head gasket repair

What is a head gasket?

A internal engine head gasket can be made out of different materials. Now days most head gaskets are made of MLS, (multi-layered steel) but could be made out of copper, O-rings or elastomeric for internal combustion engines. They provide a seal between your engine block and your cylinder head. Overheat your vehicle bad enough, you will blow the gaskets, you will loose compression due to warpage and overheating the gasket. No compression means you will be calling a tow truck, your car is not getting you back home today under its own power. 

Your head gasket seals the combustion gases within the cylinder walls until they are exhausted out of the exhaust valves. When all this is taking place the head gaskets job is to hold this seal together while keeping engine oil and coolant separated from one and another. If you cylinder head gasket is malfunctioning, causing oil to mix, or combustion gases are starting to seep into your radiator or cooling system, something will give is a violent way (boom coolant all over). If you are lucky the radiator or a hose will blow and give you a warning sign. Sometimes these warning signs are not seen or just ignored. Sometimes people have no idea they have “mixing” going on until they do a oil change. Customers have no idea until its to late.  If this happens, the head gaskets are are at the failure point, and there is no correct fix outside of removing the head and loosing your ride to work for a bit. 

How long do they last?

You cylinder gasket usually does not have a life span that expires like your timing belt. There is a few dud models where you do need to be ready for random head gaskets that blow, but usually head gaskets are killed by the owner due to not diagnosing a overheating situation fast enough.  If you catch your car before it gets to hot, major Chico head gasket repair can be avoided most of the time. 

Why do they blow?

The most common reason that they are blown is caused by your engine overheating. Your engine overheating can be caused by the vehicle’s cooling system malfunctioning. This could be caused by many reasons. For example, if a radiator cracks, the vehicle will lose most its coolant resulting in aluminum cylinder heads to fail. The gasket will no longer seal due to a larger space between the block and cylinder head. Once the space becomes large enough the fun begins. Coolant, oil and combustion gases travel to parts where they do not belong causing the extensive repair job that no customer wants to deal with.

  If the head gets really hot, the head may warp causing even repairs and fees from Terrill’s cylinder head shop. This is fairly common for people who knew they were overheating and kept on driving, or for people who had no idea what was unfolding. 

What is replaced when replacing head gaskets

cylinder head
Rebuilt head from Terrell’s. Subaru WRX.
cylinder head
Head gasket repair on a Chevy Malibu

When replacing your head gaskets, you not only replace the head gasket. You also replace your exhaust manifold gaskets, valve cover gaskets, valve stem seals, coolant, oil, and possibly your timing cover gasket. Also you change your water pump and timing belt (if the vehicle is equipped with one). It is important that you change these things to make sure your vehicle operates smoothly and maintain a warranty. 

Where can I get my head gasket replaced?

There are many local places where you can receive Chico head gasket replacement services. One option is, Tedious Repairs! If you are looking for quality auto repair and help with vehicle overheating in Chico, we offer 5-star customer service and auto repair in a timely manner for a fair price. Book an appointment online or give us a call today! 530-826-4275 


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