Ford F150 Head Gasket Replacement Cost [Problems, Causes, and Solutions]

A bad head gasket in a Ford F150 can cause various problems such as coolant leaks, engine overheating, engine oil contamination, bad exhaust system, & poor engine performance. Head gasket replacement costs between $1,550 to $2,650, including $450 to $750 for parts and $1,100 to $1,900 for labor.

A problem with the head gasket means there will be some other problems that may require repairing. Besides, the replacement cost also varies based on several factors.

Let me explain all the details regarding head gasket issues in Ford F150 and the replacement cost.

5 Major Problems With a Bad Ford F150 Head Gasket

A bad head gasket, also called a blown gasket, is a faulty gasket that no longer functions. It can happen due to aggressive acceleration or wear and tear.

The primary purpose of the gasket is to seal between the engine block and the cylinder block to help in an efficient combustion process. But when the head gasket fails, a lot of problems can occur.

Let’s have a look at all the problems of a bad head gasket in a Ford F150:

Problem #1 Coolant Leaks

One of the head gasket’s jobs is to block the engine’s firing pressure. It prevents the coolant from leaking into the cylinder and outside. But a bad head gasket can lead to a coolant leak in the Ford F150.

  • Causes: The damaged head gasket creates gaps or cracks in the seal that lead to the coolant leak.
  • Symptoms: You will find the coolant underneath your truck if there’s a leak. You may also get an odd coolant smell from the engine compartment if the coolant gets into there.
  • Recommended Solution: You will need to replace the head gasket to fix the coolant leak problem. Besides, you also should check the coolant hoses to ensure there are no other leaks.

Problem #2 Engine Overheating

A blown-out head gasket can also lead to engine overheating. If you do not take the necessary action fast, it may also cause the engine to misfire or cause damage to other parts, such as pistons or piston rings.

  • Causes: When the coolant leaks due to the head gasket failure, the cooling system in the Ford F150 does not work properly. It leads to engine overheating. Besides, the coolant can also mix with the engine leading to this problem.
  • Symptoms: A hot hood and smoke coming out of the engine compartment are some of the common symptoms of engine overheating. You will also get a high-temperature gauge reading in this situation.
  • Recommended Solution: First, the head gasket should be replaced to fix the issue. You should also check the cooling system to ensure there are no other issues, such as a radiator or water pump malfunction.

Problem #3 Engine Oil Contamination

As mentioned already, due to head gasket failure in the Ford F150, the coolant can mix with the engine oil. It will contaminate the oil and prevent the engine from functioning properly.

  • Causes: Coolant leak near the oil tank due to a faulty head gasket leads to contaminated engine oil.
  • Symptoms: If you check the engine oil with a dipstick, you will find it has a milky or frothy appearance.
  • Recommended Solution: Again, you must replace the head gasket first. Then you should inspect if there are no other ways, such as dirt and debris, getting into the engine oil tank to contaminate the oil.

Problem #4 Bad Exhaust System

Oil contamination due to the blown gasket can also affect the exhaust system. It can make it difficult to accelerate.

  • Causes: When coolant leaks due to a bad head gasket and enters the combustion chamber, it can lead to a bad exhaust system in your Ford F150.
  • Symptoms: White smoke coming from the exhaust system is the most common symptom. Besides, you may also hear loud popping or hissing sounds while driving.
  • Recommended Solution: Replacing the head gasket and inspecting the whole cooling system is necessary to solve this issue.

Problem #5 Poor Engine Performance

As coolant leaks, oil gets contaminated, the engine overheats, and the exhaust system gets bad due to a bad head gasket, they all lead to a loss of overall engine performance. You may not get enough mileage, or your Ford F150 may not run well.

  • Causes: A bad head gasket reduces the engine compression, causing the loss of performance.
  • Symptoms: Poor acceleration, rough idling, and loss of power are some of the common systems of downgraded engine performance.
  • Recommended Solution: Besides replacing the head gasket, you may also need to check other components in the engine compartment, such as the spark plug and ignition system.
Also, Check This Article: Ford F150 Windshield Wiper Problems & Solution

Ford F150 Head Gasket Replacement Cost

The average replacement cost for the Ford F150 head gasket ranges between $1,550 to $2,650. Replacing the head gasket is so expensive because it involves complex tasks, including disassembling various components in the engine compartment.

That’s mainly why the labor cost is higher here. The labor cost for replacing the head gasket in a Ford F150 ranges between $1,100 to $1,900, whereas the parts cost only $450 to $750.


Not to mention, if you have prior auto repair experience, you may try replacing the head gasket on your own. In this way, you can save the labor cost. This video explains how you can replace the head gasket in a Ford F150 in only five minutes.

However, this only shows the average of the overall cost. The actual head gasket replacement cost can be higher or lower depending on various other factors.

Let’s have a look at the factors affecting Ford F150 head gasket replacement cost:

Factor #1 Parts Cost

Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to replace various other components in your truck apart from the head gasket only. In most cases, you will need a head gasket set, coolant, and engine oil.

While a head gasket set for Ford F150 costs approximately $150 to $450 depending on brand and quality, coolant and engine oil only cost around $20 to $100.

Head gasket set$40-$450
Engine oil$20-$100
Coolant hoses$15-$130
Ignition coil$55-$300
Spark plugs$7-$55
Cylinder head bolt$35-$150

Factor #2 Cost of Different Gaskets

Fel-Pro head gaskets are most popular for Ford F150 trucks. They are priced at $70 to $450, depending on generation and set size.

But if you are looking for a cheaper option, you may want to get an Edelbrock Cylinder Head Gasket that only costs between $60 to $140.

However, even though they cost higher, I prefer using Fel-Pro parts as they are quite good quality.

Head Gasket BrandPrice
Fel-Pro Head Gasket$50-$450
CNS Head Gasket Set$90-$150
Evan-Fischer Head Gasket$70-$130
Edelbrock Cylinder Head Gasket$60-$140
MAHLE Head Gasket$110-$270

Factor #3 Replacement for Different Ford F150 Generations

If you are wondering whether the head gasket replacement cost for different Ford F150 generations is different or not, the answer is yes, the cost varies.

The replacement costs for earlier generations are significantly lower than the current generations.

Generation (Year)Average Cost
Labor CostParts Cost
9th (2021-Present)$1,200-$1,900$550-$750
8th (2015-20)$1,200-$1,850$520-$730
7th (2009-14)$1,170-$1,800$500-$710
6th (2004-08)$1,150-$1,780$490-$700
5th (1997-2003)$1,130-$1,740$470-$670
4th (1992-96)$1,100-$1,700$450-$650

Read: Rear Main Seal Failure & Replacement Cost of Ford F150

Factor #4 Location-Based Auto Repair Cost

Due to parts availability and different labor rates, the head gasket replacement cost for Ford F150 varies largely in different US states.

If you are repairing your truck in New Jersey or California, it will cost you the highest. But if you are living in Illinois or Florida, you can save $300 to $400 for the head gasket replacement.

StatesAverage cost
New Jersey$1,700-$2,700
North Carolina$1,630-$2,550
New York$1,570-$2,400

Note: These head gasket replacement costs are rough estimations. The actual cost will vary depending on the problem’s severity and where you repair it.


Can I drive with a bad head gasket?

No. The head gasket is a crucial component in the engine compartment and you should not drive with a bad head gasket. It can lead to catastrophic results, including an engine misfire.

What diagnostic tests are performed to identify head gasket issues?

A compression test is preferred to identify head gasket issues in a Ford F150. Besides, you also can check the engine oil and coolant level and look for other symptoms to find the problem.

Can I replace the head gasket myself, or is it recommended to visit a mechanic?

Head gasket replacement requires good knowledge of automotive repair work as it involves removing various parts from the engine compartment. Unless you have that experience, you should go to a mechanic.

How many years does a head gasket last?

A head gasket usually lasts around 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Depending on how much you drive, it can be between 5 to 10 years.

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