Head Gasket Replacement Cost

Would your Head Gasket need replacement? Are you looking to know the Head Gasket replacement cost of your vehicle?

The Head gasket is that part of a vehicle responsible for the smooth running of a car; having said that, changing it is pretty expensive. Hence, we will be looking into the cost of replacing the head gasket, its types, and more.

In this article, you will know more about the head gasket and have an idea of how to repair it should the need arise. We also covered symptoms of a bad head gasket and more.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Head Gasket?

A head gasket is located between the cylinder head and engine block, working as a covering for your car’s combustion chamber.

It retains compression for igniting the fuel and contains exhaust gases. It protects your combustion chamber from water, oil, and coolant. and also helps prevent leaks by stopping fluids from mixing.

It is the most used part of the car engine due to the responsibility it shoulders. It is expected to do a lot of work and still face severe pressure with high temperatures. So should your head gasket blow up or be perforated (that is, holes gotten from overheating), then know that means trouble for your vehicle and your pocket.

What Leads a Blown Head Gasket?

High temperature and deep pressure are responsible for a head gasket blowing up. It is the hold to your car’s engine. Also, head gasket is a strong part of the vehicle designed to carry you for about Two hundred thousand miles.

Hence the need for replacing the head gasket might never arrive.

Why is a Head Gasket Repair So Much Costly?

Labor cost is responsible for any expensive car repair. The head gasket doesn’t cost so much, but repairing it can last for about 10 hours because getting to it can be pretty difficult; you’d need to take out your engine to carry out any repair.

If you pay £50 per hour for the engineer’s time, the price is sure to increase.

You may now be wondering, what’s the worst that could happen after a head gasket is blown; you should also have in mind that other engines are likely to go bad as a result of a blown head gasket, engine parts like cylinder head which also costs another fortune like £900 for repair.

And should you overlook a blown head gasket and not repair it on time, get ready to experience irreversible damage to your car and the head gasket.

Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket

  • White smoke from the exhaust
  • Overheating of engine 
  • Milky-colored oil
  • Knocked engine

These symptoms take place when different fluids mix. However, a blown head gasket does not mean the whole fluids will be mixed.

Do not also expect these symptoms when the head gasket goes bad. And when you notice any of these symptoms, immediately turn off the engine and seek the help of an engineer to examine your vehicle.

White Smoke From The Exhaust.

Often, the release of white smoke from the exhaust pipe indicates something in the exhaust or combustion chamber that shouldn’t be there. And if the white smoke is because of a head gasket that is blown, it simply means coolant or oil is getting into your combustion chamber.

They are several other reasons responsible for the white smoke that doesn’t really mean something serious, but it still shouldn’t be overlooked.

Overheating of Engine.

An overheating engine is one of the most regular signs of a busted head gasket.

There usually is evaporation when the coolant leaks inside the combustion chamber, which is then expelled through the exhaust. This makes the coolant dry up.

And in the absence of a coolant, that’s what brings about an overheating engine. However, the absence of coolant is not the sole reason an engine overheats. When a head gasket is blown, it generates less power, thereby increasing the heat.

Milky-Colored Oil.

The role of engine oil cannot be overemphasized as it is responsible for vital lubricating engine parts. Oil and water are worlds apart; should they mix, you will have a milky-colored frothy liquid.

And this unwanted mixture relegates the components of the oil, defeating its purpose in the engine.

If a blown head gasket is suspected, it is advised to look at the oil filler’s cap and observe if there’s any frothy liquid with milky color; if there is, your head gasket is certainly blown.

The leaking oil that enters the coolant system produces mayonnaise-like color, which you could find in the radiator cap. Be sure to also look out for the overflow tank for bubbles.

Hydrolocking the engine occurs when the coolant leak enters your combustion chamber.

Knocked Engine.

For most complicated cases, there’s a loss of compression in the engine, which results in your engine knocking.

When standing still, a rough idle is also noticed. Other times the engine could even delay because friction occurs between moving parts that are not lubricated, leading to irreversible damage.

Amongst the symptoms highlighted above, an engine knock and a rough idle are not excluded from being responsible for a blown head gasket. Nevertheless, they are mostly symptoms of one.

Does Fixing a Blown Head Gasket worth it?

In some cases, changing a head gasket might not be encouraged, situations like when it is a really old car you planned to replace, hence you wouldn’t need a new head gasket.

When there is a rise in cost due to a premium on the vehicle’s head gasket or a high price in labor, Lack of cash to afford the cost or your car is undergoing numerous repairs in a row, stressing the life out of your finances.

Putting it all together, it boils down to the amount of damage on the component, this determines if it can be fixed or will need replacement.

Also, if there is a probability of salvaging the head gasket, you can opt to fix it.

Head Gasket Replacement Cost

How to minimize Head Gasket Repair Cost

Do not be deceived about self-service when replacing a blown head gasket without proper experience or training. A blown head gasket is enough problem for your car and your pocket; you cannot afford to do further expensive damages. Though, steps can be taken to reduce the cost of repairing a head gasket.

  1. Ensure your car is serviced regularly; constant servicing keeps it in excellent condition and prevents any severe issue from occurring.
  2. Do not use the car if there’s a problem with the engine; otherwise, you’d be subjecting it to more damages, which means more money, and replacing a head gasket is enough expenses.
  3. Steady inspection of the engine keeps you up to speed on the signs to promptly repair the head gasket when it goes bad.

How Can I Replace My Head Gasket?

  • The head gasket is first identified as the faulty part.
  • The coolant and engine oil are drained out of the engine.
  • The engine will take the cylinder head and every other part out for cleaning and inspection.
  • The former head gasket is then removed, while the engine block is inspected for any damage.
  • A new head gasket is installed into the engine with the required sealant applied.
  • The other parts removed along with the engine block will now be reinstalled correctly.
  • The engine is filled with oil and coolant and then tested to see if there are leaks.
  • After which, the car will be tested to ensure it’s in perfect working condition.

Head Gasket Replacement Cost – Things to Note.

A greater percentage of the repair cost is mostly on labor due to how difficult it is to replace a head gasket for most vehicles. Oftentimes, it takes about 10 hours to replace a blown head gasket correctly.

Do not conclude without knowing precisely what is wrong with the vehicle; ensure it is properly looked at by an excellent engineer to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions – Head Gasket Replacement Cost

Is It Better To Fix Head Gasket Or Replace Engine?

When oil contains water, it rusts and wears out your bearings quickly. And if a blown head gasket causes this issue, then it is advised you replace the entire engine because the replaced (new) gasket will only stop the leakage but won’t reverse the damages done to the bearing.

Is it a big job to replace a head gasket?

Installing a head gasket can be risky and time-consuming because you’d have to remove the engine head and reinstall it. And the longer the engineer takes on the job, the higher you will be charged.

Can I drive a car with a blown head gasket?

Driving a car whose head gasket is blown would only mean further damages. K-Seal can help stop the problem. Though a blown head gasket can still ply the road, we still do not advise such.

How many labor hours does it take to replace a head gasket?

Initially, replacing a head gasket takes about 3 to 8 hours for most cars, depending on how it’s built and how the procedure for disassembling and reassembling it is. With that in mind, that is where the expense of replacing a head gasket comes from, the labor cost. You also have to include the cost of the parts being replaced.

Does blown head gasket mean new engine?

False! A faulty engine is caused by a head gasket that is blown, and getting it mechanically fixed is a bit costly. A head gasket helps create protection between the engine block and the head.

Can I replace head gasket myself?

Replacing a head gasket is not your everyday kind of self-service job. While it is uncommon for head gaskets to expire, such rare instances would only imply the total replacement of everything else. So when the engine head is cracked off, every other thing has been damaged as well.

When replacing a head gasket, What else should I replace?

Other parts may require replacement along with the head gasket, including new cylinder head bolts, Oil filter, oil, coolant, hoses, and spark plug.

Conclusion – Head Gasket Replacement Cost

If there’s any blocking to the engine’s cylinders, it’s all thanks to the head gasket. It prevents coolant and oil from getting into it and keeps the engine running smoothly. This is why it’s important to replace the head gasket when it’s blown promptly; otherwise, it will wreak further damage.

So should you notice any of the signs or symptoms we highlighted earlier, do not hesitate to take your vehicle to the mechanic for a thorough inspection of the problem.

If it winds up being a busted head gasket, request for a total estimate on what it would cost before the mechanic begins to repair it. After which, make sure you’re kept in the know on the repair as he goes on with it, so you won’t get too surprised when the total bill is eventually released.

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