In our guide today, we are going to consider everything you need to know about a head gasket, the cost, symptoms of head gasket failure etc. Before we start, let us look at what a head gasket is and the functions it plays in an automobile.
What Is a Head Gasket?
The cylinder block, which houses the pistons and cylinders, and the cylinder head, which houses the valves, spark plugs, and camshaft(s), are the two parts of your car’s engine. The head gasket is sandwiched between these two huge engine elements.
The head gasket is one of the most important gaskets in your engine because it seals the cylinders’ firing pressure and prevents coolant and engine oil from escaping into the cylinders and out to the outside. While sealing in cylinder pressure, coolant, and engine oil flowing via casting ports, the head gasket must withstand the pressures of the two surfaces expanding, contracting, warping, and rubbing.
Read also: How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?
Signs Of a Bad Head Gasket
When you see the following signs, then you should know that your head gasket has failed and needs urgent attention:
When it comes to engine overheating, the head gasket causes a “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” situation. An overheated engine, for example, might produce head gasket leaks. When metal engine parts become too hot, they can flex and bulge, pulling away from their gaskets and seals and causing leaks. However, because the head gasket maintains coolant flowing efficiently through the engine, a leak causes the engine to overheat.
Whatever the cause, we urge that you stop driving as soon as possible if your car’s engine temperature warning light comes on. Operating an overheated engine might result in catastrophic engine failure very soon! To keep your automobile on the road, you’d have to spend a lot of money on an engine rebuild or engine exchange. Instead, schedule an appointment with Capitol Toyota for a diagnostic.
The head gasket might fail not only between the coolant channels and the combustion chambers, but between two combustion chambers as well. For optimal power and efficiency, your engine is built to maintain a high level of pressure inside each cylinder. The engine will not hold pressure adequately if the head gasket fails in this fashion, and it will run badly and idle rough. Although a rough idle isn’t always the result of a faulty head gasket, it’s a significant symptom to be aware of.
Tail Pipe Smoke
The head gasket aids in optimal coolant flow via the engine’s coolant channels, which are located directly adjacent to the combustion chambers. If the head gasket fails, coolant may flow into the combustion chambers and be burned with the fuel. Coolant burns in the engine and produces a white or grey-colored smoke that escapes from the tailpipe. While many automobiles release visible tailpipe smoke while warming up on a cold day, a vehicle that emits visible smoke all of the time is likely suffering from a head gasket problem.
Milky Build-up Under Oil Cap
If you think your engine’s head gasket has blown, you may easily confirm or disprove your suspicions by looking behind the oil filler cap. The inside of the oil cap should be reasonably dry if the gasket is intact, with a small amount of engine oil on the inside. You may have a head gasket leak if you notice a milky brownish-yellow fluid the color and consistency of a chocolate milkshake. This milky stuff is oil that has combined with coolant and is polluting the engine oil as it seeps past the head gasket. Because contaminated engine oil can’t adequately protect your engine from friction or heat, you may need to replace your head gasket right away.
Even if the head gasket is still intact, you may see contaminated oil behind the filler cap if you only drive the car for short distances. Because the engine never fully warms up, condensation that collects while your vehicle sits overnight may not be completely burnt up on short journeys. This moisture would evaporate on longer drives. This test may not be useful if you have a car that is only used for short trips.
Read also: Head Gasket Repair: Learn How To Fix It!
How Much Is a Head Gasket?
A head gasket replacement will typically cost between $1,400 and $1,600. However, depending on the engine, this may cost up to $2,500.
The cost of a blown head gasket is so high because of the labor that is normally necessary, in addition to the cost of the head gasket part. Simply expressed, the repair necessitates a large number of head gasket work hours. The mechanic must first disassemble the complete engine, which takes a long time. Then he must perform the necessary repairs before reassembling it. Reassembling an engine is also time-consuming because it necessitates a high level of precision. Misfires or future problems might be caused by even the tiniest miscalculation in the cylinder timing or other variables.
To put it another way, a “high” answer to the question “how much does it cost to repair a head gasket?” means you’ll have to pay for components, labor, and a high degree of training from your technician. Most mechanics will tell you a head gasket repair estimate before they begin work to avoid surprises. At the very least, they can tell you what the average cost of replacing a head gasket is for your car.
Just keep in mind that the cost of replacing a head gasket may be more than the estimate you receive. While replacing a head gasket, your mechanic may discover other issues. Good mechanics, on the other hand, will keep you informed and inform you of any other difficulties that arise that may effect the engine head gasket repair cost.
Blown Head Gasket Causes
The engine in your car works in extremely hot circumstances. If the temperature rises above usual, your engine may overheat, resulting in a blown head gasket. The excess heat causes the cylinder head and engine block to expand too much, causing the head gasket to fail. Detonation damages the armors or fire rings, allowing cylinder pressure to flow past the armors, resulting in head gasket failure.
How To Prevent Blown Head Gasket
The easiest strategy to maintain your car’s head gasket from failing is to keep the engine coolant at the proper level and mix according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Have it checked out if you notice coolant leaks on the ground or garage floor. Make it a habit to keep an eye on your temperature gauge; if it starts to run hot, have it checked out by a professional technician right away.
How Does Head Gasket Sealer Work?
When you pour a head gasket sealer into the radiator, it works. You drive the car for 15 to 30 minutes on high with the heating and fan on. The sealant’s unique ingredients then operate via heat. They’ll look for cracks and gaps in the head gasket and fill them in. Then they’ll harden to do the job.
These sealants aren’t the most long-lasting and may wear down over time. The head gasket must be replaced, which is a pricey procedure. A temporary repair is to use a head gasket sealer. The amount of sealant you use is determined by the size of your engine. Vehicles with eight or ten cylinders will almost certainly require more sealant than vehicles with four or six.
Does Head Gasket Sealer Work?
Many budget-conscious automobile owners swear by head gasket sealers, especially in vehicles powered by Subaru’s 2.5-liter flat-four cylinder engine. Repairing a head gasket might be expensive, so sealant is worth a shot. They can certainly assist in extending the life of your vehicle. If you use a head gasket sealer, make sure you inspect your car again after a few days to be sure there are no further leaks. You can tell if the sealant worked by the fact that the overheating issues are vanished.
Best Recommended Head Gasket Sealants
The following head gasket sealants are best for repairing a blown head gasket. You can pick it up in any automobile or online shop:
Steel Seal Blown Head Gasket Fix Repair Sealer
Many purchasers are doubtful that a chemical solution can be found for their mechanical problems, but Steel Seal solutions all come with a money-back guarantee to give those trying to remedy their head gasket difficulties some peace of mind. This product is designed to avoid excessive antifreeze use and engine overheating in six-cylinder engines. The directions must be carefully followed in order for the product to work, according to users.
K-Seal HD Multi Purpose Permanent Coolant Leak Repair
K-Seal claims that its solution can stop leaks in three minutes, which appears to be a stretch. Customers appear to agree, stating that the product performs as expected. It also mixes with several forms of antifreeze, which is unusual in the sealant field. This particular component is compatible with HD applications such as RVs, tractors, trailers, and huge capacity engines.
ATP AT-205 Re-Seal
For many at-home and professional mechanics, ATP is a reliable brand. This AT-205 Re-Seal may be used for a lot more than just head gaskets, and many people have had success with it in preventing overheating. The AT-205 is classified as a plasticizer by ATP, which is a type of chemical used in the rubber industry to set hardness and flexibility. There are numerous reviews that tout the re-success seal’s rate, therefore it must be reliable.
As evidenced by the numerous Amazon reviews, this is a popular item. It has a three and a half star rating, indicating that it has definitely helped a number of people. Many people praise the BlueDevil solution because it’s a simple product to use, especially for individuals who haven’t done much car care in the past. It contains a high-temperature adhesive as well as sodium silicate, and no engine-harming particles or particulates are present. It appears that one bottle will suffice for six-cylinder engines, but larger engines may require more product.