What Happens When Your Head Gasket Is Replaced?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 3 months ago

5 min read

  • Repair
  • Engine
Mechanic cleaning a cylinder head

FixMyCar discusses the signs of head gasket failure, what happens when the part is replaced and how much it costs.

Replacing the head gasket is a complex job - but what does it involve? Find out in this guide.


What is a head gasket and what does it do?

Signs of a faulty head gasket

What happens when your head gasket is replaced?

What is a head gasket and what does it do?

The head gasket is a seal found between the engine block and cylinder head that stops coolant and oil from mixing. It must be able to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. Although the head gasket is a highly durable part, it's also the most stressed gasket in the engine, leaving it vulnerable to wear and tear over time.

A car gasket.

Check out this guide to learn more about how a car engine works.

Signs of a faulty head gasket

Common signs of a faulty head gasket include:

What happens when your head gasket is replaced?

Accessing the gasket can be difficult as it involves removing many engine components. The process is slightly different depending on the make and model of your car - here is a basic outline of what it might involve.

  • The engine oil and coolant are drained, and the parts connected to the cylinder head are removed. The timing belt or chain may also need to be removed.

  • Next, the engine block is checked for signs of warping and cracks, and the surface of the cylinder head and block are cleaned.

  • The new head gasket is fitted, and a torque wrench is used to tighten the head onto the block.

  • Finally, the other engine parts that were removed for access to the head gasket are put back.

Does your head gasket need replacing? FixMyCar can help you find the right garage at the right price.

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Written by Ellie

Ellie Author Pic

Ellie is FixMyCar’s Content Writer. She has a BA in English literature from Durham University, a master’s degree in creative writing, and three years of experience writing in the automotive industry. She currently drives a Suzuki Swift.

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