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When it comes to getting peak performance from your vehicle, there are a number of different mechanical areas you have to be familiar with. One such part is the head gasket; an important mechanical element that, unfortunately, is not particularly self-explanatory in terms of what it does and why it is important.
However, head gaskets have a vital function on your vehicle, and learning this – as well as the signs that a head gasket replacement may be in order – can greatly improve your overall motoring experience. Below, we have put together a simple guide to what this component is, the signs it may be struggling, and how we at HB Auto & AC can help you resolve the issue once and for all.
What is a head gasket?
A head gasket is a vital component of any combustion engine; essentially, it’s a separator that seeks to protect the combustion chamber on any vehicle. The head gasket serves to seal the combustion chamber of the engine, which allows a vehicle to both achieve the necessary compression required to power the vehicle. The device also ensures that coolant and oil are kept free of the combustion chamber itself.
If your vehicle’s head gasket is functioning well, then the engine will run as it should as the gasket is ensuring the combustion chamber is sealed and uncontaminated. However, if the head gasket has malfunctioned, then you may experience the following…
What are the signs of a head gasket problem?
- Misfires on startup are common for a vehicle suffering from a damaged head gasket; the misfire will often be accompanied by a white puff of smoke from the exhaust.
- Low coolant warnings that occur with no obvious sign of leakage (for example, there is no leaking coolant obvious on the external components of the engine). This is due to the fact that coolant is likely leaking internally and mixing with the motor oil.
- Due to the loss of coolant caused by the damaged head gasket, you may also experience issues with the engine overheating.
- If you inspect your engine oil and notice it has developed a white, almost milk-like color and consistency, this too is a sign of a damaged head gasket.
Unfortunately, the signs of a damaged head gasket are not necessarily obvious; many of the signs below could also point to other issues with the engine. Only a skilled technician, such as the ASE Certified technicians here at HB Auto & AC, will be able to ascertain if the following symptoms are caused by the head gasket or another component of the engine – so this is definitely not a problem you will want to DIY!
What are the benefits of a head gasket replacement?
The main benefit of obtaining a head gasket replacement is that you do not have to deal with the downsides of not obtaining a head gasket replacement. The head gasket is a genuinely vital part of your engine; it serves to ensure that all fluids and gases are kept in the right area. If it fails, gases and liquids can leak – for example, the coolant leaking into the motor oil – and severely compromise the performance of the engine.
However, the problems caused by a broken head gasket are not limited to short-term, inconvenient problems such as overheating. If left unattended, a damaged head gasket can mean a full engine rebuild is required, as oils and gases can infiltrate areas of the engine where they simply do not belong. Full engine rebuilds as a result of a blown head gasket are avoidable, but only if the problem is identified before it becomes severe enough to cause such damage.
Due to the above, it is important to be on the lookout for any of the signs during diagnostics and engine maintenance. This small, seemingly insignificant component is actually vital to the overall health of your engine, and replacing it early – before it can cause significant damage – will save you a huge amount of time and money. If you suspect that your head gasket is damaged, then please do get in touch with us at HB Auto & AC as soon as possible – we will inspect your vehicle, diagnose the fault, and fix the problem as soon as possible.
Should head gaskets be preemptively replaced?
Even if you have yet to notice any of the signs of head gasket damage, it is well worth considering incorporating a head gasket replacement into the standard maintenance of your vehicle. Due to the nature of its role in the engine – and the high temperatures it is exposed to – the head gasket is highly vulnerable to damage, and especially in older vehicles. Given that a damaged head gasket can be so genuinely catastrophic to the health of your engine, proactively replacing this part can help to preserve your engine’s health for the future and avoid all of the issues that can be caused if a fault does develop. We at HB Auto & AC will be more than happy to advise you further if this is an option you wish to consider.
Choose HB Auto & AC for a head gasket replacement
- We at HB Auto & AC have been repairing and maintaining vehicles for over 30 years, so you can be sure that your head gasket replacement will be completed by genuine experts who can call on a wealth of experience.
- All of our mechanics and technicians are ASE Certified, which ensures that your vehicle will only be worked on by those who have met the high standards required to obtain this professional certification.
- Our services are available across a range of brands, including: BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Chevy, Land Rover, Subaru, Dodge, Honda, Acura, Chrysler, Cadillac, Jeep, and many more besides.
- Customer satisfaction is vitally important to us at HB Auto & AC, and we will do all we can to ensure you are 100% happy with the work we perform on our vehicle.
If you wish to discuss your needs further or make an appointment, please do not hesitate to get in touch with HB Auto & AC today.