Should you do it yourself
Replacing a head gasket is not a DIY job, unless the person has plenty of experience, knowledge, and the proper tools. The fact that a person would even ask, "How to replace a head gasket", would indicate to some that they should not trying to do that repair.
To replace a head gasket you must remove the intake manifold, exhaust manifold, valve train, and then the head. This is very involved and requires disconnecting lots of sensors and the ignition system. The head must then be checked to see if it is warped, or cracked, and repaired if necessary. You must then know how to put all this back together and torque all the bolts in the proper sequence. This takes training and skill which the average shade tree mechanic does not have.
There is a difference between say a over head cam (OHC) engine and a internal cam engine. And then if it is a V6 or V8 then both head gaskets must be replaced even if only one blew. And last but not least, you have to find out if there is other engine damage and what caused it to blow the gasket in the first place. Definitely not for an amateur.
The best answer to this question: Take it to a professional.
The second-best answer: Get a repair manual and follow directions. A repair manual does not provide the training necessary to do this repair correctly, and not near enough information, but it can provide more info than can be written out in an answer like this.
Below is the best answer we can provide in this format.
* Make sure you have a torque wrench and the correct torque specs for your vehicle
Exhaust flange nuts and bolts
Head Gasket (preferably OEM)
Ten head bolts
Two valve cover end seals
Tube of RTV silicone
1. Disconnect the battery negative terminal
2. Drain the cooling system
3. Raise the front of the vehicle and support it with jack stands .
4. Remove the two 13mm exhaust bolts holding the exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold, lower the vehicle
5. Remove the air cleaner assembly
6. Remove the upper radiator hose
7. Loosen the 13mm nut holding the dipstick tube bracket to the thermostat housing and remove the coil (if it is attached to the thermostat housing) and unplug the coolant temperature sensor
8. Remove the spark plug wires from the plugs, remove the distributor water shield and the distributor cap (this step is so you don't damage the distributor cap).
9. Remove the two uppermost 15mm-head bolts from the top of the a/c , alternator bracket where it attaches to the head and unplug the single wire temperature sending unit
10. Remove the upper half of the timing belt cover
11. Remove the valve cover
12. Disconnect the wiring harness connector that is just to the right of the throttle body
13. Disconnect the throttle cables from the throttle body and remove the two 10mm head bolts holding the bracket
14. Disconnect the vacuum lines from the throttle body
15. Disconnect the fuel lines - NOTE : The fuel lines may be under pressure , use extreme care when removing them
16. Disconnect the throttle position sensor connector and the EGR valve connector (if equipped)
17. Carefully lift up the throttle body wiring harness , the fuel lines , and the vacuum lines together and use a bungee cord to hold them out of the way
18. Remove the ground strap that is attached to the intake manifold from the fire wall
19. Remove the 15mm-head bolt holding the battery ground cable to the engine
20. Disconnect the vacuum hose from the power brake booster and the heater hose from the intake manifold left side
21. Use two plastic tie straps to secure the timing belt to the camshaft pulley and remove the pulley . Hold upward tension on the pulley and secure it with a bungee cord to the right hood hinge - NOTE: be sure to hold the upward tension with the bungee cord so the timing belt doesn't jump a tooth on the lower pulleys
22. Remove the head bolts and lift the head off the engine block . (I suggest having an assistant help to lift off the head) With the head removed , carefully check the head casting for signs of cracks. Also use a straight edge to check the head casting for warpage (maximum allowable warpage is .00
23. Clean all the head gasket mating surfaces and wipe clean with a little brake cleaner on a rag. Use a round plastic bristled brush to clean out the head bolt holes in the engine block and blow them out with compressed air.
1. After the gasket surfaces are prepared, set the new head gasket in place and CAREFULLY place the head into position, take extreme care not to place the head on the head gasket until it is in the proper position.
2. With the head in place, install the head bolts. You will need to tighten the head bolts in a circular pattern starting from the center and working your way out. I recommend hand tightening all the bolts before beginning the torque sequence. Head bolt torque: For older style 10mm head bolts : 35 - 45 - 45 - and a 1/4 turn; For newer style 11mm head bolts : 45 - 65 - 65 - and a 1/4 turn
3. Use the two rubber valve cover end seals and a bead of RTV silicone to reseal the valve cover.
4. Do Not let the silicone skin-over before setting the valve cover into place and tightening the bolts, also be sure that both mating surfaces of the valve cover are clean and oil free .
5. After the head is reassembled you will need to reset the base timing to specs. You will also want to double check the timing belt position . Use a variable timing light and set the timing mark on zero degrees . Save the setting on the timing light and shine it through the inspection hole in the top of the upper timing belt cover . If the belt timing is correct , you will see the oblong hole in the camshaft sprocket centered in the inspection hole .
Here is what other Wiki s contributers have answered:
The cost of replacing a part is a very general question that unless specified exactly is hard to answer. First, is who is replacing the part? Is the Dealer, an independent repair shop, a junkyard, the guy next door or you doing the replacement. These will all yield different prices. Not to mention that within all of these will be different labor rates and different part price mark ups. Second, what is the quality of the part? Is it a name brand, generic (white box, economy), OEM or used part? All of these will be different. Price will even differ between name brands, sometimes significantly. Thirdly, What is the warranty of the part and who is offering the warranty (the shop the parts house or the manufacturer). Limited Lifetime will have restrictions. Lifetime warranty isn?t always the best part either. Fourthly, Each vehicle can have different options that will affect how long it takes to change a part or make it call for a different part. Such as heavy duty cooling system, air conditioning, 4x4?s may have a steel plate that may need removal, Automatic or manual transmission, the list goes on. Fifthly, What additional parts will be required? Long life coolant or standard coolant, R12 or R134a air conditioning freon if it needs to be discharged or replaced? Additional adapters other fluids that may need to be added or changed? All of this will affect price. Sixthly, is the car a new car or an older car? Labor manuals or guides are set up based on a new car. Additional time may be required due to seized or rusted bolts, additional aftermarket accessories that were installed etc. So you can see where there is a great potential for variances. I offer this insight: If you take it to an independent garage like I always recommend, consider how long they have been in business. What is the quality of there work, are they honest? (see the FAQ how do you choose an auto repair shop for additional insights).
Bad spark plugs and leads can commonly make the engine feel like its 'hesitating' or skipping a beat, often worsening in the higher rev range.
However it is not the cause of white smoke. White smoke is typically associated with coolant getting into the combustion chamber. The most common cause of this is a cracked head gasket, which you will need to replace in order to rectify the white smoke.
Blown gaskets are usually caused overheating and are very difficult to replace. It is worth it replacing if you want to drive this car again. If you drive it without repairing it, severe engine damage will occur.AnswerIf you're of average mechanical ability and the job doesn't have snags, no, it is not difficult. If you're going to tackle it, do exactly what you're doing for starters: research. Get the specs that are needed as well as a r&r procedure, and you're off. Depending on where you live, or more precisly, where the car has lived, you may need Torches.
The "manifold to head" bolts can be challenging, but shouldn't stop you from trying. The bigger question you face is "is it just a head gasket?" It is possible that the gasket may have been blown from warpage in the head, in which case the head should go to a machine shop for cleaning, pressure testing, maybe magna-fluxing for cracks, and machining if it is okay. You could put it together and still have a problem. So send it to a machine shop unless you are just going to get a reman head. I don't know what size engine you have, so I can't get too specific, I would guess a 2.2 or 2.5. Fair chance of a cracked head if so. Tightening specs and sequence are important for the head bolts. Plan on new ones, toss the old ones. Get a new thermostat while you're in it. Overheating can damage a thermostat.
Getting back to the original question, yes, you can do this, be patient. IF a bolt snaps a machine shop can help you. Continue to research this before you start. Good luck.AnswerIt depends on the car. Years ago I did it every Friday night on a Corolla for a month - took about 4 hours. Then I finally realised the head was cracked. Overhead cams make it more tricky. For example, on some cars the cam chain has a tensioner located low down. The chain must be kept under tension the whole time, or the tensioner falls into the sump. Then it's off with the sump. A full maintenance manual giving the procedure and specs for clearances is essential. Of course, a tension wrench is a must. It's best to do this with someone experienced the first time. However, with the right tools, maintenance manual, and common sense, it's not too difficult. As with any car repair, have a few plastic containers for nuts and bolts, each labeled. Otherwise expect to have a few left over at the end - not nice.
Note that what seems like a blown gasket can also be a warped or cracked head. Get this checked out before re-assembly, particularly if the car has overheated.AnswerWhat causes it is usually bad manufacturing or a design flaw, lastly bad maintenance, say an overheat/ bad thermostat on a aluminum head, or no oil. The head gasket is what keeps oil and radiator fluid separate. When they mix, death, quite quickly. Engine replacement. Can most people do a head? No. About 500 bucks vs a new engine. When you lose radiator fluid, and its not on the floor, check your oil. if that's foamy, pull over, or death to the engine will come quickly. its 500 bucks vs a new engine. AnswerI'd strongly recommend getting a service manual before doing it; preferably the factory manual. But maybe one of the car store manuals will do it; look up the head gasket section and see if it specifies torque for the head bolts, order to tighten them in, whether you can reuse old bolts or need new ones every time, etc.
It's not necessarily a tough job, but it's one of the more finicky; after all, the factory presumably did the best job possible, and the gasket still blew, so you don't want to do a sloppy job. Although, any reasonably good job will last a while.
Some cars are easier than others. Whatever Ford compact had a rash of head gasket failures like in the 90s sometime and the dealers learned they can just undo the bolts, lift the head half an inch, pull out the old gasket with a pair of needle pliers and slide in the new gasket, and put it all back together again, all within half an hour, and collect 4 hours pay from the warranty book. Last time I did one, it took me all winter, but that was because it was too cold outside most of the time. Worked fine though. Until I overheated again.
The thing is, that just replacing the gasket isn't always the best idea. If the engine has a lot of miles on it and is burning oil, etc. might as well put a rebuilt head on as long as you're doing the work. Plus if the gasket blew because the head warped because it overheated, you should probably not put the warped head back on or it will eventually blow again. Thus the rebuilt head, which is ground flat before they rebuild it. (Which in itself causes some problems with cam timing, but that's another matter.....)
If the rings are shot, then the engine needs a total rebuild don't bother with anything less.
Lately, it's become almost more practical to just swap a used engine (or engine/trans, if its a FWD) from a junkyard instead of doing the gasket; it's more work and you're not likely to do it yourself, but the mechanic will likely guarantee it, assuming he gets to pick the engine; whereas they're reluctant to guarantee a head gasket for very long, given how finicky it is.
As for the cause, like everybody says, if you have an aluminum head, as most (all?) compact imports do, overheating will do it. Not right away, usually, but within a few months. The aluminum warps, and the uneven pressure is enough to let the gasket blow out. And the overheating is often due to a clogged radiator, or a leak that loses coolant, or a blown hose, or some such. Could be a long period of mild overheating, or a sudden high overheating. With me, it was always blowing a hose (or a hose clamp) on the highway, because you can lose all the coolant real quick and not notice any steam, like you would on the street at low speed.Answer:I would order up an engine from a Japanese engine supplier, and replace the whole engine. The labor is not a whole lot more than doing a head gasket with much lower risk of problems.
Your blown head gasket was caused by some other problem that may or may not still exist when you are done repairing the head gasket.
As the oil heats up it goes it flows much easier. This requires less pressure to move the oil throughout the engine. ALSO as described above, the viscosity (thickness) of the oil ,decreases which in turn makes oil flow, even in the narrowest area's, more freely. like electricity, more resistance, less current/flow, voltage (pressure) increases. but the reverse is also true..LESS resistance(thinner oil viscosity) when oil is hot. resistance to oil flow decreases, and the pressure (voltage) decreases.
More than likely you will have to remove the head but, you can try injecting a product such as Seafoam or Techron into the engine through a vacuum hose and it may or may not work. Follow the directions to the letter. I have seen it work but I have also seen it fail to help. Worth a try for the $6 it will cost to try.
it anylises oxygen durbrain
The head or heads will have to be remove and inspected for cracks or warpage. You then replace the gasket and reinstall the head. Drain the oil and change the filter. Replace the thermostat and pour in fresh coolant. Unless you ran it hot or drove it for a long period of time in this condition you may be ok. If you just kept driving it then you will have damage to the rings and bearings an the engine may need an overhaul. Really depends on how long the engine was driven with a blown gasket.
Remove motor from bike. Take head off the motor replace gasket .If it has an over head cam make sure you put motor to top dead center. Then take out cam and tie chain up so it will no fall down. If it is liquid cooled make sure you drain it before you take the motor out.
You really are going to need to be more specific. What kind of noise are you talking about? Are you asking why noises come out of the engine while operating normally? Are you talking about an irregular noise that you think could be a problem?
Engines make noise because there is a conversion of one energy to another and since a lot of it is wasted energy conversion we observe "waste energies" if you will. Such examples are heat and sound.
Inside a running engine there is a lot happening. Coolant and oil is constantly distributed throughout the engine and results in radiant heat and sound. Pistons are for ever going up and down, adding more sound. Combustion, which makes the pistons move, adds to the heat and sound. Parts that take this power of combustion and deliver it to the driving wheels are moving parts and add to heat and sound. Everything makes noise. Appreciated properly, all these wasted energies add to the beauty of the beast that is an internal combustion engine.
White smoke is coolant entering the combustion chamber. You have a blown head gasket. STOP driving this car immediately or you will destroy this engine. The head gasket must be replaced.
Assume you mean that it's burning oil. Typically that's because of poor maintenance or abuse.
White smoke indicates coolant entering the combustion chamber. Normally caused by a blown head gasket or cracked head. Blue smoke is oil burning, and black smoke is an overly rich fuel/air mixture.IFit's black smoke (too much fuel) it can be caused by a sticking injector, faulty sensor or plugged air filter.
Note that if coolant is entering the combustion chamber there will be other indicators, such as serious misfiring and/or coolant will be blown from the water jacket. Without those indicators you are probably not getting water in the combustion chamber
Remove intake hoses any wire harness alternator and alt mount free up the heads loosen in sequence in quarter turns
front of 6 4 2 8
engine 5 1 3 7
clean remaining gasket inspect block of any cracks no cracks take heads to machine shop for inspection and resurfacing if heads check out buy head gaskets clean all gasket surfaces with scotch brite pads starter spray then final wipe with rubbing alcohol let dry copper spray new head gaskets put gaskets inplace gaskets marked up put new heads inplace torx
2.loosen full turn
each step in sequence
Rotate crankshaft to zero degrees top dead center (TDC) on the compression stroke.
Disconnect battery ground cable.
Drain engine cooling system.
Remove air cleaner outlet tube to throttle body.
Mark and remove vacuum lines to upper intake manifold.
Disconnect EGR backpressure transducer hose from EGR valve to exhaust manifold tube, loosen lower EGR valve to exhaust manifold tube nut and rotate EGR valve to exhaust manifold tube away from EGR valve.
Disconnect the throttle position sensor (TP sensor), idle air control valve (IAC valve), EGR backpressure transducer and EGR vacuum regulator solenoid electrical connectors.
WARNING: COVER FUEL PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE WITH SHOP CLOTH TO PREVENT ACCIDENTAL FUEL SPRAY INTO EYES.
Relieve pressure at the fuel pressure relief valve (Schrader valve).
Remove fuel line safety clips.
CAUTION: Cover fuel line ends with clean shop cloths to prevent dirt from entering opening.
Disconnect fuel lines.
Remove upper intake manifold as outlined. Discard old intake manifold upper gasket.
Disconnect engine control sensor wiring retainers from rocker arm cover stud bolts and each fuel injector, and position the engine control sensor wiring out of the way.
NOTE: Fuel injectors and fuel injection supply manifold may be removed with lower intake manifold as an assembly.
Remove fuel injection supply manifold and fuel injectors.
Remove ignition wires from spark plugs.
Remove wire harness retainers from valve cover retaining stud bolts.
Remove ignition coil and bracket from LH front cylinder head and set aside.
Disconnect upper radiator hose and heater water hoses.
Remove camshaft position sensor (CMP sensor) and housing.
Disconnect engine control sensor wiring from engine coolant temperature sensor (ECT sensor) and the water temperature indicator sender unit.
If LH (front) cylinder head is being removed, perform the following:
Disconnect generator electrical connectors.
Remove drive belt.
Remove drive belt tensioner.
Remove power steering support bracket and power steering pump as an assembly and set aside in a position to prevent fluid from leaking out.
Remove oil level indicator tube retaining nut from exhaust manifold stud bolt. Rotate or remove oil level indicator tube from exhaust manifold.
If RH (rear) cylinder head is being removed, perform the following:
Remove intake manifold support.
Remove valve covers.
NOTE: Regardless of cylinder head removal order, the No. 3 cylinder intake valve push rod (6565) must be removed to allow removal of lower intake manifold.
Loosen rocker arm seat retaining bolts enough to allow the rocker arm to be lifted off the push rod and rotated to one side.
Remove push rods. Identify the position of each push rod. The push rods should be installed in their original position during reassembly.
Remove lower intake manifold.
Remove spark plugs.
Remove exhaust manifolds.
Remove cylinder head retaining bolts and discard.
Remove cylinder heads.
Remove and discard the old head gaskets.
CAUTION: Use care when scraping aluminum surfaces to prevent gouging which may cause leak paths.
NOTE: Lightly oil all bolt and stud bolt threads before installation except those specifying special sealant.
Place shop cloth in valve tappet valley to catch any dirt or gasket material. Clean cylinder head, intake manifold, valve cover and head gasket surfaces. If the cylinder head was removed for a head gasket replacement, check the flatness of the cylinder head and cylinder block gasket surfaces.
Position new head gaskets, noting UP designation on head gasket face, on cylinder block using the cylinder head to block dowel for alignment.
NOTE: Replace cylinder head to block dowel if damaged.
Position cylinder heads on cylinder block over cylinder head to block dowels.
CAUTION: Always use new cylinder head bolts when installing cylinder head or damage to engine may occur.
Install new cylinder head retaining bolts:
Tighten retaining bolts in sequence shown to 70-90 Nm (52-66 lb-ft). Then back off bolts 360 degrees.
NOTE: When cylinder head retaining bolts have been tightened as outlined, it is not necessary to retighten the bolts after extended engine operation. However, the bolts can be checked for tightness if desired.
Tighten the cylinder head retaining bolts to: 40-55 Nm (33-41 lb-ft) 85-99 Nm (63-73 lb-ft)
Install lower intake manifold as outlined. Connect engine control sensor wiring to the engine coolant temperature sensor and to the water temperature indicator sender unit.
Dip each push rod end in Engine Assembly .Install push rods in their original position.
Install rocker arms, rocker arm seats and retaining bolts.Tighten bolts to 7-15 Nm (5-11 lb-ft).
CAUTION: Rocker arm seats must be fully seated in cylinder head and push rods must be seated in rocker arm and valve tappet sockets prior to final tightening.
Final tighten retaining bolts to 26-38 Nm (19-28 lb-ft).
NOTE: If the original valve train components are being installed, a valve clearance check is not required. If a component has been replaced, perform a valve clearance check.
Lubricate all rocker arms with Engine Assembly Lubricant.
Install lower intake manifold as outlined.
Install spark plugs if removed.
Position valve covers on the cylinder heads and install retaining bolts. Note the location of ignition wire retainer stud bolts.
Connect engine control sensor wiring to fuel injectors and valve cover stud bolts.
Install upper intake manifold and intake manifold upper gasket.
Install ignition coil and bracket assembly. Tighten retaining bolts to 40-55 Nm (29-41 lb-ft).
Connect ignition wires to the spark plugs and ignition wire separators (12297) to valve cover retaining stud bolts.
Connect intake air temperature sensor (IAT sensor), throttle position sensor, idle air control valve and EGR backpressure transducer or EGR vacuum regulator solenoid electrical connectors.
If LH (front) cylinder head was removed, perform the following:
Install or rotate oil level indicator tube to exhaust manifold retaining stud bolt. Tighten nut to 16-20 Nm (12-15 lb-ft). Install power steering support bracket and power steering pump assembly. Tighten retaining bolt to 40-55 Nm (29-41 lb-ft). Install drive belt tensioner.
If RH (rear) cylinder head was removed install intake manifold support.
Install generator. Tighten long retaining bolt to 48 Nm (35 lb-ft) and short bolt to 37 Nm (27 lb-ft).
Install the drive belt.
Connect fuel lines as outlined.
Install fuel line safety clips.
Connect upper radiator hose and heater water hoses. Tighten clamps securely.
Connect vacuum lines to premarked locations.
CAUTION: Engine coolant is corrosive to all engine bearing material. Replace engine oil after removal of a coolant carrying component to help prevent future failure.
Drain and change engine oil.
Install air cleaner outlet tube to throttle body and engine air cleaner (ACL).
Install crankcase ventilation hose to valve cover.
CAUTION: This engine has aluminum components and requires a special corrosion inhibiting coolant to avoid cooling system damage.
Fill and bleed engine cooling system.
Connect battery ground cable.
Start engine and check for coolant, fuel, oil, vacuum and exhaust leaks.
Check, and if necessary, adjust the accelerator cable and speed control
The cheapest way is to do the job yourself. These cars were known to have gasket failures. A lot of times the gasket would allow coolant to leak into the oil. If your dipstick looks like a milkshake, chances are you have done some damage to bearings in the engine. You might not hear anything until a few months later.
As far as stopleak or dropping an egg into rad, I cant see any cheap way to do this job. The problem is you are trying to seal combustion chamber pressures from the cooling system, and visa versa. hope this helps...…..
I had good results from 2 small containers of alumaseal from discount auto supply.
I had this problem. I tried bars leak 3 times, didn't work. Did the head job, and then the oil pump died. We were told the bars leak probably did it. Also Bars leak killed the thermostat, had to replace it (but since the headgasket blew, change it anyway). It can also damage the heater coil.
No cheap way. The head set gasket set is 55 out the door, and the Haynes repair manual is 15. If you want JUST the head gasket (not a good idea) they're 17.00.
The one other thing is the bolts are Torque to Yield, you need to spend the 30 bucks extra for new head bolts. Also, you need RTV gasket maker too.
Replacing the head gasket on any vehicle is a long and complicated process, however if you wish to see basic step-by-step instructions go to the related question on the right side of the page "How do you replace a head gasket?"
Replacing the head gasket on any vehicle is a long and complicated process, however if you wish to see basic step-by-step instructions go to the related question on the right side of the page "How do you replace a head gasket?"
If you haven't already done one, I wouldn't recommend it, but if you insist, get a manual on the subject, remove everything that's in the way, pull the rocker cover, disconnect the timing chain (you might want to check the timing marks and turn the engine to TDC), remove the head and take it to a machine shop. It doesn't matter what it looks like, the head is almost certainly warped if the head gasket has blown. TAKE IT TO A MACHINE SHOP ANYWAY. WHen you put it back together with the new head gasket, torque the head according to the sequence specified in the manual. Then put everything back in reverse sequence. But like I said before, if you haven't already done one, get someone else to do it for you.
most don't have a torque spec, just tighten till you cannot tighten anymore. -
Seperate answer different person, I would not recommend this. Torque specs are there for a reason and if you go to far you'll sheer the top of the bolts of or weaken them to the point when you actuate the clutch, bolt heads will sheer of inside the clutch housing your clutch will let go and you'll have metal flying around the bottom end of the motor - not good. The best thing you can do is, if you can't find the answer online contact a dealer or trusted ATV service center. If you have a torque wrench gradually increase the torque factor on it when trying to take the bolts of and when it clicks and your the bolt moves reduce by 1 and you have a pretty close spec. A close guideline but not scripture 100cc 5 -6 ft lbs 250 6-8 above that I don't know. I'm not a mech but I service my own equipment.
Engine miss, poor fuel economy, loss of power, and low compression on the cylinder with the burnt valve.
IMO, this is only a temporary emergency fix. It will not permanently fix the problem. You will need a new head gasket.
It's extremely easy, a 5 year old could do it.
Getting to the gasket, however, is usually the trick.
I assume you mean head gasket, and if it's your only car and you have no mechanical experience, just get out your visa and make some calls. Don't tackle this yourself if you don't have automotive exp.
just my 2c
A great site to check out the cost of repairing head gaskets is driverside.com - just enter your car into the menu, go into "service your ____" and you can plug in your zipcode to find out how much the part and labor will cost for your area.
Actually, if it is a head gasket, it ISN'T easy. You have to disassemble the entire top of the engine to get to the head so it can be unbolted. Once you remove the head, it SHOULD go to a shop to make sure that it is perfectly flat and straight. Blown head gaskets can really be cause by a lot of factors and head warpage is the most common factor. You will also need to check the area where the gasket blew. Is there a crack in the block near the spot? Is there carbon build up near the spot?? Not a backyard mechanic job if you do not have the correct tools and at least intermediate experience in auto repairs.
If a 5 year old could do it, there would be a lot of 5 year olds in the car mechanics business!
Heres the deal, to replace a head gasket it is obviously different by car and make and model, but a good formula to go by is about three to four times the cost of the parts.
The average cost of parts to do this job is around 3 to 4 hundred dollars so expect to pay around $1200 to $1600 on the job.
There are many ways other than that to figure it out like estimated hours.. On average a head gasket replacement will take 7 to 9 hours labor plus parts.
This is a good figure to use however, most vehicles that have a blown head gasket are quite old and you should use the cost of doing the job to consider whether it is better to replace it at that point. If the car is newer, then the repair cost should be compared to it's relative value, many vehicles are worth putting the money into
The leaks could start from anywhere due to wind blowing through the engine compartment while driving. Try to trace the source and identify whether it is oil (gold/brown color), or tranny fluid (usually dark red).
head gasket? that's the top end..oil pan is probably it..either the gasket is pinched, the bolt isn't tight..or one of your seals is bad
If its oil its either gold or black and like above probably the oil pan. Transmission fluid is generally red.
A very simplistic way to determine what the fluid is that is leaking, is to dab a small amount on the end of your finger and taste it. All four of the most common fluids (oil, tranny fluid, brake fluid, and antifreeze) have a very distinct taste and are completely different from each other.
that doesn't induce carcinogens:
Even easier way to identify fluid without ingesting it is to simply park over a piece of paper or cardboard. You can also use a white paper towel and dab it off the ground to get a decent idea what the fluid might be.
Head gaskets usually don't leak alot of oil, normally they start dumping antifreeze into the cylinders when failing. Valve covers (the part just above the head is the likely culprit there). Most higher mileage cars with oil leaks are typically the rear main seal on the crank that is failing. It is sometimes costly and others not so bad depending on the vehicles.ANSWER
LOOK AT THE COLOR OF THE OIL IF IT IS REDISH COLOR ITS TRANSMITION IF BLACK ITS FROM YOUR HEAD GASGET AND THE BEST THING TO USE WOULD BE ORGANIC SEALER UNTIL YOU HAVE ENOUGH TO COMPLETELY FIX THE PROPLEM
This is simply caused by excessive blowby. In short, this engine is worn out.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------AnswerAssuming it's not on fire... I would replace the pcv first, if smoke persist open radiator cap, with engine running (cold of course) see if radiator bubbles. also look for oil on the bottom of radiator cap or pull dip stick and check for water in oil, the oil will appear to be milky looking. if none of these factors as long as none of these factors, you more than likely have a high mileage engine as long as your not sucking oil into the intake run it. start saving your money for a rebuild or sell it soon.
PCV opening: Engine gasses getting by the pistons. (Blow by) If there's alot of it, it's time to rebuild. Alot is subjective.. Some fluttering is normal. Positive pressure or a continuous stream is not.AnswerIs this with PCV in place? If so, PCV system may be plugged, not removing blow by fumes.
= if you getting wite or grey smoke from valve cover etc, you have water in your engine this is caused by a blown head gasket get it fixed before you crack the head
Loss of power on acceleration. Mysteriously "disappearing" coolant. White smoke out of the tailpipe. Those are three things that should make you wonder about the health of your head gasket, and I'm sure there must be others, too.
No way can anyone tell you how to do this here in this space. It requires removing the intake and exhaust manifolds, and then removing the head. A very complicated job that requires skill, knowledge, and the proper tools. Buy a repair manual if you want to tackle this job.
Note: This page has been modifying by Woopsgoops, RxAuto, Jrangel78 since 15 Mar 2008 to today. Some important answers has been deleted. I am restoring it. These guys are probably related with RXAuto, the producer of Thermagasket
I didn't use Thermagasket but I talk with Kirk Malley, the owner of the company, twice. The first time I talked with him, he pushed me to buy the product saying it is money back guarantee (except taxes and shipment cost). I made some tests on my car myself to assess the problem and I have been trying to find out more using some forum on the Internet. My car is a 4 cylinders Toyota and it likely has 3 of cylinders that produce immediately exhausted gas in the cooling system. In the second call, Kirk was trying to say that people didn't know what was going on. He has always be nice even if he was selling his product. After I carefully explained him the tests I did and the result he politely told me "I cannot help you I am sorry". This is my story. I am pretty sure that Thermagasket can fix some problems and it is not a scam. If other products, less expensive could also fix the problem in the car longer I don't know. $100 for a problem that usually takes more than $1000 to fix (unless you do yourself) could be a good deal.
The head gasket seals oil ports, cooling ports and the cylinder compression chambers where the head is mounted onto the engine block. Problems with blown head gasket include oil loss, coolant loss and engine power loss due to lost cylinder compression.
This can result in a variety of problems:
1) COOLANT IN THE OIL evidenced by a "milkshake" white frothy looking goo under the head gasket (look under the oil fill cap (and under the valve cover through the oil fill port with a flashlight). sometimes you'll see water or coolant on the dipstick.
2) OIL IN THE COOLANT evidenced by the coolant turning brown with a slight oil slick look on the water surface (if there's any left)
3) Leaky radiator or other part of the cooling system; if one or both of the first two indications are present, then it is likely that the cylinder pressure is bleeding into the cooling loop. if this happens then the pressure buildup will cause the weakest point to rupture.
4) CRACKED or WARPED HEADS. The problem that caused the head gasket to fail may have caused the heads to either warp or crack. In this case, there will be more expense than just replacing the head gasket(s).
5) BLOWN GASKET BETWEEN CYLINDERS OR TO ATMOSPHERE. Here, the head gasket is blown and the only evidence of failure is loss of power.
I owe a Chrysteler Leberon 1992, the car had some issues regarding the heating of the engine from past 4-5 months, I replaced the thermostat then I also checked the cooling pump. My mechanic had actually removed the thermostat from its system since it was still overheating. The car worked good for about 2-3 months but then all of sudden it was again overheating. Mechanic told me that there is some problem with the radiator of the car, so I replaced the radiator, along with flushing the cooling system. which costs me around $350 in all. And now the thing started from here on, after flushing, they found that the car's head gasket is gone, there is coolant in the engine oil, which turned it milky in color and there are smoke clouds coming out from the tail pipe. The mechanic told me that its better for me to sell it now. But selling a 1992 leberon in this condition would me not more than $100-200 only!! which I bought for $1500 a year ago. I of course have no money to spend on it, because repairing the head gasket could be of at least $600 or more. So, I had decided to try the Thermagasket on my car. I got to know that they have that money back guarantee also. So I ordered it for my car.
After getting it, I got to know that the money back guarantee which they offer is only in case that the car is either scrapped or donated to someone or the work order is placed for the car in an authorized service station of repair of the head gaskets which will at least be of $1200 or more, so i was really worried about it.
Anyways then, I had started following all the instructions given in the paper which came along with the Thermagasket because that was the only way for me now. I was running the car at 2000 to 3000 rpm on the final stage of the repair and all of a sudden the smoke which was coming out from my tail pipe started beginning to reduce a bit, then after 5-8 min the car noise also changed to normal and finally the smoke is all gone!! I was really surprised to see something like that. My car was working normally, I am still following the aftercare given in the instructions and the car is working normally till now, It's almost 2 weeks now, I really don't know that how long it is going to last, but at present it is working for me. I am pretty much satisfied with the product, for which I was really not sure in the start. What I think is, if you are in a position to scrap your car, or if you are really not in a situation to spend $600-1000 Thermagasket is worth a try, but still don't trust on the money back guarantee, take it like you are taking a risk of $150 or so.
Malley of RxAuto Thermagasket: The way the guarantee works is if your having any issues with the Thermagasket treatment process, not working you must First contact technical support and give us the chance to help get the vehicle repaired. If we cannot help get the vehicle repaired, or the repair fails the tech support rep will issue a refund authorization.
The money back guarantee does work as long as you work with the technical support (Robert) and all resources have been exhausted. This product worked for me in my 2000 BMW 528i (2yrs ago) and re-introduce it again on June 18, 2008 because of a water pump and auxillary fan failure. Drove car for 30 miles (60 miles roundtrip) at 80 MPH no overheating or compression buildup in cooling system. Save me lots of money and time by using the Thermagasketproduct again.
It all depends on the damage of the gasket I have used Thermagasket with no change at all same leak
I just used CRC Copper Block Weld in my 88 Ford Bronco II. I was losing almost 1 gallon of coolant/day, and my oil had water in it. I couldn't afford a head gasket, so I tried the CRC stuff. I followed the instructions on the bottle to the letter, and now my oil is normal, I'm not losing a drop of coolant, and the engine runs great!
I didn't know CRC had a product for this (I haven't blown a head gasket in a vehicle since somewhere around 1966.) Because of the suggestion here, I researched then tried the (CRC) "K&W Permanent Metallic Block Seal" and it failed miserably, despite following the instructions explicitly - it made no difference what-so-ever?
BUT (sound of horns blowing and banners flapping), when I e-mailed CRC and described what had happened, they immediately offered to replace the product - directly to me. I have no connection or affiliation with CRC in any way (other than as a consumer) but I've got to say, that to date - every product of theirs that I've used (more products over more years than I care to try to list), I've been, at very least, completely and absolutely satisfied with. In most instances, I've been incredibly surprised with the favorable results. It seems as though the can I got was "very old stock" which isn't too surprising seeing as I bought it through my local jobber who's 80 mi. from Toronto and their supply depot is another 40 mi. further from the city (once again, don't get me wrong. my jobber's prices are great, they've got complete machine services that can't be beat and their support is amazing? They just don't have a lot of demand for this type of product.) I'm going to try it again & despite the failure, I've got another engine I've already decided that I?m going to use it on too! I was very relieved to find that their response to my difficulty was an immediate offer to replace it, because I was very surprised to find that it didn't work at all and that just doesn't fit with my past experiences with CRC products.
I know this sounds like a commercial for CRC, and I'm sorry for that - I'm just trying to relate that I've always had good experiences with their products.
This leads me to another question though? Does anyone know of any difference between "K&W Permanent Metallic Block Seal" and RXauto's "Thermagasket"?
From everything I've been able to find, the only difference is the price (RXauto's being about 5X.) I'm real interested in this part too? It's nice to know when others come asking.
We have a 1996 Ford WindStar v6. It overheated really bad, we had the radiator fixed, but it was still smoking really badly. We tried 2 products from the auto parts store (not sure what they were). One was a can one was a white bottle! Both repaired the problem for about 2-3 weeks, before the smoke returned. My mechanic said to try Thermagasket, that was the beginning of April, and the car is still running great!
I used a product called DIKE for 18months, until I could afford to get it fixed.
Its a plastic like product.
Add a small amount about a week apart until the leak stops.
Then, if it starts up again, add some more.
It is critical that you always know where the leak is and how much is being leaked.
It will eventually, like the leak in a dam, get bigger until total failure.
Save up for the repair.
I used k&w block seal. it works great for head gasket seals and block seals. make sure u follow the directions to the point.
I repaired my 1994 Saturn which had oil in the water (about a quart) I used Thermagasket and it worked perfectly. They are even around for support if you need them. I looked all over the web for a discussion on this product to see if it worked for others, but could not find one. I decided if i tried it i would post about it regardless. Thermagasket worked great for me.
I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix 3.1L V6 145,000 miles.
I HAD a head gasket issue until this weekend, when I used the Thermagasket Product, I can't speak for the longevity of the repair yet, but, my initial experience with it has been a positive experience. As the previous writer stated, the people at rxauto/Thermagasket answer questions, and have a no pressure sales approach.
I had to do the quickie treatment because of freezing temperatures in my area. I flushed the coolant system, changed the oil and filter, and filled the coolant system with clean water as directed. It took a little longer than the 15 minutes they stated for the steam to subside, but after a 50/100 mile drive as recommend in the directions, the problem seems to be gone.
I used K&W Block seal in a 1990 Dodge Omni four-cylinder in 2004. It worked from February 11 to March 9 of that year, then I had the head work done.
I am now facing a similar or worse situation with a '99 Olds Cutlass, 6-cylinder (with two of everything). I just bought it, with trading in my previous car, which had run great, (a '93 Buick Skylark). I have put several cooling system parts on, on advice of the lot or other mechanics--water pump, thermostat, radiator, radiator cap, reservoir bottle, catalytic converter, 3 radiator flush and fills, an oil change, had the transmission checked, and three cooling system checks.
None of that had helped. I also had it checked by the shop that had done work prior to my buying it. They'd apparently done an intake gasket (the cheaper one), but it was still ok according to the most recent radiator check.
All the checks point to the head gasket. I've tried two types of Bars Leaks brand: liquid glass that you put into the system after draining it, (one go-round with help from a mechanic), and the type that pours straight into the top (two go-rounds myself, based on website advice to repeat app. once if first didn't hold).
Didn't phase a thing.
Then I tried Bars Leaks Liquid Aluminum and Alum-a-=Seal Powder.
Now, I've been talking with Thermagasket people on phone. They (he) seem(s) to be a trained mechanic with experience. I told him my mechanic's own input, which was that those who've tried sealants, even the elaborate kinds, haven't had any success. And that the head is probably cracked, not just warped, and that there is a simultaneous problem with the head gasket.
He answered pretty effectively. He also offered to speak with my mechanic on the phone, and to walk us through a set of special procedures he outlined.
I've seen similar procedures listed a Steel Seal's website, but he said they have you do that, standard, whereas he is only having me do them, to ensure the maximum benefit, and this would be with my specific mechanic over the phone if needed.
So, I'm impressed thus far, though I haven't done it yet.
However, one thing, is, how long this will last. They all claim they'll last forever. This is the thing.
Can you ever have peace of mind? And how ethical can you feel about trading in the car later, even if the sealant has been hold for quite some time?
IF I knew more about the "significant" difference between Thermagasket and Steel Seal, say, or between Bars and K&W, I could feel better about the later trade-in.
That is, if the seal did hold for a long time. Say, over a year. Would that be a reasonably long time to think it was a permanent fix??
Most people apparently don't have that much or that lengthy a success with these, though. ?
What I've wondered about, is if there might be a related specialty shop, that all they did, was replace head gaskets. You know, not just a "full service garage" that does everything, but one that specializes just in doing head gaskets.
If I were going to pick something that there might be a market for, in this age of aluminum heads, that would be IT.
Because a shop like that, might be able to appreciably lower the cost of having this particular little expensive job done, by a couple hundred dollars. There's a sizable market now for this.
Does anyone know of such a place?
I also used K&W metallic permanent block seal. The head gasket was blown one evening when I was driving home from work, the water temp gauge went over the top and I had to pull over to cool down the engine. It took me three hours to get home instead of half an hour. First, I replaced the thermostat and thought that it was the overheat problem, but later found out it wasn't the problem. The coolant looked like a choclate milk and got lots of white smoke coming out from the exhaust. I googled it and found out it could be a blown head gasket therefore I checked the engine oil, which it looked like a thick choclate milk shake. I took out one of the spark plug and it was completely wet and soaked with the milk shake. Looking into the spark plug hole, with my flash light, I noticed there was a thin layer of water in the piston/combustion chamber, and it looked worst than everything I could think of. So the bottom line, coolant inside the engine and engine oil inside the radiator. That was great! I thought the engine was done by then until I heard about some kind of head gasket sealer such as Thermagasket and K&W block sealer. I didn't want to wait and need something fast, so Thermagasket wasn't my option plus it's on the high side of the dollars. I decided to go to the local auto part store and bought the K&W metallic block & head gasket sealer. It cost me only $8 but I didn't think twice to use it on my 93 Lexus GS300 with has 150k miles on it. I thought about worst case I would have to donate the car. After two days of the K&W seal treatment, from flushing the radiator 20 times, to apply the seal and let it dry...the result was incredible! It fixed the gasket problem and my engine runs like normal again, spark plugs are dried, new coolant is flowing clean, no more white smoke and overheating.
I used Thermagasket in my decade-old Plymouth Voyager, which had 192,000 miles on the odometer and a mean oil leak from the rear main seal. (In other words, I had nothing to lose!) The 2.4L motors in those vehicles are notorious for failed head gaskets.
I followed the instructions exactly and it worked... for about a year (6,500 miles). It had absolutely no negative impact on the cooling system. However, its impact on the head gasket was temporary.
There is a reason the makers of Thermasgasket guarantee their product for only 90 days.
If you want the vehicle to be reliable over the long haul, get a real fix. One that doesn't come in bottles
Maybe for a short, SHORT period of time. Never use long term. Have a new set of head gaskets put on before you crack a head or the block.
A lot of people will tell you not to use these liquids and to get a "real repair" from a mechanic if you want it to last. (I wonder how many of these people are mechanics...) Well, I followed their advice and spent $1000 on a head gasket repair. Two years later, it's leaking again. So if you're worried about the liquids not being a "permanent" repair, I'd say don't worry about it. The real repairs aren't always permanent, either, and you can always dump another can in. If the liquids only last 1 year, you could make your engine last 100 years with the amount I spent on a mechanic. I'm going to try one of the liquids this time, maybe the new Head Gasket Fix by Bar's Leaks that doesn't require you to flush the coolant first.
If headgaskets were permanent in themselves would we need to repair them??
YES IT WORKS... to an extent. My 2000 Caddy was overheating a few years back and thermogasket fixed the problem for about 15000 miles. I have to reuse thermogasket once a year or so (and i drive 80 miles a day to work) to 'refix', but the product does what it says.
SO FAR - SO GOOD! I have a 1991 Toyota previa with 214,000 miles on it. I had all the classic symptoms of a blown head gasket - white smoke in the morning, sometimes at an idle, disappearing coolant, the heater didn't work, horrible smell of burnt coolant inside the car that was making me sick. It was bad. So I went online and found the product STEEL SEAL. I watched the video(which was pretty convincing, the mechanics did not seem to me to be actors at all). Well , I just put it in this morning (Tuesday, December 15, 2009) , and I am (almost) beyond words. The temperature gauge has returned to it's proper operating range and the car is running great. I drove it for a couple of hours after it took affect. I kept staring at the temperature gauge every ten seconds. It didn't budge.
I have all the confidence in the world that it's going to hold up but I'm positive that the majority of you guys are still skeptical after only a few hours of service.
For that very reason I am going to give updates every day or so, because, if this sh*t works - I want the whole world to know about it.
P.S. If someone sees this exact posting on another site it is because I copied and pasted it. I don't want anyone to think that I am some company lackey. As a matter of fact, here is my email if you want to grill me further - email@example.com
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