The Worn Cylinder Head Gasket: An Enemy For Your Car

The cylinder head gasket is the most fragile part of an engine but also the most important. This connects the cylinder head to the cylinder block and prevents the water circulating inside the engine from slipping into the latter. Its main mission? Ensure the seal to prevent the block from losing compression. We tell you all about the symptoms to look out for in the event of a damaged cylinder head gasket.

What are the warning signs of a damaged cylinder head gasket?

To prevent your vehicle’s cylinder head gasket from slamming, it is necessary to know the signs of wear to anticipate its change. Here are the clues that may suggest a damaged head gasket:

  • Thick white or blue smoke is coming out of your exhaust: this is not a good sign.
  • Immediately stop your vehicle and call a tow truck. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your car.
  • If you notice a “mayonnaise” effect when closing the coolant and engine oil reservoir, you have reason to worry. This oily brown colored surface means that the cylinder head gasket is worn out and no longer strong enough to seal.
  • Conversely, if the oil becomes very clear, the water has mixed with the oil, and therefore that the cylinder head gasket no longer allows sealing.
  • You may have noticed that your engine is overheating more than usual. Don’t worry, and it may have nothing to do with the cylinder head gasket. Remember to check under the hood.

In short, don’t ignore these signs, even if they don’t seem alarming to you. It would be a shame to have to take your car to the scrapyard to not have a quick look at the engine. Even the smallest of problems can have serious consequences for the condition of your vehicle.

Prevention and replacement

How to ensure the proper functioning of your cylinder head gasket? Like any wear part, the cylinder head gasket will eventually run out of steam. However, there are a few tips for pushing back the date of the breakdown.

First of all, remember to check from time to time under the hood of your car. A quick glance will only take you 2 minutes but maybe save the life of your car. Then, when you achieve your levels, do it without overloading them and regularly. And our final tip is not to cold-start your car too suddenly. On average, it is around 200,000 km that a vehicle needs to have its cylinder head gasket changed. So the older he gets, the more care you have to take.

How do I get a worn cylinder head gasket replaced?

This small engine part is for sale on the internet. It is very affordable since its price is between 10 and 50 bucks. But in reality, the price is much higher. Indeed, the labor is expensive because its change involves a long process which sometimes requires removing the engine. It is, therefore, a meticulous manipulation that the mechanic undertakes. If the vehicle is in very poor condition, it may even be that the professional in charge of this repair must replace the cylinder head. This is why it is necessary to count between 300 and 1500.

Only people with a great knowledge of auto mechanics can get started on changing the cylinder head gasket. It indeed remains appreciably less expensive, but this is only a temporary solution. While waiting to entrust your vehicle to a mechanic, buy specific products to pour into the engine; you can also repair the cylinder head gasket as well as possible. But once again, this is not an optimal option. We invite you all the same to consult a specialist.

Our advice? If you are buying a used vehicle, be sure to take a look under the hood before the transaction.


Materials Needed For Making Industrial Gaskets

In pipeline systems and pipeline fittings, gaskets of various designs are used. But the materials from which they are made differ by no less variety. These include paper, cardboard, cellulose, fiber, rubber, asbestos, graphite, metals (metal gaskets ─ made of steel, copper, aluminum, bronze, etc.), paronite, a wide range of polymer materials ─ polyethylene, fluoroplastic, polyvinyl chloride, other.

Requirements for cushioning materials

The conditions for ensuring tightness in gaskets, as in stuffing box seals, depending on the working medium’s properties ─ its pressure, temperature, aggressiveness. Decompression of gaskets in flange joints can be caused by absolute values of temperature and its fluctuations, which change the dimensions of the gasket and the mechanical properties of the material from which the gasket is made. The increase in temperature creates plastic deformation of the gasket caused by an increased tightening of the bolts or studs. On the other hand, as the temperature drops, the tightness decreases, and the gasket joint loses its tightness.

Following the tasks solved by gaskets, a whole set of requirements is imposed on gaskets, the most important of which are:

Cheapness and availability

These qualities are important as a factor in reducing the operating costs of pipeline valves due to the large volumes of use of gasket materials and the need for their frequent replacement;

Elasticity

Resilience is a quality necessary to ensure better tightness of gasket-sealed joints.

Mechanical strength

The gasket should not collapse under the influence of mechanical loads associated with its installation, i.e., when tightening bolts or studs; at the same time, the gasket material should not be so hard and strong as to deform the sealing surfaces, which can occur when using metals as gasket materials.

Temperature resistance

The gasket material should not lose its mechanical properties when exposed to high and low temperatures. Otherwise, it will melt and flow out at high temperatures or begin to crack and crumble at low temperatures;

Corrosion resistance

Like mechanical stress and high temperatures, the working environment’s chemical action can cause destruction or loss of the gasket functionality.

Rubber gaskets

Rubber – a product of rubber vulcanization ─ has a considerable number of advantages that make it advisable to use it as a material for gaskets’ manufacture. Chief among them are high elasticity and impermeability to liquids and gases. A good gasket manufacturing company that specializes in making custom gaskets will help you design and cut the gasket you need.

There are rubbers made based on natural rubber and its combination with other rubbers and rubbers based on synthetic rubbers. A distinctive feature of rubber is the ability to reversible elastic deformations in an extremely wide temperature range. This is facilitated by the presence in the composition of technical rubber of a considerable number (sometimes several tens) of components. The composition and manufacturing technologies have predetermined a wide variety of types of rubbers and their application areas, including sealing connections.

Gaskets from a rubber plate (heat-freeze-acid-alkali-resistant) are used in pipeline fittings that control media such as air, nitrogen, water (fresh, marine, technical), acids alkalis with a concentration of up to 20% at temperatures from -40 to +80 ° C.

Frost resistance of rubber means its ability to retain elasticity and other valuable properties at low temperatures. It is possible to achieve an increased frost resistance of rubber up to -55 ° C by controlling the crystallization of rubbers, selecting their appropriate mixtures, adding plasticizers and fillers.

In a somewhat narrower temperature range (from −30 to + 80 ° C), gaskets from a rubber (oil and petrol resistant) plate work. Following the name of rubber, gaskets made from it are used in fittings that move oils, gasoline, and other petroleum-based fuels and air, nitrogen, and other gases.

The working range of heat-resistant rubber is shifted towards higher temperatures. The gaskets can be used at temperatures from -30 to + 90 ° C and for steam at temperatures up to 140 ° C. The temperature determines the heat resistance of rubber after reaching a decrease in tensile strength and relative elongation.

Another type of rubber from which gaskets are made is “food” rubber, which is safe in contact with food. The gaskets can be used when moving media such as milk, vegetable oil, fruit juices, beer, etc.