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All about the cylinder head gasket and its replacement

The cylinder head gasket (cylinder head) is designed to seal the plane between the block and the head. It also maintains the required pressure inside the oil system, preventing oil and coolant from seeping out. It is necessary to change the gasket for any intervention in this part of the engine, that is, it can be considered a one-time, because when reinstalling there is a high risk of a leakage of the connection.

Replacing the cylinder head gasket is performed by specialists of any service station, but this service will cost an average of about 8,000 rubles. The part itself will cost you from 100 to 1,500 rubles or more, depending on the quality of the product and the car model. That is, it will be much cheaper to replace it on your own, and although the process is laborious, it is not critically difficult.

Types of gaskets

Today, three main types of cylinder head gaskets are widely used:

non-asbestos, which during operation practically do not change their original shape and quickly restore it after slight deformation;
asbestos, quite resilient, elastic and can withstand the highest temperatures;
metal, which are considered the most reliable, effective and durable.

When do you need to change the cylinder head gasket?
In principle, there is no specific warranty period, after which it is necessary to replace the head gasket. The lifespan of this product will vary depending on the model and general condition of the vehicle’s engine, driving style and other factors. But there are a number of clear signs indicating that the gasket has ceased to fully perform its functions:

  • the appearance of engine oil or coolant in the connection area at the junction of the block with the head;
  • the appearance of foreign light impurities in the oil, which indicates the penetration of the coolant into the oil system through the gasket;
  • a change in the nature of the exhaust when the engine warms up, which indicates the penetration of coolant into the cylinders;
  • the appearance of oil stains in the coolant reservoir.
  • These are the most common signs of worn or defective cylinder head gaskets. In addition, its replacement is mandatory for complete or partial dismantling of the cylinder head.

Replacing the gasket

Replacing the cylinder head gasket yourself is not too difficult, but since it is an important part, everything here needs to be done carefully and accurately. All work is done in several stages:

1) Disconnecting all attachments, pipelines and other parts that interfere with the removal of the cylinder head.

2) Cleaning the head mounting bolts from oil and dirt to ensure the convenience and safety of wrench operation.

3) Loosen the mounting bolts, starting from the middle, turning each bolt no more than one full turn at a time in order to relieve stress.

4) Removing the head of the block and removing the old gasket.

5) Cleaning the seat and installing a new cylinder head gasket, and it must sit on all guide bushings and correspond to the marked centering grooves.

6) Installing the head in place and tightening the bolts, which is carried out exclusively with a torque wrench and only according to the scheme given by the manufacturer for your car model, since it is important that the bolts are tightened exactly with the optimal tightening torque parameters for your engine.

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