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Q: I have a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe with bent valves on both heads. I'm wondering if this is worth fixing?

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I have a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe with bent valves on both heads. I'm wondering if this is worth fixing?
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello, thanks for writing in. I will try to...

Hello, thanks for writing in. I will try to help you with this. If the car has no other significant repair needs (i.e., costs), the calculation is fairly straightforward. If other repairs are required it is much more complicated. So, let's look at the simplest scenario which is that the rest of the car is fine. If you REPLACE both heads yourself, the parts cost will be approximately $1,500 to $1,800 assuming you buy already re-manufactured and assembled cylinder heads for both sides. A professional would take about 24 hours to remove and replace BOTH heads (i.e., do the complete job) so if you are a DIY, you can assume double that time easily. So, you are looking at one solid week of continuous work to do this repair. This simple scenario assumes that the cylinder block is absolutely flat, without defects, and within specification. The cylinder block flatness MUST be measured with a tool that costs around $60 by the way. Measure BEFORE you order the heads. If the cylinder block is not usable as is, it has to be removed from the car and machined. Please note, for your own sake, if the block is not within spec, do not throw away $1,500 by trying to install heads to it. The assembly will leak and you will be disappointed. If you can accomplish this repair for $1,500, and do it CORRECTLY (not easy to do, you will need lots of tools, one of which, the torque wrench will have to be precisely calibrated) it is ABSOLUTELY your lowest cost option insofar as transportation.

If you elect to have YourMechanic do the work for you, as noted the industry standard is 24 hours. That means the labor cost will be in the range of $1,400 to $2,200 depending on your locale. It might be possible to have YourMechanic do portions of the work.

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