Blown Head Gasket Repair

If you're in need of having your head gasket repaired, you need to look no further than Ace's Auto Repair, located in West Jordan, Utah. We can fix your head gasket, and we offer competitive rates. We employ servicemen that are experienced and certified, and we are able to repair every sort of vehicle in every make and model. This includes:

  • SUVs
  • Trucks
  • Vans
  • Cars

Contents on this page:

Call Ace Auto Repair, West Jordan, UT, or use our online contact form anytime for a free head gasket repair estimate, or to have any other engine problem diagnosis you may need.

Get a Free Repair Quote

How a Head Gasket Works?

As part of your vehicle's internal combustion engine, both oil and coolant play an integral role in the functioning of your automobile, and it is vital that these both be kept separate from each other. The head gasket acts as a seal, and it is situated between the engine block and the cylinder head. It is important that the oil and coolant remain in their own channels and that they don't leak into the combustion chamber, out of the engine altogether, or into each other's chambers.

Your engine's head gasket is continually subject to contrasting temperatures and conditions. It is exposed to the heat that is produced in the combustion chamber, and it is subject to the cold that is produced by the components that are designed to keep your vehicle cool. It is shaped like a panel with one circle for every cylinder that the engine houses. This environment of extremes can sometimes cause your head gasket to warp, and if left untended, this can cause your head gasket to blow.

How to Know When a Head Gasket Needs Repair?

It is crucial that you be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that you're dealing with a blown head gasket.

These can include:

  • An engine that has begun to overheat and that does so after running only a few moments
  • Oil that is tinged with coolant, giving it a milky appearance
  • Coolant that has begun to leak externally from beneath the exhaust manifold
  • Losing coolant without being able to trace the source of the leak
  • Exhaust gasses have a white tint to them when the car is started or when at idle for a period of time
  • Your radiator needing to be continually topped off
  • Your engine performing sluggishly
  • Finnding bubbles upon examining your vehicle's radiator compartment, which is best observed by removing the cap, starting up the car, and revving the engine.
  • Spark plugs will have a tint of whatever color your coolant happens to be

It is always best to get a diagnosis from your technician if you should happen to see any of the aforementioned signs and symptoms, as your head gasket will only get worse as times goes on.

What Makes a Head Gasket Break Down?

The job of a head gasket requires it to be under a severe amount of pressure. The stresses of everyday driving can take their toll, as can an overheated engine. If your coolant levels were below par and it caused your engine to overheat, this could cause enough strain to blow your gasket.

This can then lead to:

  • A drop in your car's performance due to the leakage of your engine's combustion gasses
  • Lower coolant levels due to leaks that then cause your car to overheat

 

Car Head Gasket

How To Fix a Head Gasket?

The options for resolving a blown head gasket are limited, and, unfortunately, none are simple, inexpensive DIY solutions. On the contrary, if faced with a blown head gasket, you’ll need to first determine whether it’s worth replacing the head gasket or if it makes more sense to replace the engine. If the head gasket repair price costs more than replacing the engine, the question then becomes, “Will replacing the engine cost more than replacing the car?” If yes, then it may be most practical to accept that it’s time to buy another car. 

Here are the options for fixing a head gasket problem:

  • Pay For a Gasket Replacement:  If it is confirmed that the head gasket is blown, the engine will have to be dismantled to access the gasket. One of many problems that may be found after incurring the cost of tearing down the engine is a crack in the engine block, which would mean the engine is totaled.
  • Buy a New Engine:  Whether you do the work yourself or have a professional mechanic do it, it is usually possible to replace your existing engine with another engine cheaper than having your current engine torn apart to replace the head gasket and then put back together again. 
  • Buy a New Vehicle:  If your car is older and has high miles, and does not have any sentimental value to you, then it may be the most practical decision to get a different car.
  • Try to Replace the Gasket Yourself:  Even if you have rebuilt engines, you may still need to pay a machine shop or a mechanic for other professional work necessary to make the engine usable. Tearing down an engine is a challenge for experts, so be sure you have all the right tools, knowledge, and skills to do the job properly.

If you decide to take on this major automotive repair challenge as a DIY project, then be prepared to spend a considerable amount of cash, time, and physical labor.

How to Replace a Head Gasket?

If you choose to replace the head gasket yourself, follow a service manual for your vehicle with exact step-by-step instructions for removing parts. The head gasket (cylinder head gasket) is the seal between the cylinder head and the engine block. To be clear on the project’s scope, you will be dismantling your engine, removing all parts from the engine as necessary to remove the cylinder head from the block, and then reassembling the engine. 

Here are the general steps involved in replacing the head gasket:

Step A. Have the engine problem officially tested and diagnosed by a professional mechanic to confirm that a cylinder head gasket replacement is needed. The dismantling of an automobile engine is an extreme undertaking that should not be done unless you have confirmed that it is definitely necessary. 

Step B. Gather parts and other materials needed.

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Containers for drained engine oil and coolant
  • Drip pans
  • Fresh engine coolant
  • Engine oil
  • Oil filter
  • Cylinder head gasket set
  • Spark plugs
  • Engine thermostat
  • Gaskets for Intake manifold
  • Gaskets for exhaust manifold
  • Sockets and wrenches and other mechanic’s tools
  • Valve cover gaskets
  • Timing belt kit designed for your vehicle
  • Torque wrenches ⅜” and ½.”
  • Code reader (Opt.)

Be sure to get all parts for the correct engine size. Engine designs often change from year to year and model to model, which means many auto parts needed to repair them are often different.

An in-line engine design has only one cylinder head, with cylinders in a single line along the block, whereas a V engine design has two cylinder heads, a head for each of the two banks of cylinders. That means the V engine has two cylinder head gaskets. Remember to make sure that you are servicing the correct side of the V engine — the side that actually has the blown head gasket. 

Step C. Locate the vehicle’s VIN.

Step D. Obtain a vehicle service manual for the car (not the same as the owner’s manual).

Step E. Dismantle the engine.

  1. Disconnect the battery.
  2. Drain both the engine oil and engine coolant.
  3. Disconnect and remove all parts from the engine cylinder head.
  4. Take off all the fasteners in the necessary sequence to avoid engine damage.
  5. Examine the cylinder head assembly.
  6. Clean the threads thoroughly.
  7. Ensure that the interfacing surfaces of the engine’s head and block are clean and smooth. 
  8. Use a proper sealant to spray the new cylinder head gasket.
  9. Reinstall the cylinder head.
  10. Reinstall all the engine components that you have removed.
  11. Reconnect the battery.
  12. Refill all the fluids you had drained.
  13. Turn on the ignition to the accessory position without starting the engine.
  14. Attach a code reader, if available, to confirm that all components are connected.
  15. Set the climate control to high heat to flow engine coolant through the heater core.

In addition to replacing the head gasket, you need to inspect all parts of the engine that a blown head gasket can impact. For example, you need to examine the cylinders, the engine coolant system, the cylinders, and many other parts and the subsystems in which they function. 

While you have the engine apart, it is good to check and replace worn parts that will need replacement soon anyway.

CAUTION: Always wear appropriate personal safety equipment, including safety glasses and protective gloves, when working with any auto parts or fluids. Use proper safety practices while performing mechanical repairs on your vehicle to prevent the risk of injury.

Subaru Head Gasket Repair Subaru owners who find their car has a blown head gasket, should check to see if your vehicle year, make, and model is listed in the Subaru head gasket recall years. Before you search “cost Subaru head gasket leak repair,” or “Subaru head gasket repair cost,” try “Subaru head gasket recall.” Or, call Ace Auto Repair at (801) 803-6016 to find out if your car is covered in the recall.”

Are Head Gasket Sealants Effective?

When researching the subject of head gasket repair, you will see many ads for head gasket sealants that claim you can repair a head gasket without doing any work to the engine. Such sealants cannot fix a blown head gasket. At most, those may briefly stop the leaking but will not prevent the seal from failing again sooner rather than later. While wrongly assuming the problem is fixed, driving the vehicle may be causing additional serious problems and can lead to blowing the engine. 

Quality Technicians Providing Head Gasket Repair in West Jordan Utah

You can come to Ace Auto Repair in West Jordan Utah for all of your exhaust and muffler-related needs. Our technicians are certified, experienced, and knowledgeable, and we offer our services at an affordable price.

Contact Ace Auto Repair online to fill out our form for a free quote or to make an appointment. Feel free to give us a call at 801-447-1693 for a free repair quote today!

Download PDF