How to Repair a Blown Head Gasket

by Contributor

A blown head gasket means trouble for car owners. If your car overheats, the radiator hose explodes, you hear a bubbling sound coming from the radiator and it's not the radiator cap or you lose coolant without any visible leak, chances are it's your head gasket. Replacing a head gasket is a do-it-yourself job with the right tools and some experience getting underneath the hood of a car.

Disconnect the negative battery terminal. The battery terminals are located at the top of the car battery.

Take off the intake hose and the air box.

Remove the air conditioner compressor. You'll need to remove several bolts and lay the compressor to the side to get to the gasket.

Disconnect the water pump hose and then remove the alternator and set aside. You can rest the alternator on the radiator hose without completely removing the harness.

Drain the radiator and remove the radiator hoses. Disconnect the different lines that run to the air conditioner. The head gasket is now visible.

Pay attention to the head bolt tightening sequence, loosen the bolts on the head gasket accordingly and remove.

Clean the head and the bock thoroughly before putting on the new gasket. Your head may need machining if the fit is not perfectly flat.


  • check This repair isn't for an amateur car mechanic. Replacing a head gasket is a big job. Don't attempt it unless you have some help and access to a Chilton's service manual for your vehicle.

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