Head Gaskets: Buying Guide and FAQs
What is a Head Gasket?
It's essentially a seal, located between the two main parts of an engine -- the core or block, where the pistons and cylinders are, and the cylinder head, where the valves, spark plugs, and camshaft are. Put simply, it's one of the most important parts of any motor.
What Does One Do?
It encloses the engine's cylinders. This, in turn, does two things. For one, it helps the cylinders maintain firing pressure during the combustion process. Secondly, it helps prevent coolant and engine oil from leaking, either into the cylinders or out of the motor.
When the gasket's in working order, your vehicle runs fine; the coolant level and ratio in the engine stays just right, and the digital display or gauge on your dash that gives a temperature readout remains centered or slightly cool.
Nonetheless, the surfaces of the engine block and cylinder head are always expanding and contracting, warping, and rubbing. That puts the head gasket under immense stress, the kind that it must be able to withstand. When it no longer can, however, your engine starts overheating, and both head and block can expand far too much; this can cause a blown head gasket in turn, and when that happens, it becomes one expensive repair.
What are the Signs of Head Gasket Failure?
Less often, the Check Engine light can illuminate on your dashboard. More often, you'll see white exhaust smoke, a radiator and coolant reservoir that's full of bubbles, your motor oil turning white, and oil and/or coolant leaking from the gasket itself. You may also notice that your coolant levels are low without an apparent leak. Loss of engine power almost invariably follows.
So, what do you do if you see these? First, shut down your engine. Then, run a full inspection, including doing a cooling system test to rule out other issues. Note: it's important that you don't try to release any pressure. Get your head gasket replaced ASAP, if you've got the skill to take care of the job.
Before buying one, however, be sure it's the genuine article.
Why Buy a Genuine OEM Head Gasket?
One made by your brand will come designed to fit your model perfectly, guaranteed. The aftermarket can't always make the same assurances.
Where Can I Order Head Gaskets for My Subaru or Volkswagen Online?
Right here at our auto parts store. Our catalog is browsable by make, model, and model year, so finding what's compatible with what you drive is as easy as a few clicks. Buy now, and we'll ship ASAP, right to your door; you'll have your engine fixed before you know it.
No results found for "head gasket". Here are some helpful search tips:
- Search by a part name. Example: water pump.
- Be less specific. Example: brake instead of ceramic brake.
- Remove information such as make, year or model.
- Can't find the part you are looking for? Contact us and we'll find it for you!