price to replace a head gasket

30

Asked by Mar 28, 2016 at 08:10 AM about the 2000 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

28 Answers

19,725

On a Subaru? well, on anything, it is expensive- a lot of work and you want somebody good, who won't mess it up, so that is more expensive, too- who diagnosed it? make sure that is what is really wrong- if some garage, that knows what they are doing, diagnosed it, they would tell you how much it costs-

30

Thank you, jamnblues. But when we say expensive, Are we talking anywhere from $800- $1500? Also does the Head Gasket need replacing once it hits 100k in miles or can it need this under 100k miles?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,165

desiree412015- Yes, good mechanical work is expensive on all cars. The key is to find an honest and qualified mechanic and stick with this person, they will get to know you and your car. OK, head gaskets--- be sure that you get the new "multi layered steel head gaskets on your 2000 Subaru Outback. They will last you another 100,000 or more miles and are LESS likely to fail than the original head gaskets. They stated using them on 2010 and newer cars with great success. A good independent mechanic will probably charge you around $750 - 900 for a head gasket job. Here's a link to the new multi layered head gaskets, make sure you read this. https://allwheeldriveauto.com/six-star-subaru-head-gasket-kits/

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
30

Good information. Thank you jamnblues & Markw1952. Your help is greatly appreciated.

14,165

desiree412015- you're welcome, if my information on the multi layered head gaskets link was especially helpful for you to explain why these are important, please mark my previous answer as best answer, thanks.

Best Answer
2,860

Mark's all wet re costs, so get ready.... The proper HG parts kit will cost $200+; machine shop costs to pressure-test and assure flat head surface conditioning will cost $200-250, and must NOT be omitted. Add to that 8-12 hours labor depending upon skill and care exercised by your chosen wrench. Hence $1200 is a bare minimum for a good job, with $1500-1700 being the common indie range. And don't worry about using the proper gasket: it's been automatic in the industry for 5+ years, so warning about it anyore is a canard. What's critical is head prep and bolt (use new ones!) torquing sequence and procedure. Sorry to scare your pocketbook, but reality bites sometimes....

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
2,860

Mark, we know that you mean well, but PLEASE stop providing useless and/or incorrect information just to troll for points, huh?

5,625

Mark, you really have to ask people to mark your answer helpful / best answer?

2,860

Not enough Easter eggs I guess....

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,165

Wow, Ernie! I thought that Los Angeles had high prices... BUT, maybe, in Boston, things are even HIGHER? My independent mechanic told me that a head gasket job would definitely be under $1,000. Of course, if the head is damaged or warped, it would be substantially more. So, it really depends on the regional price for where you live. Here in LA, there's a lot of qualified mechanics and my mechanic has been in business for 20 years and has been servicing a series of my cars for over 12 years perfectly. Maybe your shop charges more?? You cannot make assumptions about what people charge and what their profit margin is. I suggest that Desiree shop this price and use her best judgement in choosing a reliable mechanic in her city.

30

Ok, can we please put the mini war on the side and let me ask this: Can an extended warranty cover some of the costs for the Head Gasket?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,165

I don't think you'll be able to do this. Just pay for the repairs. Look, the car is already 16 years old. How many miles are actually on your car?

5,625

all of what Boston said and then some prices are higher depending on location, up to 2500ish. It just depends. And honestly, you might as well have both done. under 100k / over 100k.. I don't think mileage is any real indicator verses maintenance. Especially the damage of old coolant

30

Thanks to all of you for your help.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
2,860

Extended warranties vary considerably, and negotiating a claim can require a lot of poker-playing. Good luck. Re: cost. Just do the math: $200 for parts, $250 for machine shop and 8-12 hours labor. The only way to keep this under $1k ANYWHERE is to do only one side, try to replace while motor is still in car (now considered a real no-no), AND ignore the machine shop work. My references for the costs span several DOZEN qualified indie wrenches, Mark. (Sigh.) WHOLESALE rates for a properly done HG reseal hover around $1200-1300; retail $1600-1800. There ARE Subie resellers who perform quick-and-dirty reseals using a dedicated wrench in about 8 hours (one per work day), but they take the risk of reusing cracked and/or warped heads, and don't install new head bolts, knowing that only short-term durability is required. IOW they play the odds. If 10-20% of these cheap reseals come back they still end up ahead. Again, apples and oranges, Mark....

19,725

wow- just a simple question- I said it was expensive- and I don't get hurt if nobody gives me 10 points- but there is nothing wrong with asking for points- Desi, the best advice you can get is to get rid of the Subi- and never buy another one- I mean, I know you love Bernie and the Subi is part of your identity- but whether it is 900 or 1900 this is money you shouldn't have to spend- almost all cars, with conventional engine configurations, can go a lifetime without having to replace head gaskets- good ol' Subarus- that's how the Subaguru here knows how much a head gasket costs- he's done plenty of 'em- and, to continue with the logic, if you replace it (as you must) it will not last any longer than when the FACTORY put one on your car- oh, and they have TWO-

2,860

f you're saying that an '00 OB won't be much longer in the tooth anyway...I agree with you. But if the point is that the newer design HG will fail like the skinny original...then that's proving NOT to be true. In other words I recommend here in the salt belt that replacing HGs on most relatively non-rusted 2006+ Legs and OBs for mid-teens is not unreasonable. But on more rust-prone 2000- 2004 era bodies it's time to move on. So you shouldn't throw the baby (the block) out with the bathwater (leaky HGs) if the ownership lifespan curve warrants it. In particular, 2008-2009 OBs are such better handling iterations than 2010-2012 that I often recommend replacing the HGs. (Note that I farm this job out to a trusted indie, not profiting one red cent (except good will), so there's no financial motive here. But it's true that they can get to be love-hate cars as they age...a lot like their German AWD sisters, alas.

5,625

jambaby.. google this: cargurus, markw1952, "best answer"

14,165

See the post from the germ1158. Here's the operative language below, Also, this post was from 3 months ago. "$2500 is way too much, find a reputable independent mechanic that specializes in Subaru. I've had two head gaskets replaced and never spent more than $1000 for the service including parts (timing belt, water pump and gasket)." Again, my local mechanic in Los Angeles quoted me an estimate of $1,000 for this work. Of course, if someone is charging "dealership book rates", the cost goes up precipitously. Thankfully, my car doesn't need this service, I was inquiring for the forum. And, my personal mechanic has been working on my cars and friends for over a decade. Again, this is a highly diverse range for mechanical work, profit margin etc. Remember, we have a lot of mechanics in the LA area, and the competition for this work may cause prices to be lower? Ernie, I really don't care if you don't believe me. There are alternatives. Desi- only you can decide if the car is worth fixing. Good luck. https://www.reddit.com/r/subaru/comments/32kubh/head_gasket_ replacement_worth_it/

14,165

Actually, the Reddit post was 11 months ago.

2,860

That's better, Mark: $1k wholesale/indie PLUS $250 for proper machine-shop work = $1250...what I had said. Retail pays $1500- 1800. There is no East vs West Coasts variance.

5,625

How much do you pay for a head gasket job Mark?

2,860

Do you mean ME? I don't think Mark's ever bought one, as he's only had one Subaru for just under a year? I've bought about 1800 of them for 1000+ clients over 32 years. I've only had to "buy" personally a handful of HGs as I carefully assess specimens before I buy them, but have replaced customers' early gen HGs if they fail years later a few dozen times. But I've been statistically way below average due to diligence in assessment and prevention. Still, it's a bullet that Subaru should NOT have been able to dodge, especially as the thicker 2.5i "turbo" HG preexisted the storm, and only cost-savings prompted the arrogance that continued use of the skimpy one. OTOH wet diapers plagued similar old Porsches too....

5,625

nah Ern, I meant mark. ;)

14,165

Ernie/walth- Actually, with the NEWLY DESIGNED multi layered head gaskets- they should last for the life of the car or at least 150,000 -200,000 miles, provided your careful not to OVERHEAT the car. I went 150,000 miles in my Honda Accord, 200,000 miles in my VW Rabbit, 150,000 miles in an Oldsmobile, 150,000 miles in an 80 Accord, and over 100,000 miles in an 85 TBird, not once ever had to do head gaskets. NO Walth-, I don't need any work done to my Subaru Outback and I've had the car for two years this May. Car runs like brand new. Outside of normal maintenance, oil changes, etc, I haven't had any work done. BUT, my mechanic has been keeping my cars and my friends cars working since 1999. And, I only inquired about the price for this person since she asked. Normally, I keep my cars to about 150,000 miles or so, and I have 76,000 right now. I did purchase my CPO car from a reputable new car dealership with a warranty from the dealer and also an extended warranty for three years up to 100,000 miles whichever came first. I'll hit the three years before the mileage. That's OK. I know that Subaru's have had a prior history of head gasket issues... that is why I purchased the 2010 which dealt with this and since the implementation of the new design, there have been substantially less cases of head gasket failures. And, I know that Mr. Ernie has been dubious about the CVTs, painting dark clouds on the horizon about their durability, but, I happen to personally know someone who had a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited exactly like mine who went over 290,000 miles with absolutely no issues on the engine, transmission, head gaskets, etc. He just had to do the normal maintenance of the timing belt, water pump, etc at the 105,000 mile intervals. Sure, cars are expensive, and they require professional care. I'm 64 , I've had lots of cars, been through a series of different mechanics and various shops, but, I'm VERY lucky to have found an excellent HONEST mechanic, who does not overcharge for his services. I can trust his judgement and if he says I need something done for my car, I listen to him. He wants to keep his clients and word of mouth advertising is something that cannot be bought. Sure, you can certainly find "boutique" auto repair shops that charge extra like the dealership and give you a nice comfortable lounge or donuts and espresso while you wait, no thanks. Walth-, I keep my cars running like an "airplane", I want them running in top notch condition always, I don't care how " old" they are , but, they have to mechanically sound. If it needs attention, I just take it in and have the work done professionally, I don't work on my cars. BUT, I am very interested in knowing how they work and making sure they are operating properly. So, when I said my personal mechanic could replace both head gaskets for $1,000 or less, I'm not kidding. Of course, the timing belt, water pump and other work would be extra. However, it wouldn't be the $1,600 price that others that Ernie is suggesting would charge UNLESS, the heads were warped.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
2,860

Once again: $1k +$250 machine shop +$75 t-belt =$1325 wholesale. Oy vey....

14,165

Ernie, I guess you just can't stand to hear someone getting a great price.... With the prices your quoting, you might as well go to the Subaru dealership?

2,860

Mark, what kind of planet are you on? Your $1k quote doesn't include the t-belt nor machine shop heork. When added in the dollar values are the SAME. Your insinuation is both a nonsequitor and somewhat insulting, no. Enough of this....

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