Cylinder Head Resurfacing Cost: $300 [2024]

US cylinder head resurfacing typically costs $300-$800, varying due to engine size, location, and shop rates. Get quotes for your specific car to be sure.

Image courtesy: YouiTube

Cylinder Head Resurfacing: Costs and Essential Insights

The Basics: What is Cylinder Head Resurfacing?

Cylinder head resurfacing is a crucial maintenance process that restores the flatness of the cylinder head’s surface. This ensures proper sealing between the cylinder head and the engine block, vital for efficient combustion and engine health.

Factors Influencing Costs

Number of Cylinders:
The complexity of the process increases with more cylinders, impacting the overall cost.

Material Removal:
The extent of damage determines the amount of material removal, affecting the cost.

Gasket Replacement:
Replacing the head gasket contributes to the overall resurfacing cost.

Machine Work:
Specialized machinery and skilled technicians influence costs but ensure better results.

Additional Repairs:
Other damaged components may require attention, adding to the overall expense.

Signs Your Cylinder Heads Need Resurfacing

Uneven Idling, Loss of Power, Overheating, Oil & Coolant Mix, White Smoke

Budgeting for Resurfacing

While the initial cost might seem significant, investing in proper resurfacing can enhance engine efficiency and prolong its lifespan, saving you from future costly repairs.

Long-Term Performance

View cylinder head resurfacing as an investment in your engine’s health, leading to consistent performance and longevity.

Alternatives to Traditional Resurfacing

Explore innovative methods like milling, sanding, polishing, and laser resurfacing for varying degrees of damage.

Real-World Insights

Experts’ Perspectives:

Derek F. – Auto Repair Service Writer:
A typical “shave and seal” might cost $150-$200, depending on the head and valves.

Donald Ard – US Navy Submarine Service:
Specialized engine repair shops offer accurate estimates based on specific engines, potentially providing the best prices.

George Kanin – Former General Contractor:
Milling machine set-up fees may apply, adding to the overall cost, hence inquire beforehand to avoid surprises.

Russell Booth – Electrician:
Checking for leaks post-valve replacement is crucial, ensuring proper valve seating and operation.

Steve Thompson – Former Automobile Technician:
Valves not seating properly could result from various issues like incorrect cam timing or bent valves.

Understanding cylinder head resurfacing costs and indications for the procedure is crucial for maintaining engine health. Consider it an investment in long-term performance and consult specialized shops for accurate estimates and quality service.

Cylinder Head Resurfacing Cost

a. Importance of Cylinder Head Maintenance

Over time, the movement of a car engine’s components, particularly the pistons, generates friction. This friction can wear down the cylinders, eventually leading to engine failure.

b. Cost of Cylinder Head Resurfacing

Replacing cylinder heads regularly can prevent this catastrophe and keep the engine within normal operating parameters. Cylinder head resurfacing costs vary depending on the engine’s build and can potentially reach up to $700. For a typical “shave and seal” procedure, involving cleaning, resurfacing the deck, and reseating all valves, the cost might range between $150 and $200. Additional charges may apply if parts like valves, seats, or springs need replacement.

c. Camshafts’ Role in Resurfacing

When taking the engine head for milling and a valve job, it’s necessary to bring the camshafts. During milling, properly tensioning the cams to specified torque ensures a flat head. Neglecting this step might lead to slight casting adjustments after flattening, potentially requiring adjustments when reinstalling the cams.

Maintaining cylinder heads is crucial for engine longevity and performance. Understanding the process involved in resurfacing and valve jobs can help ensure optimal engine functionality and prevent costly issues in the future.

Signs That Your Car’s Cylinder Heads Need Resurfacing:

Car engine cylinder heads are generally quite durable. You don’t need to be worried about them because regular engine maintenance will keep them smooth and leak-free. As a result, you should only resurface them if they are damaged. As a result, recognizing the indications of damaged cylinder heads can be quite beneficial.

Cost of Cylinder Head Resurfacing

You might be curious about the cost of rebuilding your cylinder heads. The cost of rebuilding your cylinder head will depend on which part you choose. It is important to understand what you can expect when you are rebuilding it yourself. A great alternative to purchasing a new cylinder head is rebuilding performance cylinder heads.

Cost of Cylinder Head Resurfacing

A typical cost for cylinder head resurfacing is around $500. This price is typical for most engine builds. It can be higher in certain cases, however.

Resurfacing the cylinder heads can be more economical than replacing them all. This allows for the proper maintenance these components require over their lifetime.

These are the most common price ranges:

  • $400 – $500 – 4-cylinder
  • $500 – $600 – 6-cylinder
  • $600 – $700 – 8-cylinder

Although DIY cylinder head resurfacing is possible, it can prove difficult. Although a small aluminum head can be resurfaced easily, it is not as easy as you might think. You will need to have the experience and knowledge to make it look like new. You can make mistakes that could cause damage to your vehicle. It is better to hire a professional. Although it is possible to save money by having your vehicle resurfaced, it is essential to do the job right.

Although the process is simple, it can be quite time-consuming. This is due to the fact that heads must be sanded and resurfaced. You can expect to spend around $400 depending on how many cylinders you have.

Resurfacing the component can improve and even restore the block and head’s finish. Resurfacing is a simple task that requires no new components. The labor cost is typically between $60 and $80 per hour.

Average Cost To Have Cylinder Heads Milled

Over many years, car engines can perform rapid actions such as pistons moving in the cylinders. To bring an engine back to its original performance standards, it is possible to mill the heads of the engine if it starts to fail.

Expert Insight

Cars Direct estimates that a four-cylinder engine rebuild will cost between $400 and $500. As the number of cylinders increases, the price tag goes up. A six-cylinder vehicle will cost between $500 and $600, while an eight-cylinder will cost you between $600 to $700.

The usual procedure for milling the engine cylinder heads is part a larger repair known as an engine rebuild. The engine block’s lower section is removed, cleaned and inspected. The cylinder heads are then resurfaced so that the rings and pistons can be properly seated within the cylinder’s body.

Resurfacing of Cylinder Heads is Required

Wear and tear are signs you should have your cylinder heads resurfaced. The cylinder head can crack due to engine overheating. This can also happen if there is too much coolant in the cooling system. Coolant can boil and cause head damage.

If you notice oil or coolant leakage, or if your engine is not running as it should, it is a good idea to have your cylinder head checked by a professional.

Are you unsure how to tell if your cylinder heads need to be resurfaced? These are the top three signs that your cylinder head needs to be resurfaced. Also, what should you do if you’ve experienced them?

  1. Head Gasket Failure. You run the risk that an uneven surface could compromise the head gasket sealing between the cylinder head and the head. This can lead to head gasket failure. The cylinder head can be resurfaced to create a secure, even seal between the components.
  2. Uneven Surface Finish. For your cylinder head to function properly, it must have an even surface. You may experience problems with other parts or the engine if your cylinder head has an uneven surface. To determine if the cylinder head is in the right range, you can use a comparator gauge.
  3. Coolant or oil leaks Coolant or oil leaks are not good for your vehicle. You should be concerned if you notice oil or coolant leaking from your vehicle. To determine if resurfacing can resolve the problem, you will need to inspect your cylinder head.

Cost Of Checking A Cylinder Head

Cracked cylinder heads can cost anywhere from $500 to $700 to repair. A brand new car might have an engine block made from solid cast iron, but the cylinder head may be made of aluminum. It is more likely that parts are not installed correctly or need to be replaced because of the mixture of metals. A clogged puddle at the center of the cylinder head could cause an engine to stall, or even lose power.

How Much Does It Cost to Have A Cylinder Head Machined?

Cracked Cylinder Head Repair Cost. Cost of cracking a cylinder head repair job depends on the make and year of the vehicle. It will cost you at least $500 including labor and parts.

It is important to inspect the head first before you calculate the cost of repairing a cylinder head. This would include checking the deck for flatness, and the valves for wear. After the head has been inspected, you can contact different shops to receive different estimates on repairs. The cost of inspecting and resurfacing the head ranges from $100 to $350. If the valves seats or guides need to be reworked, the cost can go up to $350.

Cost to Rebuild a 4 Cylinder Head

An average water-cooled four-cylinder engine can easily be rebuilt to its original specifications for as little as $400 to $500. Rebuilding a six-cylinder engine to its original specifications can cost between $500 and $600. Rebuilding an eight-cylinder engine to its original specifications will cost you between $600 and $700.

How do I resurface a Cylinder Head at home?

To resurface a cylinder head at your home, you must first clean it well. This includes the chamber, glass surface, and gasket. A sandpaper that is suitable for machining can be used. It should not contain any oil, grease, or carbon. To prevent oxidation, spray WD-40 or silicone on the cylinder.

What does it cost to mill a head?

The average increase in HP per point of compression is 2.6% in the definitive milling test. The less definitive test, which involved three sets of heads tested with different combustion chamber volumes, shows a 6.24 HP increase per point.

To Swap An Engine, How Much Do You Have To Pay?

You can charge $50-150 an hour if you are able to repair or swap engines. While a basic garage may charge you this amount, a specialist mechanic will likely charge much more. The labor to swap the engine can take three times as long to complete as the engine. For the time spent, you should expect to pay at least twice that amount.

There will be a wide range of labor costs for replacing an engine. You can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the make and model of your car. Keep in mind, however, that engine costs can vary from $100 to over $10,000 depending on the model and make of the car. The cost of an engine will vary depending on its complexity, so it doesn’t matter if you buy a new or used one.

Other Points to Consider

Hand sanding is an alternative to more laborious cleaning methods. Some people use belt sanding to resurface cylinders. This is a more traditional method. It is not as precise as grinding or milling.

What are the US’s Machine Shops Today?

IndustryNet reports that there are 2,780 machine shops across the United States. These machine shops employ around 60,000 people. These are the most successful machine shops in the country. They produced millions of parts in one order in 2014. These companies are the biggest manufacturers of screws machines and screw-nut/bolt manufacturing.

Cost breakdown

The overall cost of a machine for cylinder head resurfacing is likely to be much higher than you may think. A machine like this would be a good investment for mechanics or those who plan to do multiple resurfacing jobs. A brand new machine would cost you between $30,000 and $45,000 if you were to complete a DIY project, and then only use it when absolutely necessary.

How Smooth Should The Cylinders Be?

Aftermarket cylinder head manufacturers recommend a surface finish roughness (RA) of 55-110 microinches for many years. This recommendation is changing. Manufacturers recommend a RA of 60-100 microinches on cast-iron heads, and a RA between 50-60 microinches on aluminum heads.

Average Cost To Replace A Car Engine

Reusing an engine from an older car can save you money. Remanufactured engines cost between $2,500 and $5,000. Although remanufactured engines may not be as reliable or as reliable as new engines, they are often covered by a warranty. You can choose a cheaper option by purchasing a used engine if you don’t plan on replacing your engine soon.

How Can You Rebuild A Head Of A Cylinder?

  1. First, remove the split cotter and springs.
  2. Remove the Outlet and Inlet Valves.
  3. Use a chemical to clean the head of the cylinder. …
  4. After the Cylinder Head is dry, inspect it for any damage.

You Need To Replace The Cylinder Head Gasket On Your Vehicle.

The severity of the problem will determine whether or not you replace the cylinder head gasket. The severity of the problem will determine if your gasket can seal properly. A badly damaged or pitted gasket will result in severe engine damage. If the sealing surface is in good shape, you can restore it without having to replace the entire head.


What is the cost of a reconditioned cylinder head?

For a new cylinder head for a marine engine, you’ll need to spend around $2,000 and for a reconditioned one, it will cost about $500. This is a substantial price difference, but it can make a big difference in the engine’s life expectancy.

Are cylinder heads required to be resurfaced

Are cylinder heads required to be resurfaced

For a variety reasons, cylinder heads and blocks might need to be resurfaced. If the deck surface of the block or head is not smooth or flat, it may be necessary to resurface the deck.

What happens when the cylinder head is resurfaced

Resurfacing the cylinder heads restores them to their original tolerances and seals them perfectly. Resurfacing is recommended for any engine that has been damaged. It can also be done when restoring an engine or installing OEM (original equipment maker) cylinders.

What is the cost of having your head gaskets resurfaced

A national average estimates that a replacement head gasket will cost between $1,624 to $1,979 on average. Labor costs can be estimated at $909 to $1147, while parts cost between $715 and $832.

How many times can you bring a head back to life?

How many times can you bring a head back to life?

You can resurface the heads until you reach the wear indicators that I have circled. Subaru recommends replacement once the head’s surface reaches this level. It doesn’t really matter if you resurface once, or fifty times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *