Head Gasket Failure
Over the years, car engines have undergone many changes in design and there have been great leaps in the efficiency in which a car engine dissipates heat and reduces damage caused from overheating.
During the combustion phase the temperature inside each of the car engine's cylinders can be upwards of 2,000°, which is far too high for the engine to function over a prolonged period without damage. To cope with these extreme temperatures car engines have been designed with a very efficient cooling system that uses the radiator to dissipate the heat from the engine.
A head gasket failure is basically when this cooling system fails to dissipate the heat through the radiator from the combustion chamber and this leads to the engine overheating. Initially a head gasket failure is very hard diagnose as it is located deep within the engine so at first glance you would not be able to tell if there is indeed a head gasket failure. The first signs may be a slight increase in the running temperature of the vehicle and the radiator or expansion tank needs to be constantly topped up with water or antifreeze. These are the earliest signs of a possible head gasket failure and this is the best time to take steps to remedying the problem.
Unfortunately as many people are not aware of the symptoms of a head gasket failure they simply ignore these warning signs and continue to drive their vehicle without truly understanding the damage they are causing to their engine. As the vehicle is used during this period the symptoms start to become more prominent and easier to spot. The next tell tale sign of a head gasket failure is a small cloud of smoke leaving the exhaust when the car is started up in the morning or after being sat idle for a prolonged period of time. This is really the final opportunity someone has to remedy the head gasket failure before it becomes a very serious problem. The fact is most people will still not pick up on this symptom as they are sat in the vehicle when they start the car and may never see the small cloud when they start their vehicle unless someone notices the smoke and informs them.
This brings us to the one symptom everyone notices, a large plume of smoke pouring from the exhaust and the temperate gauge almost on maximum after only a few minutes. While these symptoms are very easy to spot, it also means the minor head gasket problem has now become a complete head gasket failure. Now the only real option is to take the vehicle to a mechanic and be prepared for a quote on repairing the blown head gasket.
There is no getting away from it, a head gasket replacement is a very expensive job. The cost of the head gasket itself is not that much, rather it is the labour costs involved in replacing the head gasket. This is in part due to the location of the head gasket within the engine and the time consuming task of stripping the top end of the engine and replacing the head.
In very severe cases the engine may need to be completely replaced due to the excessive damage caused from the prolonged heat exposure. This is especially true in cases where the vehicle has an aluminium engine. Having an excess of heat in the engine will not just cause the head gasket to blow but can damage the cylinder heads and warp the blocks out of shape and this will make any kind of seal impossible.
If people were made more aware of the early warning signs that the head gasket is starting to fail then it is possible to prevent any further damage to the head gasket or the engine. Steel Seal does provide a chance to fix a blown head gasket and the earlier the treatment is performed the higher the chance of success and the treatment being a permanent fix. Steel Seal is an easy pour in solution that can be introduced via the radiator or expansion tank and will repair a blown head gasket within an hour. As Steel Seal uses a chemical reaction rather than copper filings to repair the blown head gasket there is no chance of anything being left floating in the engine after the treatment has been completed.