The function of a head gasket is to prevent any leakage during the operation and life of the engine.

Head gaskets are used in a variety of applications but no matter how they are used they all share the same function and are used on the connection flange to connect a variety of pipes and other connections. Head gasket replacements are carried out because the quality and functionality of the head gasket itself has deteriorated and will almost always come with hours of work, even with an experienced professional. A head gasket replacement will also be carried out if the head gasket has leaked.

A cylinder head gasket is located between the engine block and cylinder heads. The primary function of a head gasket within an engine is to prevent any fluids mixing while transferring any internal fluids around the engine and prevent internal or external leakage. Head gaskets should always be made of materials that resist heat and pressure, a cylinder head gasket is usually made from a mixture of carbon and steel plates (cald carbon steel sheet). Carbon itself serves as a preventative to leakage and increases the adhesion of the head gasket.

Head gaskets are generally damaged or blown by very high engine temperature which can also cause cracks in the engine block. These temperatures are more often than not caused by a coolant leak or in some cases not having enough coolant held in the radiator. With aluminium engine blocks it does tend to expand quicker than other metals when heated, so an aluminium cylinder head should not be a preference over other materials. When a metal has a very high thermal expansion rate, it will expand relative to the temperature. Aluminium having a relatively high rate of expansion will cause the head gasket to become weakened.

Inside the engine there is a valve(s), the intake valve opens and will allow a mixture of fuel and air into the combustion chamber. At a predefined point of crank rotation the valve will close, this is when the air and fuel mixture that has been drawn in will be compressed and ignited by the spark plug. The product produced by this combustion exits when the exhaust valve is opened. In addition to the valve there is also a filter for the vehicles engine oil, the condition of this oil is often overlooked. A lack of oil changes or even the amount of oil that is held will eventually lead to a clogged filter or damage, as a result the pressure in the lubricating system will be high and will damage other gaskets or seals on the block and cylinder head.

Head Gasket Failure can cause further damage to your vehicle such as over-heating, boiling and the pressure of the cooling system failing this can cause damage to the radiator and hoses, etc… If the head gasket damage is severe it will cause engine failure very quickly. If you experience this, be prepared to spend money in large amounts.

When the head gasket and seals in the cylinder head are damaged water can pass into the system, this will cause severe damage. If there is oil seeping from the gasket or seal it is advised that immediate correction should be taken to source the underlying cause. One of the easiest ways to notice an oil leak is to visually check where you have been parked for oil on the ground.

These are just some of the genuine quotes found by a simple search given by garages:

Ford – Head Gasket Repair Cost – £525 – £1045

Vauxhall – Head Gasket Repair Cost – £800 – £1390

Saab – Head Gasket Repair Cost – £480 – £1500

MG – Head Gasket Repair Cost -£980- £1650

Audi – Head Gasket Repair Cost – £670 – £1700

Suzuki – Head Gasket Repair Cost – £480 – £ 800

Peugeot – Head Gasket Repair Cost – £400 – £1700

Volkswagon – Head Gasket Repair Cost – £375 – £1400

As you can see a quick search shows how much of a range a Head Gasket Repair cost can be and with a money back guarantee from Steel Seal you could have a Head Gasket Repair completed for just £39.99.

Steel Seals top vehicles prone to head gasket repair.


All rovers, especially ones with k-series engines fitted in the likes of Rover 214’s,216, 218’s,Rover 416,418 and 420, Rover 618, 620 and so on and also in all 1.8 MGF sports cars and the notorious Freelander was fitted with the cylinder head gasket failure prone 1.8 Rover engine. Cylinder head gasket failures have been reported in these cars at as little as 30,000 miles! The Range rover petrol 3.8, 4.0, 4.4 and 4.6 are also very common head gasket blowers they can also suffer from a porous block and have been known to suffer with dropped liners which can give very similar symptoms to that of a head gasket failure.


Smaller engine Fiats are also common head gasket failures such as the Punto.


The most prolific head gasket failures are attributed to the Toyota Surf.


Many Renault and Peugeot 1.9 and 2.2 diesel engines suffer from head gasket failure however this is usually attributed to the high mileage that people put on these vehicles and should not cause too much concern.


3 Series BMW is a popular one to display a blown head gasket symptom again this is usually only on very high mileage examples.

Almost all vehicles can display a head gasket symptom and subsequently suffer from a blown head gasket or head gasket failure some cars can have this happen at low mileages which can be down to a manufacturing defect or cheap head gaskets being fitted which becomes a false economy as you need to administer a more costly head gasket repair. Others are simply down to wear and tear resulting from high mileage. The head gasket itself is not costly unfortunately you have to spend a long time removing parts and putting it back together which is why head gasket repair can become very costly especially if taking your vehicle to a main dealer to fix.

Also the cost to repair a head gasket can increase significantly dependent on the amount of additional damage caused. Very often people carry on running the car till it will not go any more this usually causes more problems as the vehicle has boiled or ‘cooked’ from excess heat and can cause other faults such as warped heads, cracked blocks and valve damage or even seized pistons locked due to the amount of water that has got into the combustion chambers. As soon as you notice any head gasket symptoms appearing stop driving your car and take a different action!