When most of us hear the phrase “blown head gasket” we see dollar signs flash before our eyes. If you haven’t experienced it with one of your vehicles, you’ve probably had a friend with an older car get the report that they have a blown head gasket and a repair bill that makes you want to go get a second job or start riding a bike. But why is a blown head gasket so expensive to repair? In this article, we’ll talk through the process of replacing a head gasket and try to understand why it is such an expensive repair.
Why Is a Blown Head Gasket So Expensive to Repair?
A blown head gasket is near the top of the list of most expensive car repairs and can be estimated anywhere between $1300 and $1800 according to Repair Pal. This is, of course, a very broad estimate based on the average for many different vehicles so your costs may be even higher depending on the kind of vehicle you drive. The actual parts for a head gasket job can be as little as 10% of the total cost of the job, so the majority of the cost to replace a blown head gasket is in the labor.
How To Replace A Head Gasket (a.k.a. Labor Costs)
The high labor costs have most to do with the location of the head gasket. Your head gasket, or gaskets, sit just about in the middle of your engine so getting to them is no easy task. And require removing a lot of peripheral equipment like the alternator and power steering pump, along with the intake and exhaust manifold. Besides being time consuming, there’s a good chance that some of the bolts or nuts holding this equipment on will be frozen or rusted making removal difficult. Lastly, there are often lots of sensors and wiring around the manifolds and accessories that need to be removed and reinstalled correctly adding to the complication of the job.
Once you’ve removed all the accessories, wiring and hoses, removing the head itself is complicated and requires a good understanding of the engine to remove and replace properly. Whether you’ve got an overhead cam style engine or a pushrod style engine the timing needs to be set before and after head removal to make sure there isn’t any damage to the valves or pistons and to help everything run smoothly upon reassembly. With the head removed it’s important to properly inspect the head and block deck to make sure there is no damage to either of those otherwise installing a new head gasket won’t actually seal your leak. These complications add to both the amount of time required to do the job as well as the skill of the mechanic needed to do them which also contributes to the high cost to repair a blown head gasket.
Lastly, when you disassemble that much of an engine, there often are some other parts that are worth replacing while you have the engine taken that far apart. Things like the thermostat, water pumps, timing belts, engine coolant, engine oil, and other gaskets like the intake manifold and exhaust manifold gaskets are all options to be replaced during a head gasket repair. Deciding to add these replacement items is often smart as they can save you from future repairs and costs, but can significantly increase your blown head gasket repair cost.
Can you Fix a Blown Head Gasket?
All of these factors can add up and make your blown head gasket repair bill very high. The good news in all of this is that you do have another option to fix your blown head gasket. Replacing the head gasket is the most common fix for a blown head gasket, but there is another way that is guaranteed to repair your head gasket leak. BlueDevil makes an easy to use product that is guaranteed to seal your head gasket leak called Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer. BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer is a chemical additive that you can pour directly into the radiator of your vehicle. Once inside your vehicle’s cooling system, BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer will seek out the leak in your head gasket and form a permanent weld there.
BlueDevil Pour-N-Go is guaranteed to seal your vehicle’s leaking head gasket, so before you spend a crazy amount of money on replacing your head gasket, pick up a bottle of BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer to save yourself time and money!
You can learn more about BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer, or purchase it online here: Pour N Go Head Gasket Sealer
If you’ve got some other questions related to blown head gasket repair costs, we’ve got some answers for you!
How Much does it Cost to Replace a Valve Cover Gasket?
The valve cover gasket is just above your head gasket, in fact, it’s just on the other side of the cylinder head. The valve cover gasket is usually the topmost gasket on your engine and unlike your valve cover gasket, it only seals oil into your engine. Valve cover gaskets fail relatively regularly since they seal a long thing metal cover that expands and contracts significantly with the heating and cooling of your engine. Since the oil under your valve cover isn’t pressurized, valve cover gasket leaks usually aren’t that severe. For all these reasons, valve cover gaskets are often relatively inexpensive to replace. The only thing that makes replacing them more expensive is if your intake manifold covers one of the valve covers and must be removed to replace the valve cover gasket. For an inline engine, valve cover replacements should be $100-$150 and on a “v” style or boxer engine replacing both valve covers will be $300 to $400.
How do you know if you have a blown head gasket?
Before you go trying to repair something that isn’t broken, it’s important to know how to positively identify a blown head gasket as the symptoms of a blown head gasket can be produced by other smaller problems. First, it’s important to know what the symptoms of a blown head gasket are. If you’ve got all of these symptoms together, then you most likely have a blown head gasket. The most definitive test for a blown head gasket is to perform a chemical test on your engine’s coolant to check for the presence of exhaust gases. The test kit you need is available at most local auto parts stores and will give you proof of an internal head gasket leak.
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Blown_head_gasket_repair_cost.jpg – By Leonid Eremeychuk – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link