Head Gasket: Everything About Blown Head Gasket, Symptoms, Causes and Cost

What is a Head Gasket and What does it do?

Head gasket – it is a gasket which sits in the space of the cylinder head and engine blocks in an internal combustion engine. Its job is to seal the two making surfaces of the top and bottom halves of the engine. Meaning to say not like any other gaskets in engines head gaskets have a coolant, seal oil, and even density from the cylinders contemporary.

Anything You Need to Know About Blown Head Gasket

Head gasket helps to seal the oil ways between the cylinders head and block so that oil can freely spread around the entire engine. Coolant can also circulate freely surround the engine after head gasket does the same with waterways.

The purpose of a head gasket does the same with waterways to ensure the greatest compression is obtained. The head gasket of a car is exposed to several elements of a vehicle, which are oil, water, fuel and exhaust ques.

What is a head Gasket made from?

Today most modern head gaskets are made from multiple layers of steel or MLS. Typically these are thin steel layers wherein the center layer is somewhat thicker, and the two thinner outside layers are covered in rubber-like high temp as well as chemical resistant polymers which help the contest. Fonts seal against the engine block and cylinder head.

Types of Head Gasket

Multi-Layer Steel

Most modern head engines are produced with multi-Layer steel gaskets. It consists of 1 to 5, or typically 3 thin coatings of steel, enclosed with elastomer.

Solid copper

It is a compact sheet of copper and usually needs special machining known as “o-ringing” which puts a wire nearby the cylinder’s circumference to bite into the copper. When this is done the copper gasket is in good condition.


It is an older technology. Normally these are made from graphite or asbestos best are more prone to blowouts than newer gaskets. Due to health concerns, the asbestos gasket is becoming increasingly unusual.


It is a type of gasket utilized by Rover on their K-series engine. Elastomeric utilized a steel core plate that has formed in place silicone elastic beads to seal oil as well as coolant passages. Further, the original application of a gasket in the smaller versions of the K series who are very successful. However, an engine redesign resulted in continuous problems with the design. The joint interfere became unbeatable and the gasket could not cope.

O-Ring-type Head Gasket

Steel O-king and as well as O-king gaskets are known as the strongest types in their category. They’re repeatedly used and if utilized between properly prepared even surfaces will produce the highest clamp down because of their huge decrease in surface areas.

How much does it cost to fix a blown head gasket? Is it expensive?

We see dollar signs flash before our eyes when we hear the phrase “blown head gasket“. Why do some people it is expensive to repair the blown head gasket? According to repair Pal, a blown head gasket is read. The top of the list of most expensive car repairs and can be estimated anywhere between $1300 and $ 1800. It is only a very broad estimate based on the average for many different vehicles you drive. The majority of the cost is to replace a blown head gasket job can be as little as 10% of the total cost of the job.

How much does it cost to replace a head gasket?

If you are planning to replace your head gasket the average cost is between $1175 and $1485. The estimated labor costs of head gasket replacement are between $889 and $1123 while the estimated price of the parts is $286 and $362. But the estimate does not include taxes and fees.

Typical Costs to Replace a Cylinder-head Gasket

When you are hiring mechanics to change cylinder-head gaskets normally costs around $1000, but it depends on the rate of labor at the mechanic shop which conducts the job. Furthermore, if the cylinder head needs to be machined or replaced. Many shops will also replace and flush the coolant as well, which can cost about $50-$150. Most shops will include this in the repair cost.

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A cylinder-head gasket can cost $5-$500 if you purchase separately. Higher-priced units are full gaskets including additional parts like seals and the lower cost units include only the gasket. Thermostat gaskets run from $1 or less to about $15, while thermostats can cost $30-$75.

$75-$120 per hour for labor is expected to pay but it depends on whether the work is performed at a dealership or an independent shop. The job can take 5-8 hours but it depends on the model.


How hard is it to replace a broken head gasket?

It is easy to repair a cracked head gasket if you can detect the leakage of the initial stage. There are many selling products available at auto repair shops. You just need to incorporate the sealer into the radiator and rest assured the leak will be impenetrable as you drive. The type of the sealer will depend on the site of the leak and the adherent of engine cylinders. Typically this sealer will work in the case of small leaks.

It is hard for an average do-it-yourself to replaces the head gasket. When a head gasket due to old age it usually means everything else is worn out to the point of replacement as well. Peering inside and cracking the engine’s head may expose that everything got completely cooked too. Keep the cooling system in top working order and make sure the engine is in tune and running correctly, these are the best way to present a head gasket letdown. The failure of an 85 thermostat if $3 coolant hoses can cause thousands of dollars in engine damage in a hurry.

Tips on changing a head gasket (head gasket replacement time)

Below are a few general tips in changing a head gasket yourself. Always service manuals for car-specific gasket replacement processes.

Step One: Getting the head gasket down can be an involved process. Before you remove, always mark an index everything. In this way, it was simpler to get rid of the exhaust multifarious head as well as intake like a unit. The most important and first tools in the tool kit are the service manual.

Step Two: You need to check the headland block for flatness. The machined straight face through the surface and the feeler gauge will expose the service manual, on the other hand, will offer detailed information. The description should be delivered to the machine garage and be fixed. To be able to check for cracks, you need to go to the shop.

Step Three: You need to prepare the surface. Don’t use anything that will revive metal. You need to be careful not to scratch the check of the block or mounting surface of the heads.

Step Four: Hunt the stud holes and head bolt with a tap and thread chaser in order to eliminate any crud as get the threads ready. Right head bolts torque is off the utmost importance and uses compressed when blowing out any stragglers. Any of the interference can throw off the torque headings.

Step Five: Don’t use any sealant unless required by your manufacturer, or edit the head gasket in the correct orientation.

Step 6: The key to proper head gasket sealing is correct bolt tightening sequence and torque. If required, make use of new bolts. Coat head bolts threads using engine oil before you install. Always follow shrinking order and torque orders to the preceding detail.

Causes of Blown Head Gasket – All Signs, Problems Symptoms You Need To Know

Causes if blown head gasket can be divided into four main categories:

  • Bad installation
  • Overheating
  • Hotspots
  • Presentation/ Detonation

If anyone of this condition is present right now, you want to make the repair urgent and avoid an expensive repair.

Bad Head Gasket Installation

During the installation process, some things can go wrong causing the head gasket to fill for instance.

  • Using one or more damaged head bolts
  • Using sealant incorrectly
  • Reusing old head bolts
  • Failing to remove unclear spots from the head or block surface prior to installing the new head gasket.

Engine Overheating

It is one of the most common causes of head gasket failures. Even though it does not destroy the head gasket instantly, overheating may weaken a gasket innocently and may cause it to damage soon afterward.

Few reasons behind engine overheating:

  • Failed water pump
  • Bad EGR system
  • Clogged radiator
  • Leaking cooling system
  • Failing radiator fan

Hot Spots

Using the wrong gasket for the application can lead to the failure of the cylinder head gasket. For instance, if the block or head surface was turned at the shop, and you are failed to use the proper gasket for the finish, it may cause the gasket to fail.

Abnormal Combustion

Preignition or detonation is about overheating that is a source of head gasket failures.

  1. Preignition

It is an ignition process that begins before the spark plug fires. This case fallouts in two fire fronts which collide, making pinging sounds as well.

2. Detonation

It happens when the ignition process in the cylinder develops very slowly allowing pressure build-up to start a second ignition in front at the edge of the mixture that collides against the first combustion process with a loud knock.


Today, the head gasket is very important to our daily life especially some people who own vehicles. But you need also to check if it is still functioning well because if it is blown or cracked you will spend a lot of money to repair or replace it. Take care of your head gasket just like how you care on yourself.