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CostHelper > Cars  > Head Gasket Replacement

Head Gasket Replacement Cost


How Much Does Head Gasket Replacement Cost?

 
average costGasket: $5-$500high costLabor: $375-$960
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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.
Discounts:
  • 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.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Head Gasket Replacement
Amount: $675.00
Posted by: S. William in Orange County, CA.Posted: September 20th, 2019 05:09PM
Mechanic or Shop: Mechanic
Realistically, $600-$700 is a reasonable amount depending on whether you are paying for parts and labor or just labor; and especially dependent on what other parts you are electing to replace when having the head gasket replaced. I paid $500 for labor and personally purchased the parts on my own. I purchased additional required parts to ensure my car would continue to last once the work was done (cylinder head gasket kit, valve cover gasket, thermostat, timing belt and water pump kit) - however, if you are on a tight budget, you can simply elect to go with the bare minimum and risk your car's engine crapping out again within a matter of months. I was referred to my mechanic by an old friend. Those who paid $1,000 on up were ripped off, sorry to say.
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Head gasket replacement
Amount: $80.00
Posted by: John Russell in Castalian Springs, TN.Posted: June 23rd, 2019 05:06PM
Mechanic or Shop: My self
If they are charging $1000 or more on a old car that’s not sporty, they are ripping you off
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Head job
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Dwght Powell in Grand Cayman, Other.Posted: June 22nd, 2019 07:06PM
7k it took me (18hrs)to do this head job i had to took it to the machine shop clean up engine remove oil pan and strianner also replace water pump and Radiator.$75per hr
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Head gasket replacement
Amount: $680.00
Posted by: travis c davis in Pensacola, FL.Posted: April 15th, 2019 04:04PM
Mechanic or Shop: Mechanic
He's a good friend of mine
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Just did my girl friends s 10 head gasket
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: Ronald langlow in Tacoma, WA.Posted: January 31st, 2019 03:01PM
Mechanic or Shop: 100 to a helper
Got it done in two days runs great .
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Replacing head gasket
Amount: $1,125.00
Posted by: NP_75 in Fairfax, VA.Posted: November 7th, 2017 10:11AM
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Head Gasket Replacement
Amount: $1,100.00
Posted by: Hibby in kansas city, KS.Posted: August 22nd, 2016 07:08AM
Mechanic or Shop: shop
had a blown head gasket replace and repair done
in 2006
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head gasket repair 2007 hhr
Amount: $3,000.00
Posted by: George Pressel in yulee, FL.Posted: June 5th, 2016 11:06PM
Mechanic or Shop: Ron Anderson chev.
Told 2.4 needs head gasket repair listed a ton of parts,car runs fine,blows coolant from over flow tank. 2.4 timing chain kit WAY Out Of Line!!!quoted min.2800.00 plus all extra timing set! And this is a Chev. Dealer
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head gasket replacement
Amount: $1,923.00
Posted by: mike61 in daytona beach, FL.Posted: May 6th, 2016 03:05PM
Mechanic or Shop: honest 1
I think they overcharged. Just hoping they do a good job and it lasts.
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head gasket
Amount: $2,800.00
Posted by: Sara Ah Nee in waipahu, HI.Posted: July 29th, 2015 05:07PM
Mechanic or Shop: midas
The shop said it was only going to take a couple of days but it took a week. They said it was better to put in a new water pump and timing belt. It was quoted at first, 2984.00 and when I told him the other guy told me 2800, he said OK.
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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.
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Replacing head gasket
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: Cam13 in fredericksburg, VA.Posted: April 9th, 2015 03:04PM
2002 Jeep Cherokee Laredo
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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!
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PCV System replaced
Amount: $789.00
Posted by: baduch in stamford, CT.Posted: November 19th, 2014 05:11PM
Mechanic or Shop: Volvo of stamford
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External Resources:
  1.  www.autopartswarehouse.com/search/?N=0&Ntt=cylinder+head+gasket&Nr=AND%28universal...
  2.  www.autopartswarehouse.com/vehicle/2000/bmw/528i/base/6_cyl_2-dot-8l.html?M=dGhlcm...
  3.  www.aaa.com/scripts/WebObjects.dll/ZipCode.woa/wa/route?rclub=065&stop=yes&rurl=ww...
  4.  www.ase.com/Landing-Pages/Car-Owners/Find-a-Repair-Shop/Shop-Locator.aspx
  5.  www.autopartswarehouse.com/vehicle/2000/bmw/528i/base/6_cyl_2-dot-8l.html?M=dGhlcm...
  6.  www.jcwhitney.com/jcwhitney/textsearch_result.jcw?sku=cylinder+head+gasket&shopid=...
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