Cylinder head gasket

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Upon hearing the name of this part, it seems that the cylinder head gasket is part of the cylinder head, while this part is a separate section in the engine that has its own responsibilities but complements the activities of the cylinder head and is embedded next to it. The cylinder head gasket actually has the task of compressing the engine and insulating it. In such a way that by sealing the cylinders precisely, it prevents the escape of fuel and gas from the cylinder and the penetration of water and oil into it. The gasket is placed between the cylinder block and the cylinder head and turns the combustion chamber into a space dedicated to fuel and gas. The correct and flawless performance of the gasket helps to fully and timely compress the fuel and air inside the combustion chamber and leads to their optimal explosion. It also makes the movement of the piston towards the bottom of the cylinder easier by preventing the escape of pressure resulting from the explosion.

In addition to all the mentioned cases, the gasket also prevents the mixing of engine lubrication system oil and cooling water parts. Therefore, the quality of construction and assembly of the cylinder head gasket has a direct impact on the performance of the engine and cylinder head and also guarantees their health.

The material of the cylinder head gasket

The cylinder head gasket, like other engine parts, is made of a material resistant to heat, high temperature, pressure, and heavy blows. This part should also be flexible so that it can properly insulate the engine and cylinder head. Therefore, it is made of soft metal sheets or layers and flexible and refractory materials. These layers in different types of cylinder heads generally have one of the following combinations that are placed on top of each other:

  • Asbestos- Copper- Steel
  • Refractory gasket- Steel
  • Aluminum – Chrome
  • Copper- Refractory cardboard gasket or asbestos- Steel

Asbestos is also a type of refractory cotton with high thermal power. However, today, due to its toxicity and harm to humans, it is less used in the manufacture of gaskets. Aluminum and copper gaskets have an advantage over other types due to their lighter weight and higher heat transfer. The gasket has large and small holes, the number of large holes is equal to the number of engine cylinders, and the number of small holes is equal to the water and oil channels of the cylinder head and cylinder block. When installing the cylinder head gasket, these holes are completely aligned and aligned with the existing ports in the cylinder head and cylinder block.

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The features of a good cylinder head gasket

The importance of the cylinder head gasket is determined by the responsibilities it has. Therefore, we must be careful in choosing a good cylinder head gasket for the car, so that while ensuring the useful life of this part, we are also sure about the health of the cylinder head, cylinders, and other parts involved with it. The features of a good cylinder head gasket are:

  1. Compressibility

The gasket is responsible for filling all the pores and roughness of the block and cylinder head to make these two parts completely impermeable. The compressibility feature of the cylinder head gasket is completed by screwing the cylinder head and block together. Copper gaskets have this feature better than the rest of the types of this part, but its finished price is also high.

  1. High thermal coefficient

Due to its proximity to the highest engine heat near the combustion chamber, the gasket must have a high thermal power. Also, its high heat transfer coefficient is one of its important features.

  1. Resistance to pressure

Various parts of the engine may undergo uneven and unpredictable expansion for various reasons and exert more pressure on the gasket. Based on this, a good cylinder head gasket has the necessary resistance against all these pressures.

  1. Reasonable price

Since the burning of the cylinder head gasket is very common in car breakdowns and in addition to that, each time the cylinders are opened, it needs to replace the gasket, the price of this part should also be reasonable. Because it needs to be replaced many times.

Burning of the cylinder head gasket and related points

The cylinder head gasket may have defects that result in it burning or semi-burning. Burning the gasket, which is a common occurrence in cars, also has bad consequences for the engine and its parts. The defects that may lead to the burning or semi-burning of the cylinder head gasket are:

  • Warping of the cylinder head
  • Cracking of the cylinder head
  • Loose cylinder head screws
  • Overheating of the engine
  • Incorrect tightening of the cylinder head gasket and cylinder head screws and improper adjustment of them.

Each of these defects may occur for the following reasons. By paying close attention to these items, damage to engine parts and washers can be prevented:

  1. Depletion of radiator water.
  2. Blockage of the water passage in the engine.
  3. Sedimentation or defect in the cooling system and fan, resulting in the radiator water not cooling.
  4. Defect and damage to the thermostat.
  5. Defect in the operation of the water pump and incomplete and incorrect circulation of water in the engine.
  6. Radiator inlet and outlet hoses getting heated and tangled.
  7. Long-term driving in heavy traffic and high pressure on the engine in the hot season.

Also, the following can be mentioned as signs of burning or half-burning of the washer. Upon observing any of these symptoms, it is recommended to visit a repair shop and check the involved parts as well as the cylinder head and washer:

  1. Late ignition of the car engine, especially after the car has been off for a while and the engine has cooled down.
  2. Engine vibration after ignition and white smoke coming out of it.
  3. Swelling and inflating of the hoses connected to the radiator.
  4. Oil entering the radiator reservoir.
  5. Unexplained loss of radiator water, while the cooling system is healthy and has no leakage.
  6. Hearing an unusual sound similar to the rustling of water from the space behind the dashboard.
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It should be noted that the process of burning or half-burning of the washer begins with the heating of the radiator water, and then its temperature and subsequently the engine temperature rises. At this time, the engine temperature indicator reaches the red line, and the burning of the washer begins.

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