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Head Gasket Repair Cost – How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Headgasket?

Is a Blown Head Gasket Worth Fixing

If you are dealing with a blown head gasket in your auto, then you may find yourself wondering how much it will cost to repair and whether it is even worth it. This is just one of the many repairs that seem to become necessary as your car ages, so you need to not only look at the cost to replace the head gasket but also put that in context with your other recent and future repairs. The average cost of head gasket repair is around $1,100 to $2,100. 

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What Is a Car Gasket?

Before you can even consider the head gasket repair price, you need to understand what this car part is. It is a crucial part of the engine, connecting the engine’s block with its head. It seals both of the engine’s combustion aspects. This means that the gasket is responsible for sealing off the part where the coolant travels through the engine. It is a way to prevent overheating and to seal the part of the engine where oxygen and fuel combine so your car can move.

There are also a few different types of head gaskets that you may find in your vehicle. The type your auto has will influence how much is a head gasket repair, the head gasket part cost, and the head gasket repair cost, including labor.

head gasket repair cost

Multi-layer Steel

Most modern head gaskets will feature multi-layer steel. These are the go-to choice of engines that have higher compression rates, including diesel motors. This type of gasket will feature between two and five steel layers. They also have elastic compounds. This combination results in improved durability and the ability to withstand high temperatures and compression.


Traditionally, copper was a popular choice for head gaskets. These gaskets are highly durable as copper is softer compared to regular aluminum or steel. The great thing about copper is that tightening the cylinder head will let the copper correctly seal the space between the block and the head, offering a reliable gasket.

Although most modern autos have multi-layer steel gaskets, you can still find copper gaskets in some high-performance vehicles.


If your car is older, then it may have a composite head gasket. These are usually made from graphite or asbestos and fell out of popularity for multiple reasons. Asbestos is highly toxic, so if your gasket is made of this material, you should look into how to replace a head gasket anyway. Additionally, composite gaskets are not as durable as those made from copper or multi-layer steel. As such, these vehicles typically lead to owners asking how much is a head gasket repair sooner rather than later.
Head Gasket Replacement

Blown Head Gasket Repair – What Is a Blown Headgasket?

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

A blown gasket can cause a series of issues, including compression problems in the engine. Those compression issues are likely to lead to overheating. There is also the chance that coolant will leak from your engine’s sides. Unfortunately, if the coolant does not remain in its designated spot, your engine will probably quickly overheat.

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

In most cases, when a head gasket is broken, the seal separating the engine block and the cylinder head will stop working, typically due to a physical break. This lets the air and fuel mixture leave the cylinder head, resulting in a loss of torque and power.

If you do not catch it on time, the oil and coolant may be allowed to enter the engine cylinders. This can potentially lead to engine damage that requires a full engine replacement, not just the blown head gasket.

The head gasket can fail for various reasons, with wear and tear among the most common. You are more likely need to learn how to replace the head gasket if your car is older due to this wear and tear.

Failures are either internal or external. External problems show head gasket leaking symptoms and other visible signs. Internal issues are less obvious, making it harder on how to tell if your headgasket is blown.

It is also more common to notice problems if your car is highly tuned. That is because the increase in working temperatures, torque, power, and compression adds to the stress on the vehicle. As such, you are more likely to need to find the cost to fix the head gasket if you have a performance auto.

head gasket repair cost

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Head Gasket?

How Much

So with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the cost to replace the headgasket will depend on the make and model of your vehicle, its age, and the extent of the issues with the head gasket. There will likely be one cost to fix the head gasket and another cost to replace the head gasket.

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

Why Is the Head Gasket Replacement Cost so High?

The blown head gasket cost is so high because of the labor typically involved, in addition to the head gasket part cost. Simply put, there are a lot of head gasket labor hours required in the repair.

Essentially, the mechanic needs to start by disassembling the entire engine, which takes a great deal of time. Then he needs to make the repairs, and only then can he put it back together. Putting an engine back together is not quick work either, as it requires a high level of precision. The smallest error in the cylinder timing or other settings can result in misfires or future challenges.

In other words, the reason for a “high” answer to “how much to replace a head gasket?” is that you need to pay for parts, extensive labor, and a high level of training from your mechanic.

To avoid surprises, most mechanics will give you a head gasket repair estimate before they begin work. At the very least, they can provide you with the average cost of head gasket repair for your particular vehicle.

Just keep in mind that the cost of head gasket repair may be higher than the estimate you get. Your mechanic may find additional problems as they replace a head gasket. Good mechanics, however, will keep you updated and let you know about other issues that they discover that can affect the engine head gasket repair cost.

The Average Cost of Head Gasket Repair Is Less If Caught Early

As with most other problems, how much does it cost to replace a headgasket when you catch the problem early on will be less in most cases. If you notice the problem early, the issue is likely not going to be as severe, as it has not yet had time to worsen. As such, you can typically expect to pay less for a head gasket leak repair than you would for a full Subaru head gasket replacement.

Early repairs are more likely to let you learn how to fix a blown head gasket without replacing it. This avoids a “yes’ to can a head gasket leak oil. It also avoids high intake manifold gasket replacement cost or intake manifold replacement cost.

Keep in mind that the cost to replace an engine is more than the cost to repair a leaky head gasket. The engine replacement labor cost is also higher than a leaking head gasket repair cost.

Other Common Questions About How Much Is a Head Gasket

Frequently asked question

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

The best answer to how to tell if the head gasket is blown or what are the signs of a blown head gasket is to consult your mechanic. They can look at the symptoms or signs of a cracked head.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Head Gasket?

It usually takes two or three days.

Can You Learn How Drive a Car With a Blown Head Gasket?

It is a terrible idea, and your car may not start.

Can You Do a Subaru Head Gasket Replacement DIY?

This would save you the cylinder head repair cost or cylinder head resurfacing cost, but replacing a head gasket yourself is not easy. Leave it to the professionals.

How to Fix a Blown Head Gasket Cheap?

If you do not like the head gasket price in response to asking how much to replace a head gasket, you could temporarily resolve a leaky head gasket with head gasket sealer AutoZone sells. If you get a fix-seal, however, it will be temporary.

What About the Head Gasket on My Auto?

If you have specific concerns, talk to your mechanic. The mechanic can help you with Subaru Forester head gasket replacement, Subaru head gasket replacement cost, 2010 Subaru Forester head gasket problems. The mechanic can also help with Subaru head gasket problems in 2017, Cadillac Northstar head gasket repair, Chrysler Town and Country head gasket recall, and the answer to the question “what year did Subaru fix head gasket problems.”

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

If you take a look at how much does it cost to fix a blown head gasket and feel that the number is too high, there are other options available. If your car is otherwise in good shape and relatively new, then you may want to go ahead with changing head gasket.

In some situations, however, a blown head gasket fix may not make the most sense. The following are just some situations when replacing head gaskets may not be the best idea:

  • Excessive gasket prices for your particular make and model
  • No reliable shop for head gasket repair near me
  • Your car is extremely old
  • You have to make other repairs continuously, in addition to the Subaru head gasket problems
  • You do not have funds available to deal with the average cost of head gasket repair
  • You were going to replace your car soon anyway
  • You do not want to deal with the head gasket replacement time

If any of those situations apply to you, then you may want to look into other options for your car head gasket.

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You Could Sell Your Car As Is

The most common alternative to dealing with the blown head gasket repair cost is just to sell your car as is. This will put money in your pocket and prevent the hassle of discovering how much does it cost to replace a head gasket and looking for the answer to the question of cylinder head repair near me.

Finding a Buyer Can Be Challenging

The only caveat is that most people struggle to find someone willing to buy their car as is. After all, the new owner would then have to answer the same question on where to find a head gasket repair shop near me, get the head gasket repair estimate, and pay for the Subaru head gasket repair cost. If you decided these are too expensive, then the next person may as well.

If someone is willing to buy your car, they will likely want to deduct the appropriate amount from the price they pay, so you will still need to figure out how much to fix a blown head gasket or how much does a head gasket cost. This is true of most private buyers as well as used car dealers.

You Could Sell the Car for Parts

The other option would be to sell your car for parts instead of dealing with how much to fix the head gasket. The simplest method would be to bring it to the junkyard, but you likely cannot drive your car if it needs a replacement head gasket cost. So, you would have to pay for a tow to the scrapyard and then take whatever price the junkyard gives you.

Alternatively, you could make more by taking the auto apart and selling each functional part separately. Without mechanical knowledge, however, this is much easier said than done. Even if you have mechanical skills, it will be very time-consuming.

Sell Your Car to Us Instead – No Need to Worry About How Much Does It Cost to Replace Head Gasket

Cash Cars Buyer

The best alternative is to sell your auto to a company like us that specializes in buying vehicles, regardless of their condition. We will not have to worry about how much to fix a head gasket since we already have a team and system to take care of everything. Depending on your vehicle, we will either change head gaskets and sell it or take it apart, then use the parts or sell them.

Since this is our business, we know how to sell parts and refurbished vehicles for the best price. We can then pass those profits onto you, offering you a better deal for your vehicle, even if you still need to change the head gasket.

You can get a quote from our website or over the phone in minutes. We will then schedule a convenient time to pick up your vehicle and pay for it in cash. There are no hidden fees or costs, and you do not even have to pay for us to remove or tow your vehicle.

This way, instead of worrying about how to change the head gasket, you can get cash to put towards a new or used vehicle without those issues.

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