Q: What is the difference between replacing a head gasket and replacing the engine?

asked by on July 20, 2017

I want to know if I should replace my head gasket or the entire engine. Which I cheaper?

My car has 188000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. This is a very good question actually. When it comes to ’which is cheaper’, it’s important to understand the common problems that come with a head gasket replacement or an engine swap. When you compare the basic services, repairing a blown head gasket is always the least expensive initial repair. The problem is that most of the time, when a head gasket is damaged, other components like the cylinder head itself, pistons, and cylinder head hardware are often damaged as well. These issues are not commonly replaced during a head gasket replacement job. It’s also common for electrical harnesses and other engine components to be damaged when a car overheats and causes the head gasket failure. In the end - replacing the engine is typically the best ’value’ - especially when you’re going to keep the vehicle for an extended period of time.

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