Is Your Head Gasket Blown?

When it comes to your automobile, a blown head gasket is just about the most high priced prognosis there is, shorter of what transpires if you continue to drive with your head gasket blown. The end result of that could be catastrophic motor failure and a vacation to the junk yard for a new engine — or to a car dealership for a new vehicle.

What is especially distressing about how expensive a head gasket is to substitute and the complete necessity that it be accomplished, is how basic and economical the portion basically is. Head gaskets are just slender slices of metal, possibly a composite, with a variety of holes in them. They don’t transfer, make a spark, transfer a fluid, develop electric power or genuinely do everything. They are just there.

What Is a Head Gasket?

The head gasket in a car is just a metallic divider, a fraction of an inch thick, that stands concerning the moving parts of the motor that need oil lubrication and fairly cool situations, and the combustion chamber of the engine that requires fuel, air and fireplace to create an explosion. Oil in the combustion chamber fouls up the performs and stops it from functioning effectively. Warmth from the combustion chamber can burn off up the shifting elements. Coolant leaking into the motor oil reduces lubrication and gums up the mechanical components that make the wheels switch. And considerably, much additional.

In other words, that simple head gasket stands involving a easy-managing engine and disaster. When a head gasket leak develops, oil can seep into the coolant and vice versa. The warmth and tension of the combustion chamber can lead to warping in the cylinders. Oil can drip by the gasket into the combustion chamber and avert combustion or induce the motor to misfire. Oil in the coolant can cut down its cooling ability and hurt a host of elements like the catalytic converter.

If the mechanic diagnoses a blown head gasket, it wants to be mounted immediately. Failing to do so will lead to whole engine failure, and quickly.

What Is the Price tag to Switch a Blown Head Gasket?

You can drive with a blown head gasket until finally the engine is destroyed. An motor overhaul is a major endeavor and expenditures $3,000 to $5,000, mainly in the quite a few hrs of labor necessary. Rebuilding a truck motor can price substantially more than that.

By that measure, changing the fifty-greenback head gasket is cheap – an typical of $1,500 to $2,000. But when it’s coming out of your wallet, it feels like a fortune.

Why does a blown head gasket alternative charge 1000’s of dollars when the component by itself is less than a hundred bucks? Simply because there is so a great deal labor included. The head gasket sits amongst the engine block and the cylinder head, all the way in the again. Pretty much every little thing below the hood need to be taken aside, moved or taken out to access the head gasket.

That is no uncomplicated make any difference. The battery have to be disconnected, and the oil and coolant drained. Wires and hoses that are repositioned or eradicated must be labeled so they can be reattached. A lot of factors these types of as the valve deal with, cylinder head, and ingestion and exhaust manifolds call for their fasteners be removed in a particular sequence to prevent warping or cracking.

Following the head gasket is replaced, the timing belt or chain will have to be reset to its proper alignment and every thing else ought to be returned to its prior place. If all that sounds challenging, it is just a preview of the complexity of the do the job. Head gasket substitution is a job that can easily just take 10-20 several hours.

As lengthy as you are paying out a mechanic to choose every thing apart, it tends to make feeling to have them do an inspection of all the elements. If something is close to needing substitute, this is the time to do it. That will conserve you dollars in the long run, but it can push the head gasket invoice higher.

How Do You Know Your Head Gasket is Blown?

Lots of of the signs of a blown head gasket are symptoms of other difficulties as nicely. Conversely, numerous seemingly easy problems are the initially symptoms of a blown head gasket. It is essential to fork out special interest to these indicators simply because early analysis may well be ready to save you hundreds of dollars.

1. The radiator continuously calls for extra fluid. This is a common concern that commonly does not reveal just about anything as disastrous as a destroyed head gasket. It could be a compact leak in a cooling program hose or in the radiator alone. If you come across by yourself topping off the radiator continuously, get it checked for leaks. It’s probably one particular will be recognized and the challenge solved. If no leak is recognized, a mechanic should research for other indicators of a blown head gasket.

2. The temperature gauge shows the car managing hotter than usual. All over again, this could or may not be associated to a head gasket leak. Particular normal circumstances can heat up the motor. Towing a heavy load, running the air conditioning entire-blast, and stop-and-go driving on a blazing very hot working day can all push up the temperature. So can loss of coolant, which can occur for a selection of explanations. A mechanic can look for for much more most likely results in before concluding it is a blown head gasket.

3. Bubbles are forming in the radiator and coolant reservoir. This might be practically nothing. It could be a blown head gasket. Bubbles can form when air receives into the cooling process. This can end result from a improperly fitting radiator cap or even from absolutely nothing at all. If it persists even immediately after fixing the cap, it is time to suspect problems.

4. Thick white smoke is coming out of the exhaust pipe. It is vital to distinguish white smoke from steam. Condensation can happen when a automobile is started out following standing nonetheless on a cold working day. In that situation, a slender stream of apparent or white smoke can emanate from the tailpipe. It is not a problem and really should vanish soon after a minute or so.

Thick white smoke, specially if it is emitted in bursts, is a signal that coolant is leaking into the engine’s combustion chamber. This is never a excellent issue and must be investigated. Even if it is not a blown head gasket, a crack in the cylinder head or motor block is also huge trouble.

5. The dashboard temperature gauge has pinned. Quit the car! Make absolutely sure there is coolant in the radiator. If not, tackle the coolant challenge and get time to identify if there is an fundamental issue.

6. The oil is discolored. If coolant crosses the head gasket and leaks into the engine oil, it can give the oil a frothy appear, like somebody has just whipped up some heat milk. Milk is superior for you, but frothy engine oil is not.

7. The motor misfires when commencing up. Once more, this could have a host of triggers, most of them not pretty as likely catastrophic as a blown head gasket. When merged with white exhaust, that is a explain to-tale indicator that coolant is leaking into the combustion chamber. Get that checked right away.

If Restoring the Head Gasket Is not an Selection

If the head gasket is certainly blown or damaged and doing a tough component restore is not an option, utilizing a head gasket sealant is a great remedy. BlueDevil Pour N Go Head Gasket Sealer is poured into the radiator and circulated by way of the motor to come across and seal leaks in metals and composites. It then bonds to a assortment of surfaces for a permanent seal.

Whilst practically nothing is superior than the primary elements or replacement areas produced specifically for a motor vehicle, sealant is a fantastic backup approach that can present a permanent remedy although averting massive car fix expenses.

BlueDevil Solutions can be located at AutoZone, Advance Auto Pieces, O’Reilly Auto Parts, NAPA, Components Authority, Auto Worth, Bumper to Bumper and other significant auto parts stores.