Blown Head Gasket
Friday, 20 September 2013
The car industry is by far one of the most lucrative in the world. Its revenue is generated by sales of different types of vehicles, company name brands that challenge each other to make the most customer friendly, up to date, modern vehicles, and although this has been very profitable, another main source of revenue in the car industry is also sales of car parts both refurbished and new, as these are the components that are important in the overall functioning of the vehicle.
The head gasket is one such part. It is located in a very delicate position, between the bottom of the engine, known as the engine block and the top of the engine, also known as the head, and functions as a seal between the two, separating the chambers of combustion from the engine’s cooling system, averting the coolant from the cylinders. Head gasket failure or a blown head gasket is therefore a pretty catastrophic event for any car owner, even more so as many times it goes unnoticed, until it’s too pricy to repair.
Blown head gaskets occur because of various reasons. It could be due to design, as newer car models, may have an inadequate gasket design that leads to it malfunctioning under the pressure of the engine. It could be the manufacturer’s fault for missing screws, nuts and bolts, or it could be a problem due to an inadequate cooling system. Other problems include corrosion or negligent maintenance.
To avoid a blown head gasket, it would necessary to recognize certain warnings that although are subtle, are important in keeping your wallet safe from auto-destruction. Signs that your head gasket may be on the brink of extinction include:
- Loss of power from the engine
- An overheated engine
- The presence of white smoke exiting the exhaust system
- Leaking water or coolant
Also, an indicator that a blown head gasket might be an occurring situation in your near future is if your engine cylinders are made of aluminum. Depending on the make of you r vehicle it is possible that you could have an aluminum engine cylinder with a head gasket that cannot support the thermal expansion of the aluminum, hence causing its malfunction.
Now that your gasket is damaged, what can you expect? Well, depending on the severity of the damage, blown head gaskets can range from inexpensive to downright costly. Interestingly enough, the actual gasket is not that expensive, however, the work involved in disassembly due to its tricky location can rack up the cost of repairs, it definitely doesn’t help that if there is there was a severe blow up the whole engine may need to be replaced.
Some say, in situations such as these, at times it is better to buy a new vehicle altogether than to pay the quota of repairing a blown head gasket. The best cure lies in the prevention, if you see the warning signs, don’t ignore them, get your vehicle checked out right away before the onset of a catastrophe that will quite literally blow all your cash away.