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The head gasket is a thin metal gasket that sits between your engine block and cylinder heads. It provides a seal for the combustion chamber to ensure combustion happens correctly and is contained within the engine.
The head gasket is a critical sealing component of your vehicle's engine. Its roles include:
Without the head gasket, your car can't run properly. This means that any issues should be dealt with immediately as they can develop into more serious issues. If you ignore these problems, you face a very expensive repair - and risk writing your car off altogether.
As this part is so important, you must book a visual inspection to deal with your head gasket repairs as soon as you notice a problem.
We have helped over 11.5 million drivers compare and save on their MOT, servicing and repair costs at local garages. In fact, when you compare garages near you through our online comparison site, you can save up to 70% when you choose one of the lower-cost options!
As the UK’s leading garage comparison site, we’re dedicated to helping drivers save money on their car maintenance. Here are just some of the ways we keep you in control of booking a visual inspection for your head gasket repairs:
No Upfront Payment. You never enter any payment details when you book your head gasket repair. We never charge you any fees to use our site and you always pay the garage directly after the appointment.
Plenty of Choice. We may recommend certain garages depending on your location or the product you select, but you always have the final say. There are thousands of fast-fit, independent and franchised garages on our online comparison site, so you’re able to see all your options and choose the best local garage for you.
Honest Reviews & Ratings.See what like-minded drivers have to say about every garage on our comparison site to help inform your decision. Always unfiltered and unedited for transparency.
Easy 3-Step Booking Process. There’s no upfront registration and no faff. You just provide your vehicle’s details, choose the best deal and provide a suitable date and time for your visual inspection. That gives you more time to do the things you care about.
Enter your reg and postcode to compare labour rates from garages near you and book a visual inspection for your head gasket repair in seconds. After the inspection, your chosen garage will provide a no-obligation estimate for the repair work. You always pay this bill to the garage directly and only ever after they've completed all the work.
After you book your visual inspection, we send you a confirmation email with a summary of your booking. We also inform the garage and they may also be in touch to confirm the appointment or to ask for extra details.
You can change or cancel your booking for free until the day of your appointment.
The most common causes of a head gasket problem are:
If you have to regularly top up your coolant but see no leaks under your car, there is a strong chance that you have a head gasket problem. You should book a visual inspection to get this checked out as soon as possible to avoid further, more expensive damage.
If you notice any of the following warning signs, it's likely that your car has blown a head gasket:
You should book an appointment as soon as possible to check whether your head gasket is to blame. Most importantly, do NOT drive your car to the garage as this can cause extra damage. Contact your recovery provider and get a tow instead.
A head gasket repair can cost anywhere between £400 and £1,500, with the average UK price being around £600. In some extreme cases, it can cost several thousand pounds.
Head gasket repairs are so expensive because it takes a lot of time to access and remove the part. This is mainly due to its location within the engine block.
This repair may also require the technician to complete the following:
Your head gasket is designed to last 200,000 miles, so you may never have to deal with a repair or replacement. It certainly should not be a frequent repair due to the importance of the part and the cost of a replacement.
Yes, your car's warranty should cover a head gasket repair as it isn't a repair you should have to normally deal with. However, we recommend checking the terms and conditions of your policy before making a claim to ensure you're covered.
If you notice any of the following, there is a good chance your head gasket is leaking:
If you or a technician notice any of the above, it is worth getting the head gasket checked as soon as possible to avoid making the problem worse.
We recommend leaving your head gasket repair to a professional for several reasons. Not only is it a difficult repair for an amateur mechanic to complete, but you also risk severe damage to the entire engine if you don't do the job properly.
You can buy and use head gasket sealant as an emergency, short-term solution while waiting for a repair. However, we still advise against driving the car wherever possible.
A head gasket replacement can take anywhere from 5 hours to more than a day.
The repair time is affected by the severity of the problem, your vehicle's make, model and age, engine type and several other factors. A technician will be able to provide a more accurate estimate after the initial inspection.
No, your head gasket cannot cause an MOT failure on its own as the test doesn't check this part.
However, a faulty head gasket can affect your vehicle's emissions which counts as an automatic MOT failure. That's why we would recommend booking a visual inspection before your MOT to avoid the risk of failure.