Recently we had a 2008 Dodge Avenger in the shop. The customer’s complaint was that there was a “coolant leak”. They stated that there was coolant leaking from the radiator cap. During inspection, our tech determined that there was a blown cylinder “head gasket”.
The head gasket seals the engine block and the cylinder heads. When the engine over heats, has excessive miles or is just getting old, the head gasket breaks down and can leak. When there is a leak in the head gasket fluid can get out and it is now considered “blown”. Many people know that a “blown head gasket” is bad and expensive but they don’t know why. It’s easy to question why one gasket can affect so many components but this really is the case. Since the head gasket seals some of the most essential pieces of the engine it needs to be in working order at all times or the engine fluids can leak, combine or let contaminants in. This was the case for this vehicle. The gasket was blown buy over heating which allowed the coolant to leak into the oil and what was left to be contaminated with debris. The “gunk” buildup makes the cylinder heads unable to function properly.
When the technician removes a head there are many other parts that need replacing. Some are out of necessity and some are best maintenance practice. So, because of one little gasket, there were approximately 25 hours’ worth of work needed to replace parts such as; water pump, timing belt, radiator hoses, oil and filters, on top of the head gasket and machining of the cylinder head.
Bud’s stresses the necessity of regularly scheduled maintenance on all vehicles. Your family’s safety is top priority for us! When maintained correctly, a vehicle is less likely to have wear on unnecessary parts and you will be more aware of the regular wear that is taking place so you will have time to plan and prepare for an expensive service or maintenance repair.
Check out our pictures below of the actual cylinder heads before, during and after being cleaned and readied to resealed.