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.