When Should You Replace the Head Gasket in your MINI
14 Mar, 19
The head gasket plays a very important role in the engine of the car. It is strategically placed in between the engine block and the cylinder heads within the combustion engine. It seals the cylinders completely, making sure that there is no leakage of oil or coolant into the cylinders. It is made of highly durable material that can be compressed hard enough to ensure there are no chances of leakage.
The MINI Cooper is an efficient car designed with luxury and performance in mind that still manages to be efficient and reasonably priced. The MINI has been fitted with quality parts that ensure that it covers as many miles as possible before requiring replacements. However, some parts may require attention, especially under certain circumstances that may have caused them damage. An example is the all-important head gasket.
Causes of Head Gasket Problems
While head gasket problems can be caused by a number of issues, most of these boil down to overheating in the engine compartment. Overheating can be the result of low radiator fluid, clogged radiator lines, or a malfunctioning fan. When this heat is too much, it will likely compromise the integrity of the head gasket material. This heat exposure also causes warping in the metal cylinders resulting in a blown head gasket.
Because of the amount of heat and pressure that the gasket is exposed to, the material that is used to make it also affects how it works. Picking out a gasket with a low threshold for heat will be counterproductive as you’ll have to replace it more often.
Signs of Head Gasket Failure
Some of the symptoms that should alert you to change the head gasket in your car include:
As a result of the blown gasket, the coolant will leak out of the car or into the engine compartment. This will cause the coolant levels to run low, minimizing its ability to to effectively cool the engine. Moreover, since the head gasket prevents the oil and coolant from mixing, if the oil gets into the coolant the radiator will not be able to take the heat away from the contaminated coolant and this too will lead to overheating. An overheating engine can easily be damaged beyond repair.
When the head gasket becomes faulty the cooling passages are most likely to be affected causing the coolant to start leaking. The heat in the engine will cause this coolant to burn producing white smoke and deposit a white substance on the exit of the exhaust pipe. Leaking coolant can also find its way into the engine oil, and this can cause the engine to misfire, especially when the engine is revving. The loss of pressure occasioned by the faulty head gasket is responsible for the misfiring of the pistons.
Warning light on the dashboard
The thermostat icon on the dashboard of your MINI will come on to signal the extreme temperature within the engine compartment. If left unchecked, the check engine light will also come on because the overheating will affect the engine functions as well.
What to Do in the Event of a Faulty Head Gasket
A faulty head gasket can cause further damage to the engine of your MINI Cooper, forcing it to have to fully rebuilt. This can be a very costly affair that could easily be avoided. Taking preventive measures to ensure that the head gasket is in perfect working condition at all times is the only way to ensure that you save on these unnecessary costs.
At the first indication of trouble with the gasket, it will be beneficial to immediately have the gasket replaced. Replacing the head gasket is a labor intensive affair that may require precision and skill since faults can start from poor installation. This is why it is advisable to seek the help of a professional mechanic whenever your MINI experiences the symptoms associated with a faulty head gasket.
At Santa Barbara Autowerks, we are committed to ensuring that your car is in perfect condition and that your driving experience is nothing short of pleasant. This is why we are the choice repair shop for MINI drivers in and around Santa Barbara, CA.