How to Fix a Blown Gasket Without Replacing It – In Depth Solutions

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Fix a Blown Gasket

Is there too much heat under your car’s hood coupled up with whitish smoke from the exhaust?

Chances are, you have a blown head gasket. Just like a flat tire, a blown head gasket is a risky situation that can damage your car. To be precise, it can lead to erosion and cracking of various parts of your car’s engine.

Fortunately, you don’t have to replace the blown head gasket immediately. You could just repair it for now. In this post, I will be showing you exactly how to fix your car’s blown head gasket without replacing it.

What's a Head Gasket?

Before we delve into today’s main topic, some of you might be wondering what the head gasket is and its importance.

The head gasket happens to be one of the most critical parts of your vehicle’s engine. It’s a mechanical seal that fits between the engine’s cylinder head and the cylinder block or the cylinders.

The purpose of this gasket is to make sure that the compression process takes place in the combustion chamber only. It also prevents different fluids, like engine oil and coolants from mixing. 

Checking for a Blown Head Gasket

The following are various indicators of a blown head gasket:

Excess Engine Heat

High heat levels in your car’s engine can cause damage to the gasket. Once this occurs, the heat levels only continue rising. In case your vehicle is overheating incessantly, that could mean you have a blown gasket.

Low Coolant Levels

When the head gasket blows, the coolant might leak from the cooling system.

Frothy or milky oil

What’s your oil’s color? Is it whitish? Does the dipstick reveal a frothy substance? If so, the oil has likely mixed up with the coolant due to a damaged head gasket.

Light Smoke From The Exhaust

Is there whitish smoke coming from the exhaust pipe? That could be as a result of the coolant leaking into the combustion chamber.

The problem with replacing that blown head gasket is that it’s such a huge, tiring task. It requires separating the cylinder head from the cylinders and it can take 6 hours or more just to reach the gasket. There are too many components to remove, such as the airbox, the compressor, the alternator, and so on.

Even worse, the reinstallation process is tricky and if you get things wrong, the resulting engine damage can be catastrophic.

With that aside, it’s time to repair that head gasket.

How to Fix a Blown Head Gasket: Easy & Cheap Method

The best strategy is to use a head gasket leak sealer such as Steel Seal, k&w or BlueDevil Pour-N-Go. With this solution, you don’t have to disassemble anything. Fortunately, these products are readily available on the internet.

The best strategy is to use a head gasket leak sealer such as Steel Seal, k&w or BlueDevil Pour-N-Go. With this solution, you don’t have to disassemble anything. Fortunately, these products are readily available on the internet.

Now that there’s no dismantling the engine, you don’t need to hire any professionals, and thus you’re able to minimize the head gasket repair cost. All you have to do is add the sealant to your coolant system, an easy and straightforward process.

First, ensure that your engine is cold, then add the sealer to the coolant system. The sealer will work by fixing the gasket metal’s molecular structure, subsequently enabling it to work properly again. The chemicals in the sealer form a weld at the leaks and cracks, and thus keep your combustion chamber and coolant separate.

The best thing is, most of the top head gasket sealers, including Steel Seal, work with both aluminum and steel gaskets. Moreover, they’re applicable to both diesel and petrol vehicles.

Once you have added the sealer to the coolant system, the next step is to run your car’s engine to a temperature of about 210 °F, and then let it cool down. Repeat the process a few times during the day.

Sometimes later, you might want a lasting solution for your old head gasket. In that case, the following steps will help you replace it with a new one:

  • Detach the negative terminal of your car’s battery. It’s situated at the top of the battery.
  • Take out the intake hose along with the airbox.
  • Remove the air conditioner compressor. Here, you will have to take off a few bolts. As soon as you’ve freed the compressor, lay it on its side so you can gain access to the cylinder head.
  • Detach the water pump hose. A screwdriver will come in handy when loosening the clamp.
  • Take off the alternator. There’s no need to remove the entire alternator harness. You only need to take off the bolts.
  • Drain the radiator and take off its hoses. Also, detach every line that runs to the air conditioner.
  • By now, you should be seeing the head gasket. Have your service manual nearby and refer to it particularly regarding the head bolts’ correct tightening order.
  • These head bolts are the ones that secure the head gasket, and they’ve got to be loosened in the proper reverse order.
  • Once you have removed the blown head gasket, clean the cylinder head thoroughly to ensure the new head gasket fits properly.
  • After fitting the new head gasket, fasten the bolts again, ensuring you’re doing it in the proper order. A torque wrench will come in handy here.
  • Reconnect the other components in the sequence in which you dismantled them.
  • Fill the coolant system with new coolant and run the engine; let it reach around 210 °F then turn it off.
  • Don’t forget to check your new gasket for leaks.

Final Word

Fixing a blown head gasket is not very easy, particularly if you are not knowledgeable in matters to do with a vehicle’s internal workings. Repairing your head gasket incorrectly can lead to greater damage on your car, and that’s why I recommend that you seek professional help if you don’t feel confident repairing it yourself.

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