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I have to replace the head gasket on my engine and as I'm looking for parts corresponding to my car model I get many different results with prices varying widely from ~26€ to ~136€.

Since the repair is complicated I'd like to use the part that will last the longest even if I have to pay a bit more for it (if the correlation between price and additional longevity is non-negligeable).

I notice three differences amongst the dimmmmferent parts listed to fit my car model:

  1. Gasket Thickness

The main difference I notice among the parts is that one of them is 1.1mm thick, most are 1.2mm thick, one at least 1.3mm thick, and one is 1.4mm thick. The thickest one is the most expensive, which initially comforted me in the idea that it would be the one that would be most resistant and offer most longevity. I'm a noob and I quickly learned that I was wrong by making some research: According to the discussion here it seems that thicker head gaskets generally could be more failure prone. Now does this mean that the reverse is true, and that I should select a 1.1mm thick gasket to get maximum longevity? (note that the trick here is that I want maximum overall engine longevity without repairs after the gasket has been changed, not necessarily to maximize the gasket longevity at the cost of lower overall engine longevity, if the gasket type can somehow negatively impact that).

  1. Brand

Ridex, FA1, BGA, DR.MOTOR, STARK, ELWIS, ELRING, REINZ, PAYEN, GOETZE, SWAG, AJUSA, ET. ENGINETEAM, CORTECO, and DT SPARE PARTS are the different gasket brands of the different listed gaskets.

Which brand's gasket will have longest longevity?

  1. Price

At equal gasket thickness, will a more a expensive gasket translate into greater longevity irrespective of brand?

  1. Material

I hadn't noticed it but after Paulster2 pointed out this major difference and went back and looked at the parts listing:

Most don't list material type. Some list as gasket type "proofing gasket for metal surface" which may or may not imply the gasket itself is not made out of metal. The few that clearly state gasket material state either "steel" or "multilayer steel."

Is there another parameter differentiating them I should look for?

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I think you forgot (or didn't know) the most critical thing about head gaskets: Material. And there are a lot of different head gasket materials and compositions out there. Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 20:40
  • @Paulster2: Thank you! I looked again and edited the question accordingly. Unfortunately on most parts the material is not clearly given.
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 20:57
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    One consideration for thickness is dimensional tolerance. The cylinder head is designed to sit a certain distance above the piston, for instance, and in some engines (especially motorcycle, although it seems this question is about a car) there are hard mount points on the head as well. For this reason, you should start your search for a gasket of the same thickness as the original. Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 16:35
  • So I first need to unmount it to measure it? I've been told that likely I'd have to get the head "corrected" / "flattened" which would remove some material. Do I have to compensate that somehow via thickness selection?
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 18:45
  • Also, which is the best head gasket material for overall engine durability?
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 18:45

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