Real Cars

All information related to new cars.

Your car’s head gasket is basically the sealant between two major component, more precisely the cylinder head and the engine block. The placement of this component exposes it to temperatures ranging from low to extremely high. Besides these temperature discrepancies, the piece is unsheltered to high as well as low-pressure levels.

Playing the role of retaining ignition gasses inside the motor and expelling the coolant that is meant to tone down the temperature of the engine’s cylinder, it’s easy to understand why the well-being of the gasket is crucial. Alas, it is this role and exposure that makes it vulnerable to leaking and other types of failures. But for the sake of the car, you must prevent issues from appearing, or at least tend to them as soon as they come up.
How do you prevent a head gasket leak? Fixing Blown or Leaking Head Gasket Picture How do you prevent a head gasket leak? Fixing Blown or Leaking Head Gasket Picture

Failure Causes

As aforementioned, head gaskets execute an imperious task that, while extremely important, puts an enormous amount of pressure on them. Thus, it’s not astounding at all that some eventually fail. Alas, when a failure occurs, it can be cataclysmic for the vehicle’s drivability. There are six main failure causes, more precisely:

  • Blown to coolant port water in oil;
  • Blown to exterior oil leak;
  • Blown to exterior coolant leak;
  • Compression leak to coolant overheating;
  • Compression leaks between cylinders misfire;
  • Compression leaks to crankcase smoking.

Symptoms That You Should Keep an Eye On

Most head gaskets are bound to fail at one point as the pressure put on them becomes overwhelming. Seeing how it’s your role to care for the vehicle, you must always be aware of the state of its most important gasket. These are the indicators/symptoms of a flawed gasket that you must spot in advance to prevent destruction to the car’s motor or drivability:

  • White smoke eliminated by the tailpipe;
  • Radiator blows out;
  • Percolating coolant when the car’s motor is shut off;
  • Heater stops emitting heat;
  • Spark plug holes have coolant in them;
  • Oil has coolant in it;
  • Coolant loss without conspicuous leaks.
How do you prevent a head gasket leak? Fixing Blown or Leaking Head Gasket Picture How do you prevent a head gasket leak? Fixing Blown or Leaking Head Gasket Picture

Blown or Leaking Head Gasket Prevention

Prevention is the preferable path to go on as it absolves you of draining and even costly repair work. The typical reasons for head gasket breakdowns are system leaks caused by inefficient radiators. To prevent a blow or leak, you should periodically check if the radiator coolant is topped correctly. Other methods include checking if the thermostat opens at the proper temperature and examining the electric fans to establish if they are working correctly.

Another great prevention task that you should periodically perform is to examine if the cooling system is lacking carbon dioxide. Performing this test shows if the compression has leaked, thus potentially causing the gasket to blow. Also, you should take into consideration a poor design of the component. Multiple layer steel gaskets boast, in principle, the ideal robust shape for a perfect application. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about this aspect if you have installed an MLS gasket.

Repair Options

Basically, you have one of two choices when it comes to repairing a blow or leak in the head gasket – you either fix it yourself, or you take the vehicle to a garage for professional repair services. You don’t have to be a skilled mechanic to proceed with the reparation yourself as long as you have diagnosed the problem at the right moment.
How do you prevent a head gasket leak? Fixing Blown or Leaking Head Gasket Picture How do you prevent a head gasket leak? Fixing Blown or Leaking Head Gasket Picture
A quick fix that you can turn to and that’s bound to deliver the expected results is adding head gasket sealer. When adding head gasket sealer to the cooling system, make sure that the system has been thoroughly cleaned prior to the operation. But remember that it is a temporary alternative, as, in case of severe damage, it will only delay the inevitable replacement of the car piece. Nonetheless, this is the perfect solution for damage prevention or when the problem is identified at its inception.

How Much It Costs for a Professional Garage Repair

Reparations of a blown or leaking head gasket at a professional car repair shop will shortly turn into your worst nightmare as the repair costs run into thousands. Some find it smarter to simply scrap the car than bothering to fix it. Alas, if you didn’t pay attention to the vehicle’s state in time and you didn’t perform the mandatory checkups, this is a situation that you might find yourself confronted with. The only viable solution is to follow our advice and prevent blows or leaks from occurring in the first place.

Is the Repair Worth the Effort?

Yes, you must do your best and tend to the problem as soon as it appears. Otherwise, the motor will end up damaged and the drivability of the vehicle will be affected. Thus, your experience with the vehicle will receive a literal blow, and you might be faced with the undesirable situation where you are going to spend thousands of dollars on repair procedures.