Your automobile is one your largest investments and requires regular maintenance and upkeep. When a car engine has overheated and you take your car to have it repaired, hearing the words “blown head gasket” can be devastating because of the impending time and cost. In fact, it is at the top of the list of most expensive car repairs because of the skill and labor required to replace it properly. But rest assured that having it done correctly by experienced professionals at an auto repair shop is the only answer unless you want to keep going back and forth to the shop.
The time it will take depends on several factors which your automobile repair person won’t be able to tell until they’ve examined the engine. They have to see if the existing head and block are repairable. If the gasket caused extensive damage to other parts of the motor, the time involved could be more than a simple gasket replacement.
The time and cost involved have to do with where the gasket is located in the engine. The head gaskets are located in the middle of the engine so just getting to them requires time and patience by skilled auto technicians. Many other parts have to be removed and examined for damage as well, including the alternator, power steering pump, and the intake and exhaust manifold. All of the smaller parts – nuts, bolts, sensors, wires, etc., could be rusted, damaged or frozen making removal difficult and timely and complicated.
Once all of the parts and accessories are removed, removing the head is a complicated process as well requiring precision and expertise in how to remove and replace the parts properly. Whether the engine is an overhead cam style or pushrod style, the timing then has to be set to ensure that there’s no damage to valves or pistons so reassembly will go smoothly. Once the mechanic is able to actually see the head and the block, then the determination can be made about exactly how much time it will take to replace the gasket and any other damaged parts. Damage to these parts will require more time because just replacing the gasket will not stop the leak.
Once the damage is assessed and repaired, careful reassembly of the engine is the next and final step. A skilled and professional mechanic will want to replace any damaged hoses and wires while the engine is taken apart. Some parts may have to be ordered, depending on the model of your vehicle which can add to the time and can’t be helped by your mechanic.
So, to answer the question of how long this will take, it can vary depending on the model of car and internal damage of the engine. You can reasonably expect anywhere from two days to two weeks for a blown head gasket to be repaired at your auto repair shop.
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