Search thousands of topics on

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Cars  > Head Gasket Replacement

Head Gasket Replacement Cost

How Much Does Head Gasket Replacement Cost?

average costGasket: $5-$500high costLabor: $375-$960
post E-mail post Post   Comments (4)

A head gasket -- also know as a cylinder-head gasket -- is placed between an engine's cylinder head and engine block to prevent fluids such as oil and coolant from leaking out or unwanted fluids from seeping in. Replacing a head gasket typically requires removal of the valve cover and any associated bolts. In many cases, the thermostat and its gasket are also repaired, and the cylinder head itself may need to be machined or replaced to repair any damage.

Typical costs:

  • Hiring a mechanic to replace a cylinder-head gasket typically costs about $1,000, depending on the labor rate at the shop that performs the work, and if the cylinder head itself needs to be machined or replaced. The cylinder head must be removed, and the thermostat and its gasket are often replaced as part of the repair. In addition, the cylinder head may need to be machined or replaced to repair any cracking or warping. Many shops will also flush the coolant and replace it as well, which can cost about $50-$150. Many shops will include this in the repair cost.
  • Purchased separately, a cylinder-head gasket[1] can cost $5-$500. Higher-priced units are full gasket sets including additional parts, such as seals, and the lower-cost units include only the gasket. Thermostats[2] can cost $30-$75, while thermostat gaskets run from $1 or less to about $15.
  • Expect to pay $75 -$120 per hour for labor, depending on whether the work is performed at a dealership or an independent shop. It depends on the model, but the job can take 5-8 hours. If the cylinder head needs to be machined, that will add extra time.
  • Dealerships typically charge more for repairs not covered by a factory warranty, but their technicians are intimately familiar with the brand of cars and use factory parts. Independent repair shops may charge less, but they may use aftermarket parts, which are manufactured to factory specifications, but are not made by the automaker.
Related articles: Radiator Flush, Flushing a Transmission, Oil Change, Radiator, Towing a Car, Replacing a Transmission

What should be included:
  • The price for a head gasket replacement should include the cost of the gasket or gasket set, coolant, and a thermostat and thermostat gasket if the thermostat is replaced as part of the repair.
  • If possible, it is best to get an estimate before approving any work. However, if the head gasket has "blown" and is leaking coolant, that may not be possible.
Additional costs:
  • In many cases, the thermostat and gasket may be replaced and the coolant may be flushed, although many shops would include this in the price of the job. A coolant flush, if not included, typically costs $50-$145.
  • Some repair shops might off a discount on repairs for regular customers, usually about 10%. For example, some shops offer discounts for AAA members[3] .
  • Replacing a cylinder-head gasket is a difficult job best left to professional mechanics or those with advanced auto-repair experience. Part of the reason for this is that there is always a chance that the head must be machined, which needs to be done by a professional. For those who are skilled enough to attempt the repair at home, a series of videos explains
Shopping for head gasket replacement:
  • The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a non-profit trade group for technicians and other automotive service professionals, has a searchable directory[4] of certified shops.
  • Several online retailers, including Auto Parts Warehouse[5] and J.C. Whitney[6] sell gaskets, gasket sets, and thermostats and gaskets.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (4)
CostHelper News

7 Fireplace and Wood Stove Safety Steps To Do This Week
Gathering around a wood stove or fireplace on a cold winter night can be wonderful experience, but it's crucial to not take basic safety for granted. || Posted November 12 2013

The 4-1-1 on Flu Shots
There are 13 different CDC-approved flu shots available this year. Do you know which one is right for you?To be fair, one is actually an inhaled spray, not a shot, but it is one of the choices. It's restricted to people between the ages of 2 and 49. || Posted November 4 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Head gasket Replacement
Amount: $2,038.64
Posted by: Calderon in Sunnyside, WA.Posted: July 22nd, 2015 01:07PM
Mechanic or Shop: Speck Sunnyside WA
very costly repair I believe we were over charged especially because the repair did not even last 9 months! Specks REFUSED to do anything to remedy the problem! Now there is a young family,a toddler with autism, and a new baby on the way without their family car.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Replacing head gasket
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: Cam13 in fredericksburg, VA.Posted: April 9th, 2015 03:04PM
2002 Jeep Cherokee Laredo
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Head Gasket Replacement
Amount: $1,560.00
Posted by: Praveen Sriram in Durham, NC.Posted: December 17th, 2014 04:12PM
Mechanic or Shop: Crown Honda of Southpoint
Replacing the engine itself is a lot more time consuming and costly!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
PCV System replaced
Amount: $789.00
Posted by: baduch in stamford, CT.Posted: November 19th, 2014 05:11PM
Mechanic or Shop: Volvo of stamford
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


Comment On Your Experience With Head Gasket Replacement
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Mechanic or Shop:   
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.

External Resources:
More Cars Topics
Check Out All Costs for Cars How Much Does Windshield Replacement and Repair Cost? How Much Does Wheel Alignment Cost? How Much Does Replacing a Transmission Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on


Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Angiogram of heart
Paid: 55150.00
Had this procedure done to check heart due to abnormal stress test. Did not need any stents or any other procedure as everything was negative... [more]
-Pamela Garrett
Angiogram Cost
HELP: asbestos in furance - many questions
Paid: 0.00
I am renting out my home in Grand Rapids, MI and have received a notice from the city that the home must be inspected... [more]
Asbestos Removal Cost
Paid: 45.00
The clamp was annoying so it took away concentration of the tiny sting of the needle. I had just turned 15 at the the time and I've had it for almost a year and it has healed fast and never given me any trouble... [more]
Body Piercings Cost
Paid: 3009.00
Single family home... [more]
Ductwork Cost
2 half shafts replaced
Paid: 140.00
Bought the axles myself on ebay for 40 each, then had a mobile mechanic come to my house to do the work. It is not a hard job, but has a couple tricky parts for a subaru. Easier for a honda or toyota... [more]
-Subbie Giy
Replacing a CV Boot Cost
Even with insurance looking at going broke
Paid: 55000.00
Recently on a camping vacation my 11 year old became very sick. Took him to the closest hospital. Found out he is type 1 diabetic. Was very sick and had to be flown from Rock Springs WY, to Salt Lake City, UT. 185 mile on the ground... [more]
-Broke and confused.
Air Ambulance Cost