Given that rocker cover gaskets typically have very long service lives and are therefore not service items, the cost of replacing a rocker cover gasket is usually based purely on the amount of time it would take to replace the gasket, plus the cost of the gasket itself. Note, though, that the cost of a rocker cover gasket could be a significant factor in the final cost if you drive a high-end sports car.
In the real world though, relatively few people drive high-end sports cars, so the factors that determine the cost of rocker cover gasket replacements are largely similar to the factors that drive car maintenance costs in general. In the case of rocker cover gasket replacements, these include the following-
As a general rule of thumb, replacing a single rocker cover gasket, or both gaskets on V-type engines, should not take more than about 2 hours, with most gasket replacements typically taking only about an hour or so.
However, it should be noted that since labour charges vary greatly across the country depending on your location, as well as on the make and model of the affected vehicle, it is not possible to provide even a range of prices for rocker cover gasket replacements that will apply to all or even most situations.
Therefore, if you are on a tight budget, we recommend that you contact several workshops near you to obtain price estimates that include all labour charges, fees, taxes, and levies that might be payable in your state or territory.
As a point of interest, it is worth mentioning that workshops that specialise in repairs on the specific vehicle you drive will often quote lower prices for repairs than workshops that are not familiar with the vehicle you drive.
Cost of parts and consumables
As with many other categories of car parts, there is a direct correlation between the price of a rocker cover gasket and its expected useful life. Thus, while it is possible to save a few dollars by purchasing a cheap aftermarket alternative to an OEM or OEM-equivalent rocker cover gasket, the downside of going cheap is that such a gasket might start leaking within a few weeks, or even just a few days after it had been installed.
Thus, since the labour charge to fit a high-quality rocker cover gasket is the same as for fitting a substandard aftermarket rocker gasket, it only makes good financial sense to fit a high-quality rocker cover gasket that will almost certainly outlive the vehicle is fitted to- without ever developing leaks.
Note also that replacing a rocker cover gasket can sometimes be a messy job, so many workshops will add items like engine cleaner/degreaser, shop rags, and other consumables to the repair bill as separate items. In practice, all workshops charge for these kinds of items in one way or another but be sure to take the time to check that the price you are quoted for a rocker cover gasket replacement does not include unexpected costs for consumables like cleaning materials.
Ideally, the price you are quoted should include all charges, and there should be no unexpected surprises or charges on the invoice you receive.
While sourcing a rocker cover gasket for most vehicles in the country should not be unduly difficult if you live in a metropolitan area, finding a cork rocker cover gasket for a say, 1973 Alfa-Romeo 2000 GT Veloce might be near impossible if you live in a remote area.
So the above example might be extreme, but the point is that parts availability might be problematic in some situations, with some parts, such as most gaskets and seals for European vehicles typically being more difficult to source than similar parts for American and Japanese vehicles.
Therefore, be aware that the more difficult it is to source a part, the higher the final repair bill tends to be, so make sure that parts like rocker cover gaskets for your European or classic vehicle are available before you commit to a repair that might cost more than you are willing or able to spend.