How Much is a Head Gasket? What You Need to Know

Your vehicle has different parts, with the engine being the most important. It helps your car run properly. There are also many parts found underneath the engine to keep it running smoothly, with the head gasket being an essential. And if a head gasket begins to show signs of damage, then it's time to replace it. If it does, you may be wondering: "How much is a head gasket?"

Read on as I show you what you need to know about the head gasket and how much it would cost to replace this vital part of your vehicle's engine.


What is a Head Gasket?

You may be wondering what a head gasket does. Many people who have just begun driving aren't very familiar with this engine part, but it is one of the critical areas found in your engine system that keeps anything from leaking.

A head gasket is like a critical seal, located between your engine's block and the cylinder head. It is made out of machined casting in the internal combustion engine, with holes to hold the pistons.

What is its function? Like mentioned, the head gasket is a seal, preventing leakage to both engine block and cylinder head. It does this through compression.

The head gasket has a compression ratio that prevents your car's liquids (water, oil, exhaust gas, or fuel) from coming into the wrong areas of the engine, as well as separating both water and oil that pass through them.

head gasket

Without the head gasket, your car's fluids will not have a proper guide to where it should go, and it may end up with the fluids mixing and leaking. The leaking may end up overheating your engine and severely damaging it.

How Much is a Head Gasket?

The head gasket already comes with your vehicle. You will only need to purchase one when it needs replacing. The cost will depend on where you buy the head gasket, its model type, and if you will have it professionally replaced.

On average, head gaskets cost about $75 to $100. For smaller engines, it can cost as little as $10, while higher end and specialty head gaskets cost as much as $400! Depending on the make, it comes at a reasonable price.

The problem may come from the repair costs itself, with mechanics charging $500 to $2500 to replace the head gasket, depending on the make of your vehicle.It costs more than the head gasket itself due to the amount of time and effort put into replacing the head gasket. So if you are knowledgeable about cars, then it's best to do it yourself to save money (but make sure you follow everything by the book to avoid more damage!).

BUT, we recommend that you have it replaced by a mechanic, especially if you are pressed for time or do not know how. The procedure will usually take two to three days, with many procedures and assembly during this time.

Replacing your head gasket is very expensive, especially when you choose to have a mechanic or auto shop do the work. That's why it's best to keep your car in tip-top shape and prevent your head gasket from damaging through maintaining your engine and checking the head gasket.

If your head gasket shows signs of leaking, you can prevent it from further damage through using a chemical re-sealant, avoiding the high costs. But if it's too late, then there isn't any choice but to replace it yourself or with the help of a mechanic.

How to Know When Your Head Gasket Needs Replacing

Now that you know how much a head gasket is, how will you know when yours needs replacing?

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To help you out, here are the signs to look out for

Engine Temperature

If ever your thermostat found on your dashboard has unusually high readings, or if the engine warning light pops up, then this may come from a blown head gasket.

Low Coolant Levels

If ever your coolants run low, then it may be from a damaged head gasket, and your engine will begin to become hotter.

Vehicle Performance

Your head gasket is an essential part of keeping your car running smoothly. If ever your engine is having a hard time running, such as stuttering, jolting, or even stalling along the way, then that may be due to a cold motor and damaged head gasket.

Discolored Oil

If you see your vehicle's oil have a similar color to milk-chocolate, your coolant and engine oils have mixed because of the head gasket not being able to prevent it from spills or leakages.


If there is light-colored smoke (gray or white), then the coolant may have leaked into the combustion chamber. Check to see if your vehicle begins to emit this kind of smoke while running.

How to Choose the Proper Head Gasket

Choosing the correct head gasket isn't difficult. You can find recommendations from your vehicle's official repair guide that comes upon purchasing your car, or from its online counterpart. You can also ask an auto mechanic or a trusted source who is knowledgeable on vehicles to check your vehicle and know what the of head gasket it needs.

You will be able to find new head gaskets for replacements from your local automobile store, or in reputable online shops, where you can either have it replaced by the mechanic or do it yourself.

In Conclusion

Your head gasket is an important part of your vehicle's engine, used to prevent anything from leaking into the system. Without it, you may not be able to run your car at all! It's crucial to have it checked and replaced when needed.

I hope that this article answers your question: "How much is a head gasket?" Now, you can save up to purchase a replacement and have it installed in your vehicle for it to run smoothly. If ever you have any questions or want to share any information about the head gasket and its general costs, then comment down below. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Tom Nguyen

I’m Tom, and I’m avid fan of automobiles! I love cars and learning more about how to tweak and repair them to make them look and perform better. Through a lot of projects and research, I make it a point to share my knowledge to other car enthusiasts like me.

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