Taking your car to a trusted mechanic for regular service and overhaul is a good practice to maintain your car in a good condition. However, car owners need to be aware of doing minor repairs with their cars so that trips to mechanic shops are greatly reduced. With easy to use tools available on the internet for car repair, many car owners become mini-mechanics. However, there are certain jobs that you can’t deal on your own and a blown head gasket is one of them. Leaking, cracking and broken gasket that sits between your car’s engine and cylinder can’t be repaired on your own. But why can’t you do a head gasket repair on your own?
Getting To the Head gasket
Before simply discarding the task of replacing the gasket as an expert job, you can try to understand why it is difficult to replace a gasket on your own. Typically, reaching the gasket is a very difficult task that requires expertise. Major engine dismantling must be done before you are even able to touch the broken or leaking gasket. The cooling system should be drained completely first. The intake and exhaust manifolds used in the system must be removed after that. The timing cover, timing chain and timing belt should be removed one after another. The valve cover that covers the engine valve should also be removed. The camshafts that secure the cylinder head and the engine block should be removed next. Only when you remove the cylinder head completely, you will be able to see the head gasket.
If you intend to do a head gasket repair and replacement on your own, you should perform the above mentioned steps in reverse order after fitting the gasket. Obviously, this is going to take a lot of time and missing any component can result in a total disaster. Moreover, you need to use new studs for the engine to ensure optimal torque. The old studs may have already expanded due to the previous torque must be discarded completely.
Testing Engine and Cylinder Before and After Head gasket Repair
There are so many car DIY websites on the internet and if you are able to put in some efforts, you can quickly learn the steps for repairing the gasket to save head gasket repair cost. However, the job needs a technician because of the series of tests required before and after replacing the gasket. Engine overheating and white smoke out of the exhaust are all basic blown head gasket symptoms. You can’t simply determine whether the gasket needs replacement by looking at these symptoms because other problems with the car can also generate these symptoms.
A series of tests must be done to diagnose that the problem is actually with the gasket. Otherwise, you may end up spending money on something that is totally unnecessary. The head gasket repair might have resulted in warps on engine and cylinder heads. If you don’t treat those warps and flatten them, it can result in engine failure shortly after the replacement. The coolant system and temperature control system should also be tested with a new gasket to ensure that everything is in perfect working condition.
You are better off if you leave a complex task like a head gasket repair to a trained and trusted mechanic and learn how to increase the lifetime of your gasket with proper maintenance and care.