27 votes

Is my head gasket cracked?

It is totally possible. Combustion chambers are quite small and it doesn't take much fluid to fill one up. As the piston goes down during the intake cycle, a vacuum is created and anything in the ...
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  • 718
24 votes
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What is a head?

tl dr: Cylinder heads (commonly just called "heads") are the big piece of metal which caps and seals the end of the cylinder bore. Types of Cylinder Heads: There are three basic types of cylinder ...
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20 votes

Is my head gasket cracked?

Yes. If the engine ingests water, you have a big problem: water is incompressible. When water gets into a cylinder, it will be forced out through the path of least resistance: the head gasket. And ...
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  • 4,402
10 votes
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What exactly is a head gasket?

A head gasket is a piece of material which is located between the head and the block inside an engine. It is usually made of a material which is softer than the head and block to allow for sealing of ...
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10 votes

I've got oil in my coolant but no coolant in the oil - Ford Triton V10 Motorhome

If it has an engine oil cooler, that is most likely the problem, a faulty oil cooler, some are made into the radiator, others have heater hoses running to a remote oil cooler, and a few I have seen ...
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  • 7,940
10 votes

2006 wrx overheats going slow but not at speed

I don't think there's any reason to suspect a head gasket right off the bat like that. The first thing that comes to mind is the electric cooling fans. They are on the car specifically to keep it ...
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  • 13.2k
10 votes

Blown Head Gasket always goes hand-in-hand with Engine damage?

I've had some cars where simply changing the head gasket was a complete solution, on other cars there has been cylinder head damage which required skimming. On one, I had a melted piston and two ...
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9 votes

How to test if head gaskets are blown?

To add to Anarach's answer... There are 4 things around a head gasket - combustion chambers (cylinders), oilways, coolant-ways and the outside air. They can fail between any two (or more) of these, ...
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  • 28.6k
9 votes

Does increasing head gasket thickness make it more failure-prone?

with all other factors held constant, is it true that a thicker head gasket is likely to fail? Yes. A thicker head gasket impacts how headbolt torque is distributed between the block and the heads. ...
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  • 3,363
9 votes

Head gasket sealer or head gasket replace

If this is a car you are planning on keeping, I'd highly suggest just paying the money to get it fixed. A stop leak may work for a period of time, but it's only temporary. A couple of things to ...
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7 votes
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Can a blown head gasket cause overheating, without losing coolant?

Yes, it's possible. Also, the bit you lost that you think may be a leaking pipe is actually being turned to steam and blown out your exhaust. The car runs fine until the engine gets hot enough for the ...
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7 votes

Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job

Being that I'm mostly done with the job, here are some additional tools that have come in handy, beyond what I originally mentioned: Adjustable (or large, maybe 1-inch) wrenches to grab the hex on ...
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7 votes

What makes some engines more sensitive to head gasket failure?

A few of the main things I can think of.... Higher cylinder pressures put more strain on the combustion ring. Detonation/pre-ignition/pinging, especially on high compression or forced induction ...
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  • 8,403
7 votes

2003 Subaru Outback Legacy, Blown Head Gasket

Coolant can definitely leak into the combustion chamber with a blown head gasket. Whether or not this is the cause of your power loss is hard to say. The amount of coolant going into the cylinder ...
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  • 1,948
7 votes
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Overheating at idle - mechanic says head gasket

It would be good to ask the mechanic to explain to you how they are sure that it is the head gasket – head gasket problems often share symptoms with other problems. One way that a head gasket failure ...
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  • 14.3k
6 votes
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How to test if head gaskets are blown?

There are a lot of Quick methods to check the Head Gasket. Coolant leaking externally from bellow the exhaust manifold White smoke from the exhaust pipe Overheating engine Bubbles in the radiator or ...
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  • 8,926
6 votes

How to test if head gaskets are blown?

On top of the other 2 answers... To test a head gasket blown between the cylinder and another port, do a leak down test. This pumps air into the cylinder and measures how much is lost. You can ...
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  • 8,403
6 votes
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What does it mean when soot is coming out of my exhaust?

There is nothing wrong, water is a byproduct of gasoline combustion. 2 C8H18 + 25 O2 → 16 CO2 + 18 H2O where C8H18 is the gasoline reacting with oxygen (O2) and giving Carbon-dioxide (CO2) and ...
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  • 381
6 votes

Does increasing head gasket thickness make it more failure-prone?

It turns out that multi-layer head gaskets can be OEM as well. In this Hot Rod Garage video the presenter makes mention of the LS9 head gasket, which consists of 5 layers. This would seem to ...
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  • 39k
6 votes

Overheating at idle - mechanic says head gasket

There are so many things that could explain slow overheating A compromised head gasket is just one of them. Other (less involved) reasons include: a radiator fan that doesn't turn on when it should ...
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  • 39k
6 votes

Oil in the cooling reservoir

Welcome to Mechanics SE! A white milky, mayonnaise like substance is indicative of oil and water mixing. This could be down to a failed cylinder head gasket or a failed oil cooler. I'm not sure if ...
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5 votes

How do I go about replacing the head gaskets in my Dodge truck?

Auto Zone's online vehicle repair guides can be found here: http://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideMain.jsp You'll have to create an account, enter your vehicle and drill down. ...
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  • 2,139
5 votes

What does it mean when soot is coming out of my exhaust?

A little water is normal especially in colder weather. It is not likely that it is coolant coming out of the exhust, if it was you'd have a lot of other symptoms. If you vehicle is leaving a ...
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  • 256
5 votes
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What to do with damaged alignment dowels in block?

At Bob Cross's request, I'll throw an answer out here for you. The information given is with the assumption your engine is an EJ25 series engine, which the 98 Legacy (assumed) Outback had, which is ...
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5 votes

The mysterious overheating honda civic

If you are losing coolant (you say you have to add coolant daily), then there are only two places it can go. Either on the ground or in the engine. Check your oil to see if it's a milky color. If it ...
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  • 718
5 votes

Coolant spills out of the overflow tank at high pressure

In direct answer to your question... no, there's probably nothing you can try before you invest in a head gasket. There are two possibilities here. No, there are three. First is that your motor oil ...
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  • 2,534
5 votes

How do I go about replacing the head gaskets in my Dodge truck?

It's not really a complicated job, but it needs a bit of care and attention. This is more of a general guide, as I don't know the details of the Ram engine... Tools Basic Socket set Clicking Torque ...
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  • 28.6k
5 votes

2006 wrx overheats going slow but not at speed

Cools at speed, but not at slow vehicle speed. Definitely an engine cooling fan issue. It's either the fan itself or the sending units that tell the fan when to come on. Best bet is to pick up a ...
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  • 6,479
5 votes
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Why should I back off all valve lash adjusters until valves are closed when changing a head gasket?

You want to back off the valves so you don't damage the head when you pull the head bolts. If you have tension on the valves, you run the risk of warping the head. Likewise, when you put the head on, ...
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5 votes

Why should I back off all valve lash adjusters until valves are closed when changing a head gasket?

They want you to back of the lash so you don't ruin your rocker arms The system in which this head depresses the valves is the reverse of many heads. The cams (the shaft at the top of the photo) is ...
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