The head gasket not only contains the pressure of controlled explosions within the cylinders, but it also isolates the cylinders, oil and cooling channels from each other. It provides a seal between the engine block and the head that caps the cylinders.
How do I know it's time to replace my head gasket?
When it fails, coolant can leak inside the combustion chambers. A leaky head gasket can also allow coolant to seep out near the exhaust manifold, causing the engine to run hotter. That heat should trigger a warning light. A sure sign of a blown head gasket is steam - what looks like white smoke -- coming out of the exhaust system, and often from under the hood. Because the engine is rapidly losing coolant, it will quickly overheat and should be immediately shut off.
How often should I replace my head gasket?
The only time it should be replaced is if it develops leaks. The head gasket isn't a periodic maintenance item, so it should be replaced only when necessary.
Why do I need to change my head gasket?
Because if you don't fix it, you could destroy your engine.
How much should I pay?
The cost of repairs can depend on where you are as much as it does on what you need fixed. To get an estimate for your repair, go to our estimator, plug in your car's year, make and model information, add your ZIP code, and choose the repair you need. We'll give you a range for what your repairs should cost in your area.