How to Remove a Head Gasket

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Cleaning the Head Gasket Surfaces....5

Think you have a blown head gasket in your car? Get step by step instructions on how to remove a head gasket with expert auto maintenance tips in this free car repair video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Replace a Blown Head Gasket
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Video Transcript

In this clip we are going to talk about the proper way to remove your old valve cover gasket and to inspect the valve cover itself. As you can see, we have the valve cover off of the engine and we have the inside of it exposed. Now these gaskets, depending upon how long it has been on the engine, will do what they call embrittle. This was actually rubber at one point in time. As you could see it has become extremely brittle; that is why they leak. They could be tough to get off the valve cover. A razor blade may be required. A flat screwdriver, small scraping tools, things like that. Peeling the gasket off can be a little meticulous, but you have to get every little chunk out of it. Once you have all the gasket removed you are going to want to take and inspect the groove that the gasket runs in. Let me pop up a small surface of it here so you can see what we are talking about. As you can see, we have a groove that that gasket sits in. You are going to want to check down inside that valley for any kind of cracks. You are going to want to put a good eyeball on it to see if it is warped at all. If you see evidence of leakage on the outside where it doesn't look like it is coming from the gasket, you are going to want to take it to a machine shop and have it magnaflux; that is the best way to test for any kind of crack.

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