Getting a blown head gasket in your vehicle can be a very frustrating experience. It can be difficult to know why it happened, and what you can do as a vehicle owner to prevent it from happening. Having a blown head gasket can be so frustrating because the repair costs can often be prohibitively expensive and can often take your car from being a valuable possession to a headache taking up space in your driveway or garage.
In this article, we want to take a look at the some of the reasons head gaskets blown to see if there are any ways we can prevent a blown head gasket.
The head gasket in your car is the gasket that is in between your engine block and your cylinder head. This gasket forms part of the combustion chamber and allows coolant to flow outside of the combustion chamber between the engine block and cylinder head. These requirements of the head gasket subject it to high pressures and extreme temperature fluctuations. These pressures and fluctuations are usually the things that end up causing a blown head gasket.
Having high pressures in your combustion chamber is a necessity of every internal combustion engine. The high pressure is created by the rapidly expanding gases produced during the combustion process and it is this high pressure that is able to push the piston down and actually cause your engine to run. Even during normal operation these pressure can be extremely high. Your head gasket is designed to consistently hold these pressures, but if for some reason that pressure is higher than it should be, you can end up with a blown head gasket.
Some things that may cause excessive combustion chamber can include early ignition, also called knocking or pre-ignition, an abnormally high compression ratio, or in the case of an engine with forced induction, high intake manifold pressure. You can prevent pre-ignition or knocking by making sure your ignition timing is set to the manufacturer’s set point and your car has a clean fuel system. The compression ratio in your engine is set by the shape and size of the combustion chamber which shouldn’t change unless you have excessive carbon build up. Carbon build up can reduce the size of the combustion chamber effectively increasing your compression ratio and causing problems. You can remove the carbon deposits in your engine using BlueDevil Fuel System Cleaner. Lastly, if you have a car with forced induction like a supercharger or turbocharger, make sure the pressure limiting mechanism, like the waste gate or bypass valve is hooked up and operating properly.
The other big killer of head gaskets is excessive temperature. Head gaskets are designed to withstand the normal operating temperatures of your engine including the high temperatures of combustion. If temperatures climb much above normal, it can damage the head gasket, the engine block or the head. High temperatures can cause the metal parts in your engine to expand and contract at different rates which can cause the pieces to shift in relationship to each other and cause leaks in your head gasket. Also with the expansion that comes along with high temperatures, the parts in your engine can often warp since they cannot expand where they are bolted together, but can expand and will warp and deform in between the bolts. This can quickly lead to a leak and a very expensive repair. To best way to avoid excessive heat in your engine is to keep your cooling system functioning properly and keep a careful eye on your temperature gauge during heavy engine load.
If you do end up with a blown head gasket for whatever reason, repairs can be costly due to the amount of work needed to tear down your engine. Before you grab a wrench or take your car to the mechanic, consider using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer to seal the leak in your head gasket. BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer is a chemical sealing agent that can seal a leak due to a blown head gasket or even a cracked or warped head.
You can purchase BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer online at the link above or at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:
- Advance Auto Parts
- Bennett Auto Supply
- CarQuest Auto parts
- NAPA Auto Parts
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Fast Track
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
- S&E Quick Lube Distributer
- DYK Automotive
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