There are a lot of parts that are very important in our car. Most of them are found in the car’s engine. All of these parts have different purposes but works together as a team to perform a specific task. If one of these parts is broken, the system will not work properly and would even damage other parts. One example for this is the head gasket.
Also known as the cylinder-head gasket, the head gasket is the seal found between your engine block and cylinder head. The use of the head gasket is to keep the coolant of your engine in the water jacket and the gasses of the combustion attached properly to the exhaust of your car. It is sometimes in single or multiple layers. It also prevents engine oil, the coolant of your engine, and different combustion gasses from escaping from your car’s engine. Just like any other parts, head gaskets can fail overtime and needs replacement. So how much does head gasket cost?
Average Head Gasket Price
Many professionals recommend replacing your head gasket every 100,000 miles. But that is only when you properly maintain the engine oil and engine coolant. Usually, when you repair your head gasket, its thermostat is also included in the repair.
Head gasket replacement cost when you hire a professional auto mechanic would run around $1,000. Of course, the price depends on many factors. One of the factors is the labor rate in your area. The type of work also affects the cost, whether your head gasket is going to be machined or going to be replaced. The price also includes replacing the thermostat and its gasket as part of the whole service. If your head gasket has minor damages, it may only need to be machined and not replaced. But if it has severe damages, replacing it is the only solution. Some auto repair shops include in the flushing and replacement of the coolant in the overall price package.
If you want to buy only the head gasket only, head gasket price would run around $5 up to $500. The price depends on its inclusions. Most of the units that have a high price are usually full gasket sets. It also includes additional parts for your head gasket like seals. Most of the time, only the gasket is included in a low priced unit.
You will still need to hire a professional to replace your old gasket with the new one you bought. Usually, the head gasket replacement cost for this one would run around $75 up to $120 per hour for the labor. The price also depends if you avail the service at a dealership or at an independent shop. Usually, it would take 5 up to 8 hours for the replacement of the head gasket to finish. It also depends on the model of your car. If your head gasket requires being machined, it will add more time to the overall process.
Mentioned above, thermostat and its gasket should also be replaced. It will cost you around $30 up to $75 for a new thermostat and around $1 up to $15 for its gasket.
If you want to lower your expenditure, you can avail it at an independent auto repair shop. You should bear in mind that independent shops use aftermarket parts. This means that the parts they are using are not made by the original automaker. Availing in a dealership will cost you more. But it is ensured that their staff have all the knowledge about the different parts that are to be used on different cars.
Some auto repair shops will include flushing and replacement of the engine coolant. But there are a few shops which doesn’t include, which is why you need to be particular about this. You will get to spend around $50 up to $145 for a coolant flush.
Ways to Save Money
- If you are a regular customer of the shop you are availing, they might give you a 10% discount.
- Most auto repair shops offers discounts for members of AAA or CAA. AAA or American Automobile Association is an association that provides services to its members. One of its services is Roadside assistance. If you want to join the club, you can find one near your area when you visit AAA’s official website.
- The process of replacing your head gasket is very complicated. It is best to let the professionals do the work for you, especially if your head gasket needs to be machined. If you have the required skill and knowledge about auto repair, you can do the job by yourself. Bear in mind that this is a very risky move. Mobil Oil has the complete guide on how to replace your head gasket.
- Always ask for an estimate before you avail any service. You should also know that there will be times where the head gasket is severely damaged or blown. This means you need to avail the service as soon as possible.
Now that you have an idea on how much does head gasket cost, you should also have an idea on the things or activities that are included in the package.
If they include coolant flushing, the price of the coolant should also be included in the overall package. It is very important that the thermostat and the gasket to be replaced are included as in the package.
Do not drive whenever you have a blown gasket. It is very dangerous for your engine. Even if your head gasket only has minor damages, your engine is still at risk. Driving with a damaged head gasket would result in the overheating of your car. It will also result in complete failure in your head gasket, cylinder head, engine block or worst, those three combined. If you have a blown gasket, the best way is to first tow your car to the nearest auto repair shop.
Why is There a Failure of a Head Gasket?
The cooling cycles and heating cycles of your engine are the number one cause of warping of your engine block and the head gasket. This will happen sooner or later. Because of this, the warping of the engine block and head gasket makes them to not perfectly fit together. The result of this warping would be a gap in the head gasket that will lead to a leak. Overheating of the engine means you are regularly using your car in its maximum capacity. If you always use your car to its maximum capacity, it will result in an early failure of the head gasket.
How to Diagnose Your Head Gasket?
You might need a professional to diagnose your head gasket, especially when you notice that there is an engine oil found in the reservoir of your engine coolant or the radiator. You should also let it diagnose when you found engine coolant (usually red, green or yellow) on the dipstick of your engine oil and if your head gasket is already leaking engine coolant or oil.
Technicians will use proper testing equipment when diagnosing your head gasket. The technician will then report to the shop on what is the result of the diagnosis. The shop will be the one to determine if your cylinder-head gasket is still flat and intact. They will also be the one to decide if your head gasket needs to be replaced or not.