Today, we are going to consider head gasket repair. If you notice that your head gasket has has damaged, this guide should help fix or repair your head gasket. Before we start, let’s look at a few things you need to know about head gasket.
What Is Head Gasket?
A head gasket performs one of the most difficult but critical functions in a car’s engine. It’s the seal between the engine block and the cylinder head, which is subjected to high and low pressures as well as a wide variety of temperatures. It keeps the coolant designed to cool the engine cylinder out while sealing the combustion gases within the engine.
A head gasket only works as long as the compression seal is intact; nothing can pass through the seal, therefore the engine runs smoothly. This is why a leak in that seal can have such a negative impact on the car’s short- and long-term performance.
Symptoms Of Blown Head Gasket
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, get a diagnostic at the Capitol Toyota service location. If necessary, we may replace the head gasket with a long-lasting OEM component that should last thousands of miles with no problems.
The head gasket can fail between two combustion chambers as well as between the coolant channels and the combustion chambers. For optimal power and efficiency, your engine is engineered to maintain a high level of pressure inside each cylinder. The engine will not hold pressure adequately if the head gasket fails in this manner, and it will run badly and idle rough. A rough idle isn’t necessarily the result of a faulty head gasket, but it’s a warning sign you shouldn’t ignore.
Visible Tailpipe 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 On 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: Dot3 vs Dot4 Brake Fluid: Which Is Better?
Head Gasket Repair: How To Fix Blown Head Gasket
To begin, place the vehicle on a lift or apply the emergency brake to prevent it from moving. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles to shield your eyes for further protection. Before you begin, it’s a good idea to have the vehicle’s maintenance manual on hand. Manuals for most common vehicles can be downloaded on the Internet if you don’t have one.
Remove the fan shroud from the front of the engine, drain the engine oil and coolant, and disconnect the battery. The radiator can be readily removed, but it is not required. Everything that is taken apart has screws, nuts, and bolts that must be replaced. Using little baggies for each set of screws is one approach. Each item should be clearly labeled to indicate which objects belong together.
The plenum chamber that is connected to the throttle body must be removed. After that, the fan must be removed, which may necessitate the use of a special, huge wrench.
The serpentine belt, which runs around a number of pulleys, is now visible. To make reattaching the belt easier later, take a snapshot of the pulleys and the routing arrangement. Remove the water pump, the belt, and the pulleys. Remove the air conditioner compressor by unscrewing it and moving it out of the way. It’s not necessary to get rid of it completely.
The spark plug wires should be unhooked and dragged out of the way. The same goes for all of the wiring and hoses. It’s possible that the throttle body will have to be removed as well. Clean everything that is oil-covered or otherwise filthy with a rag.
It’s possible that the gasoline line will have to be removed. This can be done with a specific tool or by holding the line and dragging the connection forward to release the other end of the line.
The cylinder head and intake manifold must also be removed. They’re heavy, so use caution when handling them.
Remove the valve cover by removing all of the nuts that keep it in place. Because the valves are now visible, be careful not to let debris enter the unit.
After that, the spark plugs must be removed. To do so, use a spark plug wrench. Then loosen all of the bolts that are holding the cylinder head in place, keeping account of their position. They’ll have to be reinstalled in the same locations from which they were removed. Lift the cylinder head out after making sure there are no other cables or hoses connected to it. Because it’s heavy and there’s not a lot of area to maneuver, a second pair of hands can be useful.
The head gasket is that small piece of metal perched atop the cylinders. Remove it and inspect the area surrounding the cylinder block. If something is damaged or corroded, there could be a problem. Make that the top of the cylinder head is clean and free of warping. For information about warping tolerance, consult the repair manual.
Clean the cylinder heads with a toothbrush and the cylinder walls with an oil-soaked rag if everything passes inspection. Then, with the correct side facing up, install the replacement head gasket.
The head gasket is that small piece of metal perched on top of the cylinders. Remove the cylinder block and inspect the area around it. There could be another concern if something is fractured or rusted. Make sure there is no warping on the top of the cylinder head by cleaning it. For warping tolerance, check the repair manual.
If everything checks out, use a toothbrush to clean the cylinder heads, and an oil-soaked towel to wipe the cylinder walls. Then, with the correct side facing up, put in the replacement head gasket.
New oil and coolant must be added after everything has been reinstalled. Because oil and coolant leaks were most likely the first sign that the head gasket had blown, it’s a good idea to cleanse both before adding new.
Using Head Gasket Sealant
Many head gasket problems can be fixed for under $60. Try a bottle of BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer if replacing the head gasket isn’t an option. It’s designed to be simple to use, and a single 16-ounce bottle is enough for a 4- or 6-cylinder engine.
Head gaskets, as well as other parts such as cooling system leaks, heater cores, and freeze plugs, can be permanently repaired and sealed with BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer.
How To Use Blue Devil Head Gasket Sealant
Drain 16 ounces from the radiator when the engine is cold. Start the engine and turn the heater up to the maximum setting. Pour the sealant into the radiator slowly over the period of a minute with the transmission in neutral or park. To allow the sealant to circulate, replace the radiator cap and let the car idle for 50 minutes.
In many cases, an hour and $60 will address the problem completely and permanently. Repair the blown head gasket or take the car to a professional mechanic if the symptoms that led to the diagnosis persist. When sealant fails to work, it indicates that the problem is more serious than a simple head gasket issue.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on head gasket repair. If your head gasket is blown, you can replace it or use head gasket sealant to correct the issue.