Cleaning the Head Gasket Surfaces

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How to Install a Head Gasket....5

Think you have a blown head gasket in your car? Get step by step instructions on how to clean a head gasket surface 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 clean the inside of your valve cover and the top of the cylinder head. Now what you want to do is, once you have your valve cover off the engine and the gasket is removed, is to take a solvent, and you could use brake clean, carb cleaner, choke cleaner, whatever your preference is, and you are going to want to spray out the inside of your valve cover, paying attention to where the gasket seats along it grooves. I have gone ahead and sprayed this out, and we are going to let the solvent soak and drip dry. You always want to make sure to spray that into a oil return bucket for proper disposal. Now moving on to the engine's cylinder head. As you can see, we have some leftover particulate portion of gasket and some road grime that is built up. What you are going to want to do is clean that surface off all the way around where the gasket seats to give it the smoothest sealing surface as possible. I like to use a razor blade. You want to take and scrape out away from the engine, and be gentle when you are scraping. Nowadays, most vehicles have an aluminum head. Your razor blade is going to be steel and very sharp. Matter of fact, that steel would scratch the cylinder head surface and cause a potential leak. Once you get most of the road grime off from around the surface, you could take a shop rag with some of your automotive solvent on it and spread the rag down, and run along your sealant surfaces to give a nice squeaky, dry, surface to seal against. You are going to continue on with your razor blade all the way around.

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