If you’re wondering what the best head gasket for your vehicle is then you’ve probably already blown the original head gasket in your car. If you’re still not sure why your old head gasket failed, it’s important to learn the reasons for head gasket failure before you get your engine repaired and put back together so you can avoid this in the future.
Unfortunately, which head gasket is the best for your vehicle has a lot to do with what kind of engine you have in your car and how you intend to use it. Lots of factors come into play like:
How to Pick the Best Head Gasket:
- Is your naturally aspirated or does it have forced induction?
- Do you plan on operating under factory conditions or modifying it?
- Did you have to machine your heads or block?
- What is the condition of the mating surfaces?
When picking the best head gasket, you have to start with the end in mind. If you are replacing the cylinder heads with new ones, your block is still flat and you don’t intend on modifying the engine, the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) head gasket may be the best choice. On the other hand, sometimes the factory installed head gasket was inadequate which is why it failed in the first place and this may be the best time to upgrade.
Now to answer our own questions:
Naturally Aspirated VS Forced Induction
A naturally aspirated engine has a relatively limited power potential so unless you significantly raised the compression ratio, the factory head gasket should be sufficient. On the other hand, if you have a turbo or supercharger, it can be best to use a metal multilayer head gasket which can withstand higher combustion temperatures and pressures.
If you plan on modifying your engine like using a different camshaft, raising the compression ratio or increasing the boost pressure it will be worth using a more robust head gasket. You may even consider using a thicker or thinner head gasket to change the compression ratio in your engine. Whenever you’re changing the geometry of your combustion chamber, there are some things to consider like making sure you have the right amount of “squish” or quench volume. For more information, check out this article on quench height.
Machined block or heads
Often times, if you’ve got a blown head gasket you may have to machine the mating surface of the cylinder head or even the block. If you use the factory installed head gasket after your head has been machined it will change the size of the combustion chamber which will affect the compression ratio. In this case, you can use a thicker head gasket to offset the material that was removed from the head and block to make sure everything goes back together the same way it came apart.
Cylinder Head and Block Surface
The stronger the head gasket, the more difficult it can be for it to make a good seal on the surface of your engine block. If your block isn’t perfectly flat it may be worth using a softer head gasket to will seal more easily even if it won’t handle temperatures and pressures as high as, say a metal head gasket. You may also consider using a gasket spray to help seal the head gasket even if your block or head isn’t perfectly flat.
Once you’ve started with the end in mind, you can properly choose the right head gasket for your vehicle. One last possibility is that the head gasket you have installed is really the best option for your car and repairing it may be more cost-effective than replacing it. If that is the best option for your car, considering using BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer to seal your head gasket leak and keep your car running with the head gasket it has in it.
You can pick up BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer 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 Distributor
- DYK Automotive
- Fisher Auto Parts stores
- Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
- Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
- Salvo Auto Parts
- Advantage Auto Stores
- Genuine Auto Parts stores
- Bond Auto Parts stores
- Tidewater Fleet Supply
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
- Any Part Auto Parts
- Consumer Auto Parts
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best_head_gasket.jpg – By Sergeyrzhov – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link