Head Gasket Repair Cost
What is a Blown Head Gasket
We've all heard it before… “a blown head gasket.” But what does it mean? The first thing that comes to mind is that it's an expensive repair. Then the question "Should I sell my car?" or “What else can I do about it?”
A head gasket is actually the gasket of the engine which seals the bottom half of the engine to the head. It seals coolant, oil, and compression into separate compartments.
Head Gasket Replacement Cost
The cost of an actual head gasket is pretty low. You can buy a replacement head gasket for about $30 to $50. Made out of MLS, or Multiple Layers Steel, coated in a rubber-like coating, they're fairly inexpensive to make and inexpensive to sell. The real cost comes in the labor of the repair itself.
Head Gasket Repair Cost
Most head gasket repairs will range from $1,000.00 to over $3,000.00, depending on the year, make and model of the car. This amount may increase in engines that have two heads, like a V6 and V8. The repair itself is very labor intensive as you need to disassemble most of the top half of the engine.
Plus, frequently the head gasket isn't the only problem. Your mechanic
might recommend other services, like work to the timing-belt, timing chain tensioner replacement, coolant service, water pump and oil change.
Basically, you have two options. You can pay to get your blown head gasket fixed or you can sell your car for cash.
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Signs of a Blown Head Gasket
Blown head gaskets and cracked blocks are the reasons your temperature gauge is the most important instrument on your panel. Unlike running out of gas or getting a speeding ticket, blowing a head gasket is a serious problem. You will not be able to move your car and may need to spend money on a junk car removal service.
There is one way to blow a head gasket, over-heat your engine. Over-heat an engine, blow a head gasket or crack the block and the engine will continue to overheat until it's repaired. However, an engine that over-heats does not necessarily have a blown head gasket or cracked engine.
So, after you severely overheat an engine, you need to conduct a few tests to see if you have signs of a blown head gasket.
Blown Head Gasket Tests
After you overheat the engine, lift the hood and see just how hot you got it. Wait for the engine to cool, then pull a spark plug wire. If the end is charred or melted, you got the engine very, very hot. That leads to worry about the condition of the head gasket and block.
Pull the dip stick and take a look at the oil. If it is golden you might be OK. If it is black, you still might be OK, (but you should have changed your oil 1,000 miles ago). But, if the oil is the color of sunscreen and has that creamy consistency, you blew a head gasket or cracked the block.
Before you dump a gallon of cool or cold coolant into the radiator, wait. Wait a long, long time. Wait a few houra or more on a hot day. If you dump cold anti-freeze into the radiator and start the engine, the rapid contraction of the expanded, hot block could create a crack. Not good.
Park on an incline (see Exceptions to the Rules for explanation as to why). Add coolant to the radiator and the reservoir once the engine is cool enough to touch with your bare hand. Before you put the cap on the radiator, turn over the engine and let it idle. Fill the radiator to the top. Watch for bubbles.
If bubbles appear and the coolant level drops, re-fill the radiator while the engine is running. Keep refilling it until the coolant level no longer drops.
If you have bubbles but the fluid level doesn't drop, you've blown the gasket or cracked the head.
Exceptions to the Rules
If you have water in the oil from a different source (maybe you left the oil cap off the engine in the rain while the hood was up), it will discolor your oil.
If you have air in the coolant lines, sometimes the level won't drop, but you will get bubbles. Park on an incline (with the parking brake set) before doing the coolant test in order to assure that the lines bleed out quickly.
If Your Vehicle has Signs of a Blown Head Gasket, Things You Need to Consider Are:The Cost - Repairing a head gasket yourself is beyond most hobby mechanics. In addition, it is very time consuming. As a result, paying a mechanic to repair the head gasket on an older car may cost more than the value of the vehicle. Depending on the vehicle, it can be between 8 and 15 hours of labor plus the cost of parts.
Other Expenses - If a mechanic does not have access to a new head gasket or the time to begin working on your vehicle immediately, you could be out of transportation anywhere from a week to three. If you don't live in an area with public transportation, have access to a loaner vehicle or know someone that can drive you around, a rental car is your best bet, but they can be expensive.
Time - Again, the mechanics ability to get the parts quickly and the time they have on their schedule will determine how quickly they can repair your car, but a mechanic repairing a head gasket in under a week is very fast. Three weeks is slow, but not unlikely.
Short or Long-Term Fix - If done correctly, it is a long term fix, but there are a variety of ways a mechanic can make errors that lead to blowing the head gasket again.
Current as is Value of Car - Again, depending on the age of your vehicle and the type, there is a strong possibility the cost of replacing a head gasket will be greater than the value of your vehicle.
The Options - You can try to replace the head gasket yourself, you can pay a local mechanic to do it, you can pay a certified technician to do it for you and with all of these scenarios you can take your chances. Or, you can get paid to let DamagedCars.com to take the nightmare off your hands.
Blown Head Gasket Symptoms to Repair
Other complications do come with the repair, as well. You might have bent valves which may need to be replaced or damaged pistons from a hydro-lock condition. As the technician works on the vehicle components some may break during the removal process. Seals, plastic electrical connectors, and sensors may be damaged as well. Screws may not be replaced in the engine, and if they do, they might be returned to the wrong place.
Making a decision on the best way to proceed is one of the major stress factors when facing a damaged head gasket diagnostic. Deciding on whether to have the repairs done by factory trained technician at the dealership versus having the vehicle repaired at a local mechanic's shop can become overwhelming.
While using the factory trained technician is sometimes the better option, it is more expensive. On the other hand a local mechanic might not have extensive experience in working on your engine model. Every engine is different and cheaper labor may not guarantee quality repair work will be performed.
Usually work done at the dealership is completed quickly, whereas a local mechanic might take longer, due to the logistics of obtaining parts or lack of them. Repair time is another stress factor when deciding on your options for head gasket repairs. Car rental, lost time at work, time spent with the mechanic or technician discussing repair options, are the major “time consumers”. At Damagedcars.com we can help out with an offer and a check for your car, fast, so you won't have the hassle of repairing a car.
Whether it's the first time you have to deal with engine failure or you're looking at blown head gasket again, you know how costly and time consuming car repair can be. You are also left without transportation for several days. If you're fed up with car trouble, it's time to sell your car for cash. Stop worrying about a blown head gasket or high transmission rebuild cost. Contact our friendly staff today or get an online offer now! Sell us your car with a blown head gasket?
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