Costopedia / Automotive / How Much Does a Head Gasket Replacement Cost?

How Much Does a Head Gasket Replacement Cost?

$ Head gasket: $5 - $500 (parts) $ $ Labor: $400 - $1,600+ ($75 - $120 per hour) $ $ $ Professional replacement: $1,000 - $2,500

A head gasket is a part of the engine that’s in charge of connecting the engine block with the cylinder head.

The importance of a head gasket is that it works as a seal, and it’s responsible for maintaining compression to ignite the fuel and contain exhaust gases, keeping oil, coolant, and water out of the combustion chamber, and preventing leaks, keeping these fluids from mixing.

What Can Make A Head Gasket Fail Or Blow?

Head gaskets usually last around 200,000 miles, but they can fail or “blow” due to many reasons like:

  • Engine overheating
  • High pressure.
  • Deterioration over time
  • A manufacturing flaw.
  • Incorrect installation.

An issue with the head gasket can quickly lead to engine issues because the coolant or motor oil leaks into the engine or drains outside.

What Are The Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket?

BuildPriceOption explains in this article that several signs show you have a blown head gasket, which are:

  • Bubbles in the radiator.
  • White exhaust smoke.
  • Loss of pressure in the cooling system.
  • Mixed oil and coolant.
  • Cylinder compression loss.
  • Hard or rough to start.
  • Engine overheating.

What Affects The Costs Of Replacing A Head Gasket?

The costs of replacing a head gasket will depend on many factors like the speed at which the problem is identified, vehicle model, the place you take your car for repair, labor costs, and how much time it takes to replace it.

In many cases, replacing a head gasket will require repairing the thermostat, and the head gasket may need to be machined too, which can affect the price.

The professional replacement of a head gasket can cost $1,000 to $2,500, but purchasing the head gasket separately can cost $5 to $500.

Labor costs are what increase the price of replacing a head gasket, as it can take 10 hours or even two days; labor costs can go from $75 to $120 per hour.

Top Companies

Head gaskets are available at online retailers like Auto Parts Warehouse, J.C. Whitney, and Amazon.

You can get a head gasket replacement at dealerships, independent repair shops, and auto repairs shops like Meineke.

Things To consider

Before Buying

  1. First, you need to check if you have a blown head gasket. Here’s a video by 2CarPros that shows you how to test for a blown head gasket.
  2. It’s necessary to check your car’s manual to know the exact type of head gasket you need so it will match your vehicle.

When Buying

  1. The gasket set, coolant, and thermostat should be included in a professional head gasket replacement price.
  2. DIY head gasket replacement is not often recommended as it’s a tough job and usually requires that the head be machined. But DIY car experts can attempt to do this by themselves. Here’s a video by 1A Auto that shows how to replace a head gasket.

After Buying

  1. Usually, the coolant may be flushed after replacing the head gasket. If it’s not included with the professional replacement, a coolant flush can cost $50 to $150.
  2. If the head gasket damage wasn’t addressed early, it could have damaged the engine, making the final price rise to $3,000 or $4,000 or more.
Giovanna Soto