Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Car’s Head Gasket

A head gasket serves an important role in keeping your car up and running. For one, the head gasket is located between the cylinder head and the engine block. It prevents the engine oil and coolant from getting mixed together. The head gasket also maintains the maximum compression ratio.

It also connects the engine blocks to the cylinder head. The engine block features the pistons and crankshaft. The cylinder head, on the other hand, contains the engine valves. But in case of damage, you need to have a head gasket replacement for a Subaru or any vehicle brand.

For one, head gaskets can be prone to leaks. A minor leak may lead to oil or coolant wastage. But in severe cases, a full-blown head gasket can wreak havoc on your car. Not only will it cause compression loss but also lead to engine overheating.

Different types of head gaskets

A head gasket is a flat-shaped object with big holes and used to seal the cylinder head to the engine block. Its design has been pretty much the same over the years. However, the materials used varied over time. That said, here are the different types of head gaskets.


It is the more commonly used materials for head gaskets. It is said to be more durable and efficient than aluminum and steel. Since it is softer than the aforementioned materials, it can perfectly fit and seal the cylinder head and the engine block.


This type of head gasket is made from graphite or asbestos. On the downside, composite head gaskets may not be as durable as copper or other materials.

Plus, the use of asbestos is banned in most construction materials due to potential health hazards. Composite head gaskets may still be available although may be harder to find.

Multi-layer steel

Aside from copper, multi-layer steel is also a popular head gasket material. It is said to be ideal for use in diesel motor engines and the like. It has up to five layers of steel and other compounds that can tolerate high temperature and compressions.

When it’s time to replace a head gasket

A damaged head gasket can wreak havoc on your vehicle. To prevent this, you should know the following signs so you can replace it immediately.

1. The coolant and oil mix together.

A head gasket should prevent the engine oil and coolant from mixing together. Otherwise, it can damage the other car parts and affect the vehicle’s overall performance. To check, use a dipstick. If the engine oil has water traces or has an odd appearance, it may be time to check your head gasket and have it replaced.

2. Your car uses too much engine oil.

cooling meter on the car

Your car may be overusing the engine oil due to a damaged head gasket. Not only can it cause oil wastage but also potentially damage your car’s internal parts. Check whether the car has the presence of a bluish-white exhaust.

3. Your car consumes too much coolant.

A car coolant, also known as anti-freeze, lessens heat within the engine. With the right temperature, your car can run smoothly down the road.

However, a leaky head gasket can cause the coolant to mix with the engine oil. If there is excess steam or water drips coming from the exhaust, it may be time to check your head gasket.

These are some tips to know whether it’s time to replace your vehicle’s head gasket. This is to ensure that your car functions well at all times.