Gaskets are one of the essential parts of the engine that most vehicle owners do not anticipate having to replace.

Of course, the need for gasket replacement depends on how long the vehicle has been in use and its past history. The purpose of a gasket is to seal engine components and prevent leaks. Engine leaks are one of the worst problems a vehicle can have, which reinforces the importance of functional gaskets.  

In general, a gasket will not begin malfunctioning until the vehicle has reached at least 60,000 miles. There are a few warning signs that show when a gasket needs to be replaced.

Coolant leaks

One of the common signs is coolant leaks that a gasket may need replacing, however, there are other causes for coolant leaks like a leaky radiator cap, a hole in the radiator, or a water pump leak. This type of leak would usually require a replacement of the manifold gaskets that are used to attach the intake manifold cover to the top of the engine. While replacing manifold gaskets can be temporarily delayed, a failing head gasket must be addressed immediately.

Located in the combustion chamber, the head gasket is positioned between the cylinder head and engine block, allowing it to seal the cylinders and provide the possible compression to prevent coolant or engine oil from leaking into the cylinders. The areas between the cylinders are the weakest point in an engine.

Head gasket repairs and replacement can be expensive, and in some cases, it requires a complete engine overhaul. It is essential that the newly installed gasket is a high-quality replacement so the problem does not reoccur. The gasket material should be compatible with the engine and be able to withstand heat and pressure the engine endures. Although it can be a pricey repair, replacing a blown head gasket is far less expensive than replacing an entire engine or purchasing a new car.

Operation, Installation or Design

Most head gasket failures are caused by problems in either operation, installation, or design. As long as the ignition timing is correct and the cooling system works, there should be no operational problems. Using the correct gasket material will prevent major design issues. But with installation, there is more to account for. To prevent future head gasket problems, special precautions can be taken with installation, like cleaning the deck surface to make sure leftover debris does not prevent the new gasket from adhering.

Inspecting the head bolts and using new bolts will ensure that they are the proper size and do not have any existing damage. Proper handling of the gasket is essential to making sure its potential for the full function is not compromised during the repair process. For many repairs, it is easier and often more cost-effective to purchase gaskets in kits or pairs.

You can purchase gaskets from a variety of auto parts retailers, online stores, or directly from the manufacturer, like at Temel Gaskets. We design and manufacture gaskets and engine sealing parts. We offer a wide variety of high quality sealing solutions, including gasket kits. Our offerings include both OEM and aftermarket parts, for a wide variety of applications. We welcome you to view our product lines and contact us with any questions.   

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