Head Gasket Replacement – What? Why? and How?

Head Gasket Replacement

Head Gasket Replacement – What? Why? and How?

Looking for more information about cylinder head gasket replacement? You’ve come to the right place! The head gasket is located in between the cylinder head and engine block. It creates a seal around each cylinder, and around the oil and coolant passageways that run from the block up through the head keeping everything cool and lubricated. 

Head gasket replacement

When a head gasket fails, most commonly referred to as a “blown head gasket” it means that somewhere the gasket has been burned or damaged to the point where it is no longer keeping a good seal. This can happen in a number of different locations, and none of them are good. Often this happens between two cylinders as pictured below.

Head Gasket Replacement
BMW S54 Engine Blown Head Gasket

When this failure occurs it causes poor compression in the cylinders, which will result in oil consumption, misfires, and rough running. If the head gasket fails and lets the oil and coolant passages mix, it can cause catastrophic engine damage. Coolant is not good at lubricating, and oil is not good at cooling. 

Blown Head Gasket Symptoms and Their Causes:

Various locations of head gasket failure and their corresponding symptoms
  • Overheating – often caused by low coolant levels and coolant leaks
  • White, Blue, or Gray smoke –  indicative of oil entering the combustion chamber and being burned. 
  • Loss of Engine Power – The lack of compression resulting in rough running and misfires.
  • Discolored Oil – Oil will be a chocolate milk color from coolant mixing with it.

Head gasket failure is often caused by the engine overheating as a result of coolant leaks. It is important to have your head gasket replacement taken care of right away, as it will continue to worsen and cause more damage if you don’t. Here at Fluid MotorUnion in Naperville IL, our trained technicians are accustomed to doing head gasket replacement very often, almost on a monthly basis and sometimes even more often. As with all of our repairs, these include a 3 year/36,000-mile warranty. We know we can back our repairs with this warranty, because we only use high-quality parts, and repairs are completed by skilled techs.

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