Cylinder head gasket the fears and terror of drivers. The part that gives the gray hair to many car users. However, there are also those who do not even know about it and weigh lightly on its signs of wear. How not to go to extremes?
A cylinder head gasket is an element that is located between the engine block or block and the cylinder head, or a specific lid. The task of the gasket is to isolate two liquids that flow around the engine with special channels. On one channel, it is oil, on the other one, the cooling liquid. Neither oil can get into the cooling system nor the coolant into the oil, which is essentially the engine.
The gasket is generally made up of several layers of different materials – there are composites here, and metals (like steel or even copper). It must be very durable because it works in extremely difficult conditions. On the one hand, it tolerates very different temperatures – from negative ones, when the car is standing in the parking lot in cold weather, over 1000 degrees Celsius when the engine is working hard. On the other hand, pressure rises to about 2,000 bars. For this reason, it is often said that the gasket was “blown out”.
Why does the gasket gets damaged?
If this element is well designed and made of good materials, in principle we should not be afraid of its condition. Yes, there are gaskets with some factory defect that simply have to be damaged in anyways because of such defects. It will be easier to give up the gasket in the engine designed in the recently fashionable downsizing trend, i.e. high power from a small capacity. Sometimes we also cause destruction or damage. The easiest way to do this is by overheating or heating the engine. This can happen if we use a wrong coolant (for example, incorrect parameters or normal water) or when driving rough. Seals perform better in gas-powered engines – higher temperatures prevail than in petrol.
However, if we care about proper cooling and do not torture the engine, and our gasket is of good quality, has no defects and is correctly installed, it will withstand many, many years without problems.
What are the symptoms of failure?
Very different. These include:
- Noticeable drop in the level of cooling liquid and white exhaust gases,
- Whitish or creamy coating under the refrigerant fluid stopper,
- Increasing oil level,
- Overheating engine,
- Waving turns at ease,
- Difficult starting the engine.
The first two symptoms are related to the leakage of refrigerant fluid into the engine. It is so burnt together with the fuel, hence the white smoke and the loss of liquid. However, all others may or may not mean a blown gasket. It’s really easy to confuse them. So what is the easiest way to check if the gasket is in good condition or not? We will do it with the leak tester of the head gaskets.
It sounds very serious, although it is equipment is a little expensive for personal use, an auto repair shop it will be nice to have it as one of your tool collection and can be used many times. It is a system of plastic tubes – one of them is filled with a special liquid, the whole is screwed on the coolant expansion tank and we start the engine. If the liquid changes color under the influence of CO2, it means that the exhaust gas gets through. So the seal can be replaced.
Repair Cylinder Head Gasket
If we leave the damaged seal alone, we risk very serious damage to the engine. We can damage the engine to an extent, making it completely unusable. The gasket itself is quite expensive, usually costing around several hundred of naira for popular models. The exchange process itself is laborious and complicated. Only experienced persons should perform it on their own. Suffice it to say that the screws must be unscrewed in a specific order, raise the head so as not to damage anything, properly arrange the gasket, screw in the right order and with the appropriate force, preferably new bolts. In many cases, it is necessary to plan the head, i.e. simply grinding the contact points. It will be expensive (at least several hundred naira as well just for labor), but it is better to leave this activity to the mechanic.
I’m passionate about new technologies and luxury cars. Do not accept the word “problem” and “can not”.A graduate of MA studies in Engineering Technology, A web developer. In the automotive industry for over 12 years. Founder of otomoto.ng portal. A football fan since childhood.