo engine change.

    Also Read: LTO vehicle modification guide: Transforming your vehicle's colour

    Benefits of changing the engine of a vehicle

    The decision to swap the engine of a vehicle is taken by a driver only after thorough study and consultation along with considering several benefits. A few of them are -

    • The revised vehicle’s speed and performance will be as per the owner
    • A new/better engine means better resale value
    • A new engine will give the vehicle a new life and it is cheaper compared to buying a new car
    • Makes the car safer, as new motors and parts will ensure better performance
    • Increased the vehicle’s lifespan

    Qualification to change vehicle’s engine

    There are certain eligibility criteria a car owner must meet before he/she decides to modify/change the vehicle’s engine unit. Included in the eligibility criteria list are -

    • The concerned vehicle must be registered with the LTO
    • Interested car owners must be ready with all the required documentation which needs to be submitted
    • Interested car owners must be able to pay all relevant LTO fees

    LTO Vehicle Modification Guide: Changing the engine

    Documents required to change a vehicle’s engine

    As mentioned, whenever an owner decides to make changes to his/her car that would bring modifications to the original model, such changes must be first permitted by the LTO. Therefore, engine swapping also requires a car owner to inform the authorities about the revisions he/she is planning.

    Now, by informing, we mean applying for the change via an application process which remains the same for all types of vehicle modifications. The said process requires the submission of certain documents which include -

    • Certificate of Registration(CR)/ Certificate of Registration-Encumbered (CRE) with conformity from the financing company interposing no objection to the engine change - Original & one photocopy
    • Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate - Original
    • Special Bank Receipt
    • Macro-etching report
    • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (duly accomplished)
    • Appropriate insurance Certificate of Cover (COC)/ Endorsement of insurance -
    • LTO Copy or electronically transmitted
    • Certificate of Stock Reported and Sales Invoice

    While the above-mentioned requirements remain common for all vehicle modification application processes, here are a few additional requirements

    • Joint Affidavit of Change of Change Engine by owner - Original
    • Official Receipt of Motor Vehicle User Change
    • Official Receipt of other LTO fee payments
    • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
    • Deed of sale/Deed of donation of engine (if the unit is sourced from a registered motor vehicle from a different owner/entity)
    • LTFRB electronic confirmation (for-hire)

    LTO vehicle modification guide:

    Motor vehicle engine change application process at the LTO

    To change/modify the engine of a motor vehicle, the owner is required to first apply at the LTO. Like all other LTO transactions, this one too is pretty straightforward and requires the owner to follow the below-mentioned test and submission of required documents. Here is a step-by-step guide -

    Step 1: Head to your nearest LTO office
    Step 2: Get the queue number from the person in charge and wait for your turn
    Step 3: Proceed to the transaction counter when your queue number is announced
    Step 4: Submit the required documents for evaluation and computation of the fees
    Step 5: Get your vehicle inspected with a duly accomplished Motor Vehicle Inspection Report
    Step 6: Proceed to the cashier window with the MVIR and wait for your number to be called
    Step 7: Pay the fee and get your Official Receipt
    Step 8: Head towards the Releasing Counter
    Step 9: Present the OR at the counter and collect your new Certificate of Registration, plates, stickers, and other documents
    Step 10: Before leaving, sign the CR logbook

    Also Read: Everything you need to know about car title transfer in the Philippines

    LTO vehicle engine change application fees

    Apart from following the application process at the LTO, an applicant needs to pay the necessary fees to be able to make the required modifications to his/her vehicle. So, that would be the PHP 100 engine change fee along with other mandatory LTO fees.

    Important things to remember

    • An engine change is only possible if the new unit is compatible with the concerned vehicle in the following areas - cylinder configuration, fuel choice, cylinder layout
    • The inspection procedure carried out at LTO is done to ensure the safety of the owner and others and comes with a fees
    • Changing the engine of a vehicle is an optional procedure and can be performed at any of the LTO offices

    LTO Vehicle Modification Guide: Changing the engine

    Bottom line

    Changing the engine of a motor vehicle is a typical choice, however, car owners opt for it as it is an easy and less expensive option over buying a new car. Though permissible by LTO, swapping the engine requires payment of several fees, submission of documents, and filing of an application.

    Also Read: LTO Vehicle Modification Guide: Transforming your vehicle's body

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