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What Does an Engine Head Gasket Do?

Your vehicle's engine is made up of hundreds of different components, all working together to provide you with a seamless driving experience. One such component, the head gasket, is commonly referred to but it often misunderstood. What exactly is an engine head gasket and what is its purpose?

While the head gasket is small and doesn't look complex (a flat piece of metal with holes in it) it has a vital job. There are also many different types of gaskets in your vehicle, not just the head gasket. The primary job of these gaskets is to prevent debris from getting into the engine, maintain consistent internal pressure, and to keep fluids and other vital liquids inside the engine. 

While we are on the topic of the engine head gasket, let's take a look at all of the different gaskets in your vehicle and what they do. 

Head Gasket - the head gasket in your engine's cylinder has the important job of preventing any combustion gases from getting into the cooling system. They are placed between the cylinder head and the engine block. While usually they are pretty reliable, the head gasket can fail in the instance of an engine overheating. When the head gasket fails, coolant can get into the combustion chamber and mix in with engine oil, causing significant engine damage. 

Intake & Exhaust Manifold Gaskets - the intake manifold gasket helps to regulate the temperature inside the chamber and helps to prevent any air from escaping during the combustion process. It also ensures that the correct mixture of fuel and oxygen is used to keep the engine running at peak performance. The exhaust manifold gasket has a similar job, but is located between the cylinder head and exhaust manifold. A failing intake or exhaust manifold gasket can lead to compression issues and decrease fuel efficiency. 

Camshaft Gaskets - the camshaft gaskets help to prevent oil from seeping from the camshaft and keeps dirt from getting into the engine. A faulty gasket can lead to internal leaks, causing damage to the engine and all mayhem to break loose. 

Gasket failure can typically be avoided with good vehicle maintenance and regular engine services. If you ever suspect that you need an engine repair or a head gasket replacement, bring your vehicle into the experts here at Woodie's Auto Service & Repair Centers today for professional service. 

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