How To Replace Head Gasket

Your head gasket has just busted and you need to know how to replace a head gasket? A blown head gasket can cause for your car to eventually overheat. Your coolant can get into your oil or your exhaust system, which can lead to disaster and a number of problems for your car. To replace a head gasket you have to know something about cars, you cannot be an amateur. This does require disassembly and removal of a major car parts. If you are going to replace the head gasket yourself you need to have experience with cars and/or an assistant who know something about cars to make sure that it gets done properly.

To replace a head gasket you will need:

  • head gasket
  • head bolts
  • 2 two valve cover end seals
  • tube of RTV silicone
  • retaining bolts


  1. Disconnect the negative battery terminal. The negative battery terminal is located on top of the car battery.
  2. Drain all the coolant. Remove the oil pan drain plug because this allow the all coolant to drain quickly. If there was any coolant in the engine it will be able to drain as well to the engine will not get damaged.  
  3. Remove the air box, wires and hoses. Everything connected to the head of the car must be disconnected.
  4. Remove the air compressor. Loosen the bolts on top of the air compressor, and disconnect the compressor clutch harness. Lay the air compressor over the side of the fender.
  5. Disconnect the water pump and remove the alternator. On the front of the alternator loosen the tensioning belt and then remove the alternator belt. Rest the alternator on the radiator hose so you can leave the harness connected.
  6. Drain and remove the radiator hoses. Remove the bolt holding the radiator hose connection on the water box.
  7. Disconnect additional lines to make the head gasket visible. Disconnect the air conditioner lines, the coolant lines, and the oil lines.
  8. Remove the head gasket. Loosen the head gasket bolts. Carefully guide the head gasket out of the car and be careful that all lines are out of the way.
  9. Clean the head and the block thoroughly. This will prepare the head for the new gasket.

To replace the new gasket

  1. Place the new head gasket on the block. Set the new gasket into place. Don't place the head gasket on the head on head until it is in its proper position.
  2. Insert the head bolts. With the head in place tighten the head bolts.
  3. Reseal the valve cover. Use the two rubber valve cover end seals and the tube RTV silicone to reseal the valve cover.
  4. Install the cylinder head. Once the cylinder head block is set into place, install and tighten the retaining bolts.
  5. Start connecting coolant lines and remaining parts. Be careful as you reconnect all the parts to the car. If you need assistance, find it. You can also go online and look up additional information if needed.
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