Head Gasket - $2900 Quote?! In Tacoma, WA
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This is a discussion on Head Gasket - 00 Quote?! In Tacoma, WA within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So, I just got the final quote from my car shop for head gasket job. 30. That's 19 in labor ...

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    Head Gasket - $2900 Quote?! In Tacoma, WA

    So, I just got the final quote from my car shop for head gasket job. $2930. That's $1619 in labor and $1056 in parts.

    This seems really excessive to me. I was originally given a rough estimate quote of $1800 or $1900 (without tax) and then Friday I get called and told they didn't realize how compact the engine was and how troublesome it'd be to work with so, they redid the quote.

    I live in the PNW (Tacoma) - any thoughts on good places I can call?

    Interestingly, I called the local dealer and they gave a quote of roughly $2800....... $2600 for labor and $200 for parts. Odd. Really odd.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    If nothing is wrong with the head you are just looking at manifold gaskets and head gaskets as far as parts.


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    I'm at 168k miles and the shop said (at the last oil change) that it's starting to weep. So I assume that means the whole thing? I'm not exactly a mechanic, unfortunately =/

    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    If nothing is wrong with the head you are just looking at manifold gaskets and head gaskets as far as parts.


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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Exactly what parts do they have listed on the quote? A head gasket set is about $150, and should come with everything you need. Unless you want to install ARP headstuds while you're at it (which I would).. that'll add in another $175-$200.

    Most places I know will charge around $1000, give or take $200, to remove and replace the engine.. so $1800 sounds about right to me.

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    Cylinder Head Gasket Set [10105 AA560HS]: $264
    Machine Head [121]: $45
    Anti-freeze Coolant: $16
    Oil Filter: $6.95
    Timing Belt Kit w/ Water Pump [PP 328 LK2]: $514.85
    Cylinder Head Bolt [11095 AA042]: $144.84 (12 @ 12.07)
    Engine Oil: $13.92
    Spark Plug PFR6G NGK: $51.20 (4 @ 12.80)

    It's been a huge amount of time since I've had the spark plugs changed and about... hmmm... 4 years since the timing belt and water pump.


    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Exactly what parts do they have listed on the quote? A head gasket set is about $150, and should come with everything you need. Unless you want to install ARP headstuds while you're at it (which I would).. that'll add in another $175-$200.

    Most places I know will charge around $1000, give or take $200, to remove and replace the engine.. so $1800 sounds about right to me.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    Looks like they're charging ypu for a head gasket job, oil change, timing belt replacement instead of just the head job

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Yeah, a full service timing belt job is like $900.. so if you add all that in you're approaching $3k.

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    Yeah - is it advisable to get the timing belt and water pump changed at the same time since it's been so long? It'll have been 4 years in September since it was changed last.

    I assume it's not an easy-ish thing for me to just try to do, right? Since it costs so much.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    I've heard stories of how much of a pain these timing belts are to change. Even with experience I'm not attempting myself because I don't want to risk slapping the valves together. Seems almost too easy to destroy your engine

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    Wow, so... I looked up a few places to get other quotes. Found a place called "Roorepair" that focuses on Subarus and has a lot of good reviews. Talked to them over the phone briefly to explain the what the shop was saying and the guy was like, "Wait, what car again? The WRX? That can't be right, the head gaskets rarely have problems on the turbo. Bring it in and we'll take a look." So I brought it in and the put it up on the lift and look. Not the head gasket. I apologized for double-checking but asked anyway, whether they were sure or not. Got an amused "Uhh... yeah.... we only do Subaru stuff here, we're sure." Turns out its some other gasket thing which is $500 with parts and labor.

    He asked if it was overheating and I said no - I'd even taken it on a 600 mile trip this past weekend in 90 degree weather, 3 1/2 miles each way at 60 to 80 mph and it stayed steady temperature-wise. Said that basically the only times he's seen a problem with the head gasket on the turbo was when someone took it out to do something and then messed it up putting it back. Or something like that, I was dizzy from the implications that I'd just saved $2500 so I'm sure I didn't get that completely right.

    It was also nice because I mentioned needing to do the front brakes and rotors so I asked how much they charged for it (for future reference and price check) and they were even slightly cheaper than the shop I liked before. AND they said they'd be more than happy to slap the pads and rotors I'd already purchased on. The old shop would only install parts they bought. So I'm just having them do the brakes since they're down low and I won't have time to try it any time soon.

    Just a super nice feeling. And, good lord, I would've paid $2500 more to fix something that wasn't even broken, including the timing belt and water pump.
    Last edited by sshults; 06-10-2014 at 02:19 PM.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    Good for you, that sounds like an amazing place
    Do you remember what the gasket replaced was?

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Lol, valve cover gasket? That's actually pretty common, and not so hard to fix (part of the 105k maintenance schedule). I figured the other shop had seen coolant in your oil or something to cause them to say your headgasket was going out.

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    For the one they're going to fix? I'm bringing it in tomorrow so I'll be sure to get what exactly it is that they're fixing. It's funny because I brought it in to a place close to my work for an oil change like... 8 months ago? And they came up afterwards and were like "Oh my gosh! Your head gasket is about to die!!! We already prepared a quote for $4500, sign here!!!!" So I called a good local shop and they looked and said, no, it's leaking from here and blowing over to here which makes it look like the head gasket. And now *that* shop is the one saying the head gasket is weeping. I think it's probably more that they're a general car shop? I don't think they'd purposefully try to say the head gasket is bad when it's not.

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    Ah! That's what it was. Pretty sure. Valve cover gasket. And, no, all the other shop said was it was starting to weep. The head gasket. I'm sadly not a mech guy (although I can follow directions and figure things out) so I dunno all the stuffs.

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