What is a Cylinder Head Gasket and its Function

The cylinder head gasket is the most important component in an Internal Combustion Engine. The gasket is made of thin, flat material used in the engine to make a seal between two joining materials. In this article, I will discuss what is a cylinder head gasket.


What is a Cylinder Head Gasket

A gasket is placed between the cylinder head and block to retain the cylinder’s compression, prevent leakage, and ensure a metallic tight-fit joint. The gasket should be able to withstand not only high pressure but also extreme temperature.

The cylinder head gasket is the component that makes a seal between the cylinder head and the engine block. Each of these parts has its different components like pistons and valves. So these are the components that work together and need proper synchronization.

This gasket seals the engine block and head in a single unit, preventing leakage of the engine oil. Also, the gasket helps to keep a gas-tight compression chamber in the cylinder. Also, the cylinder head gasket is important because of the vehicle power generated here by the combustion.

Types of Metals Used in Cylinder Head Gasket

These different types of metals are used in the cylinder head gasket. The gasket needs to withstand pressure and is also used to make a seal in the compression chamber. So, it needs to withstand pressure and temperature. So, the types are-

  1. Copper asbestos gasket
  2. Steel asbestos gasket
  3. Steel asbestos copper gasket
  4. Single steel ridged or corrugated gasket
  5. Stainless steel gasket.

Different types of cylinder head gaskets are used for different shapes of engines. Shapes play a crucial role in the engine’s power. So, the types are-

  1. Metal Sandwich Type- This gasket is made of either copper and asbestos or steel and asbestos. It is mainly used on passenger cars and trucks.
  2. Embossed Steel- This Shim-type gasket is generally used on I-head engines.
  3. Shimbestos- This combines a thin steel heat shield on one side and a highly resilient specially treated metal-reinforced asbestos on the top side.
  4. Felbestos- This is made of perforated steel sandwiched between two treated asbestos sheets.

Function of Cylinder Head Gasket

The main function of the gasket is to make a seal between the two static parts. It’s a sealing material used in the engine. This sealing ensures that the engine power develops inside the cylinder, and does not leak out. If there are leaks then the engine oil can dilute.

Also, this helps to prevent heat transfer from inside to outside. The water jackets are attached to the engine block to prevent efficient cooling. This gasket helps to keep the temperature inside the cylinder and provides better power generation.

So, the main function this gasket provides is to make a seal and prevent leakage. If the oil and fuel leaks from the engine parts then this cause damage to the engine. Also, the gasket works as an additional separator between two parts to save it from damage.

Signs Of Blown Cylinder Head Gasket

If the sealing component in the engine breaks then the engine should behave abnormally. The problem causes can be different. It’s not so easy to find the exact problem whether the gasket is ok or not. Below I have listed some of the signs that you can notice and judge according to that.

1. White Smoke from Exhaust

If the white smoke comes out from the engine then there are high probability that the coolant mixes with the combustion process. If the coolant mixes then the coolant will not resolve with the temperature fully and the exhaust gas will come out in white color. So, there are high chance that the gasket is blown.

2. Overheating of the Engine

Overheating is another big sign of a blown head gasket. If the gasket leaks, then the combustion power will leak also, and this will cause overheating. Also, the improper level of coolant is another reason for overheating, but this gasket can’t be ignored.

3. Engine Oil Dilution

Engine oil is the next big factor in the engine running condition. If the gasket is not functioning oil then this oil can leak and evaporate or dilute. Then the color of the oil changes totally and also there are the engine oil sign will pop up on the dashboard. This means the damage to the gasket.

These are the main signs that you can check for your better engine condition.


The Cylinder head gasket is the most important component as it saves the engine from damage and leakage. Also, it serves the engine’s overall performance by keeping the pressure and temperature itself. So, it is important to keep the gasket properly, and if this component blows up then the damage should happen to the engine.

If you face some problems with the signs I have described in this article, then please go visit the nearest service center for better service of your engine.

Spread the love

Leave a comment