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Old 03-08-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
milos
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Default price for head gasket repair?

Hi everyone,
I was wondering how much should I expect to pay for following work on my car:

- Replacing of Head Gasket.
- Head shave (or whatever it is called) in case it needs to be done.
- Water pump and timing belt replacement.


- All of this done together?



I have some problem with my civic 2003LX overheating I will probably have the head gasket replaced and maybe the head needs to be shaved as well; and then I guess the price for timing belt and water pump replacement should be less then regular since the old parts are easy accessible...I guess...

Also, anyone from upstate NY knows some decent Honda mechanic?

Thank you.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Prices will vary, but you're looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 750-850 dollars for the parts and labor. (guessing, based on what others have payed)
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

True. I ended up paying about $800. Upstate NY i would think it might be slightly less. The resurfacing of the head shouldn't really be more than about $50. and I'm sure that if you buy the timing belt, water pump, timing belt tensioner and all that stuff, the mechanic will probably just do that anyway because they'll be working in that vicinity.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Before you go replacing the headgasket, have you confirmed that it's leaking? There are a lot of things that can make a car overheat.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Thank you everyone for replying.

I did not confirmed that the head gasket is leaking; but, as I was reading previous posts about similar problem people had I think that the head on my civic need to be resurfaced, which will then require rest of the stuff I was asking about.

I overheats randomly sometimes after 2k most of the time after 200 miles.

So far I done following:

1. changed radiator cap.
2. flushed the system and replaced thermostat.
3. replaced hoses from and to overflow tank.
4. burped the system several times using spill proof funnel until the fan turns on 2x
5. compression test - looks OK 185/180/185/180
6. block tester fluid - blue fluid staid the same color
7. checked fan - it is kicking in
BTW it never went over 2/3 of the temperature gauge, I was very lucky to catch it the first time and since then I keep an eye on it very often. Also there is no white smoke from the tail pipe, and no milky oil in the engine.

Recently the radiator fluid in my civic is starting to show some change in color (a little black kind of looking flakes). Next step is to replace the radiator and flush the whole system again (tomorrow) and if this does not fix the problem I am getting ready for the worst - head gasket, head resurfacing, timing belt, water pump...

I was going from the cheapest towards most expensive fix.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Here are my thoughts... Take the money you were going to spend on a radiator and pay a qualified tech to properly diagnose the problem. I would charge 30 min. to an hour of labor for something like this. It's great that you're trying to figure it out, but you're falling into the trap of throwing parts at it and making assumptions. That can get expensive quick.

I haven't had much luck with those block testers unless it's a large leak. For less obvious leaks, I prefer to use my leak down tester. I attach the spill free funnel to the radiator and fill it 1/3 of the way, then pressurize individual cylinders at TDC and watch the coolant for bubbles.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

"(a little black kind of looking flakes)" means carbon in getting into your system. meaning, exhaust fumes leaking into the coolant system through the head. the head is warped. resurface it. get all new gaskets. get it done by someone that wont mess it up. and have them do the water-pump and timing belt as well. dont worry about anything else, as i went through the exact same things you are describing. dont waste anymore time and money. even if you have a leak down test done, it can still come back negative. same with a monoxide test. just get it all done right. our heads are known to have these problems. so yea......
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EM2abe View Post
"(a little black kind of looking flakes)" means carbon in getting into your system. meaning, exhaust fumes leaking into the coolant system through the head. the head is warped. resurface it. get all new gaskets. get it done by someone that wont mess it up. and have them do the water-pump and timing belt as well. dont worry about anything else, as i went through the exact same things you are describing. dont waste anymore time and money. even if you have a leak down test done, it can still come back negative. same with a monoxide test. just get it all done right. our heads are known to have these problems. so yea......
I have a black greasy substance (doesn't seem like oil), just a little under my radiator cap, I am wondering if that is carbon getting in?

Did your car overheat when you noticed the black?

I have an ek.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

it was overheating when i noticed the black, yes... there was a little under my radiator cap as well.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

EM2abe thank you very much. This is why I came here to honda-tech, and not to be told to take it to a mechanic for a diagnose. If I had decent mechanic I wouldn't be here trying to figure out what is wrong with my car. A few years ago I had vacuum leak on my 96civic ex, I went to 5 different shops before one mechanic finally found it - and charged me over $100 just to tell me what is wrong with it (dealer here does not want to work on cars over 100k unless they sold it). I am not mechanically inclined like most of people here, but I am not lazy and don't have money to waste, so this is why I am doing most of the things on my cars myself.

Anyway, EM2abe thank you one more time and yes my radiator cap has some black greasy residue on it as well. BTW I didn't changed the radiator and I will probably take it somewhere to do the head, gasket, belt, pump as soon as I save some money.

A few more things:
- yesterday it started to idle rough when cold or very warm.
- last night temperature gauge started to go over the middle, I turned off the car, but left the key in the ignition and on position. I opened the hood and started checking the radiator/hoses/overflow tank and 10 seconds later both fans on radiator turned on. I thought they were supposed to work full blast when the car starts overheating so maybe fan relay/fuse/switch is not working properly as well. Can anyone tell me where are these located? I guess I can find relay and fuse, but where is fan switch?

Thank you.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

The fans are supposed to come on when the temp rises, nothing to check that is fine.

Might be the headgasket, if it is over heating and no apparent cause.

Side note, a bad water pump and bad radiator can cause overheating as well, esp when the car is moving, have you even done the timing belt and water pump?

Any leaks at all, esp under the timing area, that would point to a bad water pump, but sometimes the fins on the water pump erode and will not let it pump coolant.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

your fans are most likely working fine.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Yeah, I have replaced the HG in my first motor. Just barely starting to show symptoms now in my second engine. Hoping it will last through the rest of winter and spring, and then in the summer I'll replace this one too. Really not hard to do if you have a Haynes manual and are very detail oriented. Lots of different screws and bolts all over the place! There are a couple of special tools you need, but for the most part you can borrow them from AutoZone. My cost with parts and a few knuckle busters for me and my buddy was 350.00 with the head lathed.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Thank you very much guys.

One more thing, I noticed that there isn't a big difference in price between original Honda Head gasket (at MajesticHonda) and the one I can get at local auto parts store. All the other original parts are about 30~40% more , BUT the head gasket looks like is 250% more ($40 in adv. autoparts to $140 at Majestic). Does anybody knows why is this, are they made from the same material; am I looking at the right item # (06110-PLC-010)?

Last edited by milos; 04-03-2012 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Honda parts are generally made better and they are more durable. It is the difference between building a house out of sticks and building a house out of bricks. Both are still houses... but when the big bad wolf comes along... you know the rest...
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

EM2abe I made a few changes in my previous post (had a few typos). I do understand that there is a difference in quality of the parts, but I was surprised to see that the OEM head hasket $140 is going to cost more than the whole OEM timing belt/water pump package $130 (timing belt, water pump, valve cover gasket, spark plug tube seal, powers steering belt, ac belt, cam seal).
This is what got me confused a little bit.


BTW I am usually not using original honda parts when replacing brake pads, light bulbs, filters and some other small things, but for this job I (in this case my mechanic) will only use parts bought from Majestic Honda or DCHautomotiveParts. Few years ago my friend spent weeks and a bunch of money to figure out where the noise on his engine was coming from...and the noise was coming from faulty water pump that was installed just before he bought the car.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

IMHO on this year car if you cut the head it can bite in the a#$. No I do not why But 3 yrs. ago I did one had head cut it ran for 1 min. then bent valves I have 28 yrs with honda 2 other guys in my shop have even moor the only thing I came up with is cam gets stuck in holders We put a good used moter in all was ok BE CARFUL
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

drive to canada, i'll make you a decent price! lol GL
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joec44 View Post
IMHO on this year car if you cut the head it can bite in the a#$. No I do not why But 3 yrs. ago I did one had head cut it ran for 1 min. then bent valves I have 28 yrs with honda 2 other guys in my shop have even moor the only thing I came up with is cam gets stuck in holders We put a good used moter in all was ok BE CARFUL
They don't actually shave it or cut it... The head gets resurfaced to factory specifications. If they resurface beyond specs then you will have problems. Usually the place resurfacing it knows what to do. I wouldn't worry about a thing.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Skimmed the thread quickly, I just called and had one head priced at 60$ to check it and thoroughly clean it, and an extra 40$ to resurface if needed. Quick turn around at a local parts store that has a full service machine shop. Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:11 AM   #21
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Default 2003 Civic LX torq spec

Hi everyone, I have found this head bolts torq spec, can anyone confirm these are the right ones for 03 LX?

14 ft/lbs - first
36 ft/lbs - second
49 ft/lbs - finish


Also, does anyone have cam carrier torq spec?

Thank you
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:31 AM   #22
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Default Re: 2003 Civic LX torq spec

http://honda-tech.com/showpost.php?p...07&postcount=2
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #23
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Thank you very much guys, the head is off and it is shaved (not cracked), I am currently looking for the best deal on parts, I just ordered all of them but the following gasket. It sits vertically on the left side of the head gasket. I do not know what's it for, my mechanic took it off when he was taking the head of. He is out of town for a few days, I am trying to figure out which is it to get all the parts before he starts putting everything back together.

Does anyone knows what is this gasket called/what is it for?
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Last edited by milos; 04-23-2012 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:41 PM   #24
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by milos View Post
It sits vertically on the left side of the head gasket. I do not know what's it for?
It goes between the water passage and the cylinder head. Click here and look at #9.


That's on the Right side of the engine, by the way. Driver's side = Left. Passenger side = Right.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:37 PM   #25
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Default Re: price for head gasket repair?

Yeah, the thermostat housing gasket if you will. Available at RockAuto too. Definitely replace that, my mechanic didn't when he did my HG and it leaked so he had to replace it.

HG was around $800 not including the resurfacing. Good luck.

Side note: guy who did my resurfacing used "too coarse" grounding and it leaked oil. Also it is BS if they say it needs some sort of sealant beyond the head gasket itself. Honda doesn't specify the use of any sealer.
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