Picture this: you’re driving down the road and you start seeing white smoke, coming from under the hood and next thing you know, you’re engine is shuddering? You’ve checked your coolant hoses and seem to be in good shape. You know what it could be?
Cylinder head gaskets! Replacing something like this may sound complicated, but it can be done with the right tools, mental skillset, and patience.
Before you do this, you’ll need to be confident in your ability. If you have the slightest doubt about performing this repair, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for evaluation.
Without further ado, we are going over the process of removing and replacing cylinder head gaskets.
1. Drain Coolant
First, you’ll want to remove the coolant. Be sure to wait until the engine is cold to do this to prevent injury. You’ll find a drain on your radiator. Place a bucket underneath the radiator and unscrew the drain plug.
2. Remove The Distributor
If you take a look at the intake manifold, the distributor should be visible. Find the bolts to the distributor that hold them in place and loosen them with a wrench.
Once the bolts are removed carefully pull up on the distributor to remove it.
3. Take Out The Manifolds
Next, you’ll want to find the bolts to the intake manifold and loosen them with your wrench. You may need a pry bar to remove it from the engine. Gently spray with an engine lubricator like W-D40 to help remove the intake manifold.
4. Access The Cylinder Head And Remove
When the manifold is off, you should have access to the cylinder head. Remove the Valve cover and loosen the bolts to take that off. After the valve cover is off, you should see the rocker arms. You’ll need to remove the nut that holds the rocker arms and lift them out one by one.
When you remove all of them, you should be able to the cylinder head. Start by removing the outside bolts and work your way towards the middle. Once you remove all the bolts you should be able to lift the cylinder head off.
5. Remove The Head Gasket
Now that the cylinder heads are off you can lift the gasket off. You’ll be able to see any cracks or nicks in your gasket, which are causing your problem. Replace this and install everything back in place in the opposite order, and your head gasket problem should be solved!
When To Seek A Professional
If you’ve followed these steps to replace your cylinder head gaskets and you’re still getting problems, you may have to do some digging. A blown head gasket could mimic the same symptoms of a bad water pump, cracked coolant hoses, or a bad radiator.
If you are still having problems, be sure to consult a professional shop for repair or advice. Did this article help you? Be sure to check our other articles on our page, which focuses on reviewing the latest products in the automotive world.