Cylinder Head Repair Cost


cylinder head repair costCylinder head repair cost can be difficult to estimate without removing the cylinder head from the engine and having it inspected by a professional engine builder or machinist.  Many of the factors that add up to a high cylinder head repair cost are things that can’t be seen with the naked eye and even with the right tools can’t be checked with the head still installed on the engine.

If your vehicle has an inline engine, like an inline 4 cylinder or inline 6 cylinder engine, then it will have 1 cylinder head covering all the cylinders.  If you have a “V” style engine like a V6 or V8 or a boxer style engine, it will have 2 cylinder heads, 1 over each bank of cylinders.  On an engine with 2 cylinder banks, it’s important to keep both sides of the engine balanced so it runs smooth and minimizes vibrations so it can often double your cylinder head repair cost.

There are a few different things that you may need to repair on your cylinder head.

  • Uneven or warped surface
  • Valve seals
  • Valve guides
  • Valve seats

The most common repair that has to be done on cylinder heads is smoothing out a warped surface.  If your vehicle has a blown head gasket it can cause warping near the leak.  Also, your head can get warped due to uneven clamping loads from the head bolts, or simply years of cold starts.  To fix an uneven surface your head will need to be machined.  This means a small amount of metal is cut off the mating surface until the surface is completely flat again.  This is important to do before reinstalling a head on your engine to ensure a good seal on your new head gasket.  Remember, removing material from your head will change the size of the combustion chamber which will increase the compression ratio of your engine if you don’t compensate for it with a thicker head gasket.

The next most common cylinder head repair is replacing valve seals.  Engine oil flows through your engine’s head to lubricate the valves and the camshaft if your engine has an overhead cam.  There is a seal at the top of each valve stem that keeps the oil in the head rather than allowing it to leak down the valve seal into the combustion chamber.  This seals usually don’t wear out but if an engine is allowed to sit for a long period of time they can dry out and start to leak.  Replacing these seals is a tedious job as your engine may have 16, 24 or even 32 valves!

Below the valve seal is a valve guide.  The valve guide is a smooth piece of metal that the valve stem slides in.  The guide keeps the valve straight and allows it to seat correctly each time it closes.  These guides can wear out and allow valves to wobble over time damaging the valve seat and causing inefficiency in your engine.  Replacing these guides can be smart if you’ve got higher miles on your engine.

The valve seat is a smooth rim machined into the valve opening where the valve lands and forms a seal.  This seat needs to be extremely smooth and exactly the same shape and size as the valve head to make a good seal.  If you had worn valves guides or a bent valve it can be important to make sure your valve seals are in good shape before reinstalling the valves.  A bad valve seal can damage a new valve, lead to lower compression and even cause backfiring or other problems with your engine.

Once you’ve pulled the head off your engine, it’s worth having it checked to flatness and the valves checked to see if they need to be replaced or if the seals, guides or seats should be replaced or resurfaced.

When considering cylinder head repair cost, it’s important to get the head inspected first to see what repairs may need to be done.  That would include inspecting the deck for flatness and the valves for wear.  Once you’ve had the head inspected you can call around to different shops to get different quotes on repairs.  Cost for inspecting and resurfacing a head can range from $100 to $350 per head and cost will go up from there if the valves seats need to be reworked or if the guides and seals need to be replaced

If you’re considering cylinder head repair costs because you’ve got a blown or leaking head gasket, consider using BlueDevil Pour N Go to seal the head gasket leak rather than removing your heads and going through the extensive process of having them inspected and then repaired.  BlueDevil Pour N Go can seal a leak in your head gasket allowing you to keep your heads installed and saving you time and money!


For more information about BlueDevil Pour N Go, click on the banner below!
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11 responses to "Cylinder Head Repair Cost"


  1. Advance Auto Parts on October 10, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Most of us, car owners, just daunt that feeling we get whenever we need to have something repaired in our vehicles. That annoying and helpless understanding that we simply cannot do anything to avoid that expense, if we still need and want to use our cars. Why? Because nothing blows our budget or financial state than an unexpected car repair.

    • Ashley Mendez on July 29, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      I have a 06 mustang thag needs 2 cylinder heads. Can they be fixed or do i have tp repair em.

      • BlueDevil Pro on July 30, 2018 at 9:18 am


        What are the symptoms your Ford Mustang is having? Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so that we can get a little better understanding of the vehicle’s condition and be able to make any appropriate recommendations.

        Thank you!


  2. Deb Pearl on February 15, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I’m glad you mentioned it is hard to determine a repair cost for a cylinder head repair without a professional taking a look at it. I didn’t know that there were so many different things that could go wrong with it. I know my husband wanted to know how much it would take to fix an old car he has. We will just have to take it into a professional. Thank you for the information!

  3. fred Gladstone on July 20, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I have a old Toyota tercel been a great work car I have a great mechanic here in town although I do most repairs myself but some things like cylander heads need special tools and know how ..sometimes a extra $$ to a pro is worth it ..I went from a slow going turtle of a car to a rocket

  4. Jeffery J Arnold on March 30, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    I have a 2006 Dodge Dakota 4 wheel drive truck that my cylinder heads need fixing. My truck is a V8 and need to know where I can find a mechanic that’s near Decatur area to do repairs at a reasonable price.

    • BlueDevil Pro on April 1, 2019 at 9:57 am


      Thank you for asking about your Dodge Dakota. Your best bet may be to visit your local parts store and ask the Commercial Manager which shops in your area work on cylinder heads. They may be able to point you in the right direction.

      Thank you!


  5. Alemie Tsige on June 20, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Hi i have honda crv 06 cylinder valve need fixing how much is estimation cost and where can i go the nearest.

    • BlueDevil Pro on June 20, 2019 at 2:01 pm


      Thank you for asking about your Honda CRV. You may want to visit your local parts store and speak with the Commercial Manager. They will be able to tell you which shops in your area would do that kind of work.

      Thank you!


  6. JL on July 5, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    Hello. I have a 01′ Trans Am Firehawk that has been using oil. If I go through a drive through or sit at idle too long, I notice a puff of smoke out the rear and can smell oil burning. Also, if I get on it pretty hard, there’s a pretty noticeable cloud out the back end of the vehicle. It used a good quart I’d say once a month or maybe a little less. I have also heard some what sounds like valve rattles when getting on it. Guides or seals the suspect??

    • BlueDevil Pro on July 6, 2020 at 9:56 am


      Thank you for asking about your Firehawk. It would be difficult to pinpoint the location of the leak, however, it would more than likely be from the valve cover gaskets, o-rings or piston rings. Based on your description, we recommend using the BlueDevil Stop Smoke & Engine Repair. It is intended to treat the exact symptoms you’ve described. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!


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