Car owners probably know by now that owning one isn’t just a simple walk in the park. There are times your car will work perfectly then there are times where it can put a real pain on your head. They say prevention is better than cure and in this article, we’re going to talk about how to prevent a blown head gasket. But before that, what in the world is a blown head gasket?
Blown Head Gasket
- The most common issue car drivers even encounter is a blown head gasket. The worst part of this is that repairing it can really put a hole into your wallet. While the gasket is not actually “that” expensive, the cost of labor is the one that can really break your bank account. Used to car repairs? Well, you still have to deal with a lot of grease and precious wasted time just to repair one.
The Head Gasket
- Before anything else, what is a head gasket actually? The head gasket can be found between the cylinder and the engine block. Its main use is to contain pressure and to keep all three liquids of the engine separated. It also acts as a barrier to keep the head and block apart for easier maintenance. Head gaskets are built with durability in mind, as its main purpose is to withstand overloading amounts of pressure and temperature.
Ways to Prevent a Blown Head Gasket
- There are multiple ways to prevent a blown head gasket. But the trick relies on how to avoid them in the first place. The most common one is to identify the cause, and the second is to properly install the head gasket. So what are the causes of a blown head gasket? Let’s have a look!
- Overheating – One of the most
common causes of a blown head gasket is probably overheating. Overheating
happens when the armor that surrounds the cylinders are crushed. Once this happens,
it causes a loss of compression on the engine and leaks starts to occur on the
coolant. The next thing you’ll find is a smoke that comes out from your engine
followed by a loud bang that means “it’s time for a repair”.
- Hot spots – Blown head gaskets
are more prominent on older cars because their engines are more likely to have
“hot spots”. These things can be found around the cylinder head and the central
cylinders. Car companies, however, found a solution to address this issue by
creating cars with reinforced engines. Have an older car? Take time to check it
out and install a reinforced engine as soon as possible.
- Pre-ignition trouble – This
issue is often found on cars that are only used for inner-city driving. The
situation behind this problem is where the fuel is combusted at the wrong time.
Which results in large amounts of pressure being pushed into the cylinder head
leaving the engine struggling to battle against itself.
- Poor head gasket – Of course,
having a bad head gasket is more likely the result of it turning into a blown
one. Doing research when it comes to buying or repairing cars is the best thing
you can do before opting for one. This problem is completely avoidable if you
have a good head gasket to begin with.
- Improper installation – Lastly, poor installation of a head gasket is the most likely cause. If you have zero knowledge of installing such, then let a professional do its thing. Don’t ever think of DIY installations as it can only lead to serious problems later on.
Five Tips to Properly Install a Head Gasket
- But if you really want to install a head gasket by yourself to cut costs, here are a few tips that you can follow:
- Don’t use old bolts – Never
ever re-use old head gasket bolts if you decide to install a new one. Old bolts
don’t have the same clamping force as newer ones so it’s better to completely
avoid using such.
- Properly apply sealants – Leaks
is another issue that can lead to blown head gaskets. However, there are lots
of quick and effective sealants in the market today that you can use. But keep
in mind that despite having the best sealer around, properly applying it is the
real challenge here.
- Check for flaws even the
simplest ones – There are times that we are too occupied with the biggest
things that we never paid attention to the tiniest details. If that is the
case, checking for even the tiniest and simplest flaws is the key for
preventing a blown head gasket. These tiny problems will probably build up and
can become huge as time goes by if not addressed.
- Clean the desk surface
completely – After looking for the tiniest flaws, cleaning the desk surface is
also important when installing a head gasket. Leaving remnants from your old
gasket will greatly affect how your sealant works.
- Always follow torque specifications – Torques play a vital role when it comes to preventing blown head gaskets. You should not only use the correct torque wrench, but you must also follow its usage patterns and specs.