How to Replace a Head Gasket

Below guide will teach you How to Replace a Head Gasket. Please follow the instructions carefully.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Compression Tester
  • Screwdriver
  • Combination Wrench Set
  • Drain Pan
  • Mallet Hammer
  • Socket and Ratchet Set
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Scraper Set
  • Coolant/Antifreeze
  • Cylinder Head Gasket Set
  • Exhaust Manifold Gasket
  • Intake Manifold Gasket
  • Valve Cover Gasket

Estimated Costs:

  • DIY Costs: Est. $537.20 parts only
  • Shop Costs: Est. $1,972.40 parts and labor


  • Prop the engine hood up and look for the lower radiator hose.
  • Put a drain pan at the bottom of the radiator and detach the lower radiator hose from the radiator to allow the coolant drain out into the drain pan.
  • Now access the intake manifold. You may need to remove wiring harness, other components or hoses to get at the intake manifold.
  • Next, you need to take the valve cover away.
  • Now, unfasten the bolts holding the exhaust manifold. Remember, you need to unfasten the head bolts in reverse order of manufacturer suggested procedures. For instance, if the instructions recommend you’re the sequence 7 3 1 5 9 then you should do it as 8 4 2 6 10.
  • Next, take the cylinder head out of the engine block.
  • Take the head gasket away.
  • Examine the straightness of cylinder head with the help of straight edge and feeler gauge.
  • Wipe off any debris or dirt and the remaining pieces of the old gasket from the mounting surface.
  • Position a new gasket on the mounting surface and reverse the entire procedure for reinstallation of the parts.
  • Add fresh antifreeze agent mixture to the radiator. Make sure the mixture reaches up to the MAX mark.
  • Using pressure test, inspect the radiator for any possible leak.
  • Put the radiator cap back and turn the engine on. After some time, check the coolant level again and add if required.

Further Reading

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