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Gaskets Seal your Engine from Leaks

Gaskets are seals that rest between two surfaces that would otherwise be unable to form a perfect seal. In the case of automotive engines, gaskets are found almost everywhere. Wherever you have two parts like engine blocks and cylinder heads or carburetors and intake ports that, because of the structure of the respective parts, do not seal, a gasket is used to prevent leaking. In the case of engines, most gaskets prevent oil from leaking out. Often, you will be able to see quite clearly if a gasket has begun to fail.

The easiest way to tell whether a gasket needs to be replaced is to inspect the area around the gasket for signs of any fluid leakage. In the case of a majority of gaskets in an engine, this will show itself as oil deposits on the engine with the thickest deposits being closest to the gaskets. We've all seen engines that have not been maintained well where dried oil is caked all over the engine heads and block. This is typically the result of a worn head gasket that has never been replaced. If you find your vehicle using lots of oil, you could have gaskets that need replacing. While the head gasket is expensive to replace, oil leaks can come from other gaskets, like exhaust gaskets that are much cheaper and easier to fix. Before jumping into a head gasket replacement, be sure to check all possibilities.

Whenever you replace gaskets, it's always a good idea to check the engine fasteners at the same time. If oil has been leaking out onto the rest of the engine, there's a good chance the fasteners may be damaged as well and should be replaced. If, for some reason, you have removed a gasket that is in fair condition in order to access another part, you should always consider replacing the gasket as well. Since you already have it removed and the cost of a new gasket is minimal, better to be safe and throw a new one on than have to go through the whole process again.

In a way, gaskets serve a similar purpose to car insulation. Insulation keeps hot and cold air from getting inside a car and keeps the cold and hot air within the vehicle, whereas gaskets prevent air from getting inside the engine and oil from escaping. All analogies aside, gaskets are not something to think of lightly. Keep them maintained and you will extend the life of your engine. The next time you need to replace a gasket, come to Sears and you'll find the right gasket for your vehicle in no time!