Typical Cost: Medium- High
Mobile Repair? Yes
Typical Lead Time: 48-72 hours
The head gasket on an engine provides the seal between the engine block and the cylinder head to maintain compression and prevent the engine oil mixing with the coolant.
Cylinder head gaskets are typically made from multiple thin layers, normally steel and elastomer, known as multi-layer steel (MLS) gaskets. Other substances are being used, but this is the most common.
The cylinder head gasket is positioned precisely between the faces of the top of the cylinder black and the base of the cylinder head. The cylinder head is then tightened down onto the block with cylinder head bolts which are torqued to a specific force depicted by the manufacturer. Once this is done, the gasket should seal the top and bottom halves of the engine together.
In most cases the symptoms of a cylinder head gasket are pretty apparent, some however take a little know how and some tools to confirm. Typical symptoms though are;
There are differences between engines on the exact process and components, but the typical engine will require most of the following basics to be done
As we mentioned previously, this is not a full exhaustive list of what will be done as each engine has its own requirements.
Unless otherwise stated, the quote for your head gasket to be replaced will cover;
Cylinder head gasket replacement
The cost of a cylinder head gasket replacement depends on your car and what parts your car's manufacturer recommends.
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If you are comparing quotations, please ensure that the quotes you have all include the cylinder head pressure test and skimming. Also make sure that if your engine has a timing belt, that they are quoting for its replacement as well.
Not all companies will include these up front, they will add it to the bill after advising you that it needs to be done once they have commenced the work.
Unless specifically stated to the contrary, all cylinder heads will undergo a pressure test and surface skimming. Without doing this, the mechanic cannot be certain that the head is in good enough condition to be reused.
As with all major invasive engine work, these things cannot be rushed. The strip down would be performed on the first day, then there will be a period of 2-4 days while the cylinder head is tested and prepared for refitting, before the final day when it is all put back together.
Replacing a cylinder head gasket is not a simple, same day repair.
Under no circumstances, no matter how recently it was changed, can a timing belt be refitted. Even the slightest nick in the belt can have a catastrophic outcome within a few miles.
If your water pump was recently changed as it is driven by the timing belt, then, at the mechanic's discretion, it can be reused.
Unless specifically requested as part of the quote, the timing chain and it’s guides will not be replaced.
No, we will not fit customer supplied parts unless they are a brand new item, purchased from a dealership with the receipt as proof of purchase. There is no flexibility over this due to insurance and warranty issues.
In this scenario, the mechanic will provide a no obligation quote for the correct repair. Should you accept this, the mechanic can alter the booking accordingly. If you decide not to go ahead with the alternative repair, the mechanic can change the booking to a call out and diagnostic booking and charge according to the time spent with the vehicle and call out.
Engine compression test
Cooling system pressure test (leak detection)
Check Engine oil pressure