Car Head Gasket Replacement Cost

Head Gasket Repair Cost

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on November 9, 2020 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

If you are dealing with a blown head gasket in your vehicle, then you might find yourself thinking just how much it will cost to fix it and whether it is even worth it. This is simply among the many repair jobs that seem to end up being required as your automobile ages, so you have to not just take a look at the cost to change the head gasket but also put that in context with your other current and future repair jobs. The typical expense of head gasket repair work is around $1,100 to $2,100.

What Is a Vehicle Head Gasket?

Before you can even think about the head gasket repair work cost, you will have to understand what this vehicle part is. It is a vital part of the engine, linking the engine’s block with its head. It seals both of the engine’s combustion elements. This means that the gasket is accountable for sealing the part where the coolant goes through the engine. It is a method to prevent the engine from getting too hot and to seal the part of the engine where oxygen and fuel mix so your vehicle can move.

There are also a couple of different kinds of head gaskets that you can find in your automobile. The type your car has will affect just how much is the head gasket repair work and the actual head gasket part price.

Multi-layer Steel

The majority of modern-day head gaskets will have multi-layer steel. These are the go-to option of engines that have greater compression rates, especially diesel motors. This kind of gasket will include between 2 and 5 steel layers. They also have flexible compounds. This mix leads to enhanced durability and the capability to endure higher temperatures and compression.


For older models, copper was a popular option for head gaskets. These gaskets are extremely long-lasting as copper is softer compared to basic aluminum or steel. The better aspect of copper is that tightening up the cylinder head will let the copper properly seal the area in between the block and the head, using a dependable gasket.

Although a lot of modern-day automobiles have multi-layer steel gaskets, you can still find copper gaskets in some high-performance automobiles.

You might also like our articles about the cost to fix the rocker arm, radiator fan, or fuel pump.


If your vehicle is older, then it might have a composite head gasket. These are normally made from graphite or asbestos and fell out of popularity for numerous factors. Asbestos is extremely harmful, so if your gasket is made from this material, you should check out how to change a head gasket anyhow. Furthermore, composite gaskets are not as long-lasting as those made from copper or multi-layer steel. As such, these automobiles usually lead to owners asking just how much is a head gasket repair work faster than you’d expect.

Blown Head Gasket Repair Work – What Is a Blown Headgasket?

With the function of the gasket in mind, what does it mean when it blows? It is blown if it no longer seals your engine properly.

A blown gasket can trigger a series of problems, like compression issues in the engine. Those compression problems are most likely to result in the engine getting too hot. There is also the possibility that coolant will leak from your engine’s sides. Sadly, if the coolant does not stay in its designated area, your engine will most likely get too hot and very fast.

What Triggers a Head Gasket to Blow? How to Blow a Head Gasket?

For the most part, when a head gasket is broken, the seal separating the engine block and the cylinder head will stop working, normally due to a physical break. This lets the air and fuel mix leave the cylinder head, leading to a loss of torque and power.

If you do not notice it on time, the oil and coolant might be permitted to get in the engine cylinders. This can cause engine damage that leads to a complete engine replacement, not just the blown head gasket.

The head gasket can stop working for a lot of factors, with wear and tear amongst the most common. You are more likely to have to find how to change the head gasket if your automobile is older due to its wear and tear.

Failures are either internal or external. External issues will show head gasket leaking signs and other noticeable symptoms. Internal problems are less apparent, making it harder to know if your head gasket is blown.

It is also more common to see issues if your vehicle is extremely tuned. That is due to the fact that the boost in working temperature levels, torque, power, and compression contributes to the tension on the automobile. As such, you are more likely to need to repair the head gasket if you have a performance car.

Just how much Does It Cost to Change a Head Gasket?

So with that in mind, it must come as not really a surprise that the expense to change the head gasket will depend upon the make and design of your car, its age, and the degree of wear and tear on the head gasket. There will likely be one expense to repair the head gasket and a different fee to change the head gasket.

With that in mind, the common cost range of a head gasket replacement is somewhere between $1,400 and $1,600. Depending upon the engine, however, this can rise to $2,500.

Why Is the Head Gasket Replacement so Expensive?

Head Gasket FixThe blown head gasket expense is so high because of the labor normally included, in addition to the head gasket part expense. Basically, there are plenty of labor hours needed for the repair.

Basically, the mechanic has to begin by dismantling the whole engine, which takes a lot of time. Then they need to make the fix, and only after that can they put it back together. Putting an engine back together is not an easy job either, as it needs a high level of accuracy. The tiniest mistake in the cylinder timing or other settings can lead to misfires or future issues.

Simply put, the main reason for a “high” cost to replace the head gasket is that you will have to spend for parts, substantial labor, and a high level of training for your mechanic.

To avoid surprises, a lot of mechanics will offer you a head gasket repair work price quote before they actually start. At the minimum, they can offer you the typical expense of head gasket repair work for your specific car.

Just remember that the expense of head gasket repair work might be higher than the quote you get. Your mechanic might find other issues as they change a head gasket. Professional mechanics, nevertheless, will keep you up to date and let you know about other problems that they find that can impact the engine head gasket repair expense.

The Typical Cost of Head Gasket Repair Work Is Less If Caught Early

Just like for a lot of other issues, the price it will cost to change a head gasket when you catch the issue early on will be less for the most part. If you find the issue early, the problem is most likely not going to be as extreme, as it has not yet had time to do any damage to the surrounding parts. As such, you should generally be ready to pay less for a head gasket leak repair than you would for a complete head gasket replacement.

Early repair work is more likely to be about repairing a blown head gasket without changing it. This avoids any oil leakage. It also prevents high consumption manifold replacement.

Remember that the expense to change an engine is more than the expense to fix a leaking head gasket. The engine replacement labor expense is also higher than a dripping head gasket repair.

Other Typical Concerns About The Cost of a Head Gasket

Frequently asked questions

How Do You Know If Your Head Gasket Is Blown? How to Check for Blown Gasket?

The very best answer is to talk to your mechanic. They can take a look at the signs or symptoms of a broken head.

How Much Time Does It Talke To Change a Head Gasket?

It normally takes 2 to 3 days.

Can You Drive an Automobile With a Blown Head Gasket?

It is an awful idea, and your automobile might not even start.

Can You Do a Subaru Head Gasket Replacement by yourself?

This would save you the cylinder head labor cost or cylinder head resurfacing cost, however, changing a head gasket by yourself is pretty difficult. Leave it to the specialists.

How to Repair a Blown Head Gasket For Cheap?

If you do not like the head gasket cost, you might temporarily fix a dripping head gasket with sealant from AutoZone. If you get a fix-seal, nevertheless, it will be short-term.

Now That You Know Just How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Head Gasket, Is It Worth It?

If you have a look at the cost to repair a blown head gasket and feel that the task is too expensive, there are other alternatives available. If your vehicle is otherwise in good shape and fairly new, then you might want to go on with changing the head gasket.

Alec Pow
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