CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1997 Ford Ranger - Head Gasket Questions

My mechanic informed me that my Ranger’s head gasket needs to be replaced. How long can I go without doing the replacement? How much should I expect to pay for the job?

Depends on how much more damage you want to do.

Right now if you’re lucky, you just need a head gasket.

If you’ve overheated it even once, you risk cracking the head, and will need new heads.

Also if you have the 3.0 V-6, make sure he gets the head gaskets for a Ranger or Aerostar, and not the ones for a front wheel drive like the Taurus or Windstar .

It has to do with the way the coolant flows through the engine

As far as cost, one source for ballpark estimate is repairpal.com
costs vary by location.

You did not think to ask the mechanic for a price ? That seems like the best place for a price since where you are and what kind of facility you might use are unknown.

What’s the reason for the head gasket failure? Gasket has a breach into the combustion chamber or is it simply an external oil or coolant leak?

The former is serious; the latter can go almost forever as is.

1 Like