Phoenix Auto Repair Shop, Virginia Auto Service, is located in Central Phoenix on 7th Street and Virginia, in-between McDowell and Thomas. Certified technicians offer complete automotive care on Japanese and European imports, as well as domestic cars, light trucks, and SUVs.
What are People Saying about Virginia Auto Service?
- “I first used your services a little over a year ago. I was new in town and Virginia Auto came at the recommendation of a friend. I was not disappointed. The staff was amazingly courteous and accommodating. They definitely get future business from me for anything not covered by my dealer!” –Stacy J.
- “Thank you so much for a wonderful experience. Your staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable when helping me and fixing my vehicle. I will definitely be back. Thanks!” -Tara C.
What is a Head Gasket?
Vehicle engines are made up of two major components, the engine cylinder block, and the engine cylinder head. To act as one piece, these two halves must seal to one another or the engine will fail. The head gasket is responsible for maintaining a seal between the engine block and cylinder head. It is a single, or multiple layer, durable material, that prevents engine oil, engine coolant, and combustion gasses from escaping the engine.
Signs of Head Gasket Problems
It is possible for a head gasket to fail at any time, but if the engine oil and engine coolant are properly maintained, it can easily last 100,000-miles.
It is difficult to diagnose a head gasket problem because much of it cannot be seen without disassembling the engine. For this reason, you should be aware of the other symptoms for an accurate head gasket problem diagnosis.
Blown or leaking head gasket symptoms include:
- Overheating engine
- White smoke coming from the exhaust pipe
- Coolant leaking externally from below the exhaust manifold (only visible sign)
- Milky, white oil
- Bubbles in the coolant overflow tank or radiator
- Considerable loss of coolant with no visible leaks
One of these symptoms by itself is not usually enough to prove that there is a head gasket leak, but if you are experiencing multiple symptoms, it is highly likely that this is the case. Drive as little as possible if you suspect a problem with your head gasket. Hot gasses and cold coolant moving through the hole in the gasket could erode or warp the metal head or engine block rather quickly. This would leave you with costly engine repairs or replacement.
To keep your head gasket in good condition longer:
- Dirty and contaminated fluids should be replaced on schedule per your owner’s manual
- Keep engine running at the proper temperature
- Avoid aggressive driving
Replacing the Head Gasket
Head gasket replacement is no easy feat. Because of the complexity of the repair, it is highly recommended that you not try it at home and bring it to a professional. These are the steps required:
- All the engine fluids, and possibly some accessory fluids like the air conditioner and power steering, must be drained.
- In some vehicles, the bumper must then be removed along with the radiator, air conditioning condenser, and associated hardware and fans attached.
- The accessories from the front of the engine, the timing cover, valve cover, timing components, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and other parts obstructing the cylinder head from removal are taken out.
- The cylinder head bolts will be removed in sequence, and the cylinder head can be taken off and sent for cleaning, milling, and testing.
- The engine block-to-head gasket coupling surface is cleaned, and the head gasket is inspected to identify any potential failure points.
- All the parts are clean and ready for re-assembly, and the new head gasket is set in place.
- The cylinder head is set on top with the new cylinder head bolts lubricated, installed and tightened per manufacturer specified torque.
- All the other removed parts are reinstalled and replaced if necessary.
- Fill, bleed of air, and test each system to make sure everything is functioning as it should.
Our expert auto technicians offer the best head gasket replacement services in Phoenix, AZ, at the best prices. We service all makes and models of vehicles and can do any repair whether it be large or small. We offer email reminders for scheduled maintenance, appointments, and walk-ins based on availability.
Call us at (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.