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You know how important it is to keep up with the required maintenance of your vehicle, but do you know how many things you should be checking, and how often you should be doing it? One of the things often overlooked is a large number of gaskets and seals, but allowing one to reach the end of its life without replacing can leave you with a badly running vehicle, or even a vehicle that just will not run at all.

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The main task of gaskets and seals on your vehicle is to hold liquids or air either inside a component or outside of it, and when it starts failing you will notice serious problems as air and liquid reach components they should not. Gaskets and seals can also form the perfect seal to allow for a component to work perfectly, and a simple failure here can have disastrous consequences, which is something you do not want to have to face in the future.

Because there are so many different gaskets and seals on your vehicle it can be hard to discuss them all, but you should be watching some of the more important ones. For instance, the head gasket is designed to allow the right pressure in the cylinder head, which is how your engine runs. Exhaust manifold gaskets stop dangerous gases from leaking into the atmosphere, water pump gaskets stop water from leaking and fuel pump gaskets stop fuel from leaking. Each one can be made of a number of different materials, but most commonly are made of plastic, rubber, or even paper.

When one of the gaskets or seals stops working there are a number of different problems, depending on which specific one has failed. For instance, your head gasket failing may cause your engine to stop running or overheat, the failure of valve stem seals can prevent valves from working properly, and a failing valve cover gasket may also stop your engine from running at all. They are such simple, and perhaps, the cheapest components, yet they have such a massive impact on your vehicle that you cannot ignore them.

Because of the number of different gaskets and seals on your vehicle, there are many different symptoms for you to be on the lookout for. However, each gasket and seal has something in common, which is that it needs to keep liquids from entering or exiting a component, so you should be checking for leaks. If you discover pools of oil, fuel or both underneath the car, it is often a sign that one or more gasket has reached the end of its life. If things get really bad, you will notice the transmission or engine stop working as well as they should, and you may not even be able to drive the car!

Guides & Articles

  • Auto Repair Parts
    This article will guide you through a generic tune up on most any car or light duty gasoline-powered vehicle built within the last 20 years or so. We will presume that you are tuning up your engine because it has reached the mileage or time point to do so, and that you are NOT performing a tune up to cure an engine performance defect. We make this distinction because not all running/performance issues will be solved via a simple tune up.
  • Auto Repair Parts
    Internal combustion engines are extremely complex and feature a wide array of components that rotate, move up and down, pump, seal, or remain stationary. When repairing or rebuilding your engine, you will come across many different terms when referencing repair manuals and ordering parts. We know it can be confusing, especially when the repair is complex. Even if you are paying a professional to do the work, it’s good to be conversant with the topic. In order to help you understand the terminology of engine components, we’ve created the following glossary, listed in alphabetical order.

Gaskets and Seals Reviews

Average rating:  5  4.8 - 14 reviews
5 of 5
1994 Buick Skylark / Posted by Jose (Cottonwood, AZ) /

It looks great, super ease installation.

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