A head gasket is a crucial seal that sits between the engine block and cylinder head in your car. Its main job is to prevent coolant and oil from leaking into the cylinders, which could cause serious engine damage. Head gaskets can also fail due to overheating or excessive pressure, both of which can cause the gasket to blow out. If you suspect that your head gasket has failed, it’s important to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
In some cases, a blown head gasket can be repaired, but in others, it will need to be replaced. Either way, it’s important to get it fixed before any more damage is done to your engine.
All You Need To Know About Head Gasket
IMPORTANCE AND FUNCTIONS OF HEAD GASKET
The head gasket is located between the engine block and the cylinder head. All modern cars have head gaskets made especially for them varying in thickness and size according to the requirements of the car. The importance of this part is that it seals the combustion chamber and allows the car to create proper compression and contain exhaust gases. It helps to maintain the efficiency of the engine. It also does the job of keeping the coolant and engine oil out of the combustion chamber.
The Head gasket needs to be maintained well since it is an expensive repair to get done and can cause some serious damage to the car if you continue driving after being worn out. It can eventually lead to a complete failure.
REASON AND SYMPTOMS OF BLOWN HEAD GASKET
The head gasket has to deal with extremely high temperature and high-pressure gasses. Due to the different types of temperatures it faces and the area it covers within the engine through tubes, it can start leaking after a while. As the head gasket seals the coolant pipes and combustion chamber, it cannot be seen easily. It can only be seen if the engine is removed and then diagnosed for problems which makes it really complex. It also means that a leak cannot be seen by visual inspection.
LEAKAGE FROM EXTERNAL HEAD GASKET
If the coolant starts leaking from under the exhaust manifold, it is a symptom of a blown head gasket. It should be diagnosed immediately by taking the car to an auto shop near you as it is not easy to spot the exact location of the leakage and requires proper tools like UV light to get it done.
WHITE SMOKE FROM EXHAUST
When the head gasket suffers from leaks, the coolant usually flows into the combustion chamber on intake stokes which leads to the coolant evaporating and leads to white smoke coming from the exhaust. The amount of smoke depends on the size of the leakage from the head gasket.
BUBBLES FORMED IN THE RADIATOR
When there is a leakage from the gasket, the internal head gasket leak allows the exhaust gasses to get into the coolant which causes bubbles to be formed in the radiator making it seem like it is boiling even though it is not.
If the head gasket is blown, the engine will overheat after long drives. It happens due to the lack of coolant and combustion process. The radiator is not able to cool the engine anymore which causes it to heat up. When the engine overheats, it can cause a lot of problems and lead to expensive repairs. It can permanently harm the engine and might result in complete engine failure requiring it to be rebuilt or replaced.
HOW TO AVOID IT?
Since repairing the head gasket is really expensive, it is better to maintain it and take preventive measures to avoid it.
To reduce the chances of getting the head gasket blown, get the combustion chamber pressure as low as it can. If the vehicle is turbo-charged, make sure the boost level is set to factory setting to keep the pressure in check. Make sure that the engine doesn’t get knocked from advanced timing or carbon buildup. Also, maintaining the RPM will help in reducing the heat on the head gasket. It is suggested by mechanics to drive at low RPM.
To get the head gasket diagnosed you can take the car to an auto repair shop in your locality or hire a mobile mechanic near you to get the service done at your home or office reducing the risk for further harm.