Why do engine gaskets go bad?

153 viewsEngineeringOther

You have this strong thin material jammed tight between two blocks of metal. Is it pressure that eventually causes weaknesses/leakage?

In: Engineering

6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Everything degrades with time, let alone the pressure and temps a engine gasket had to handle

Anonymous 0 Comments

They’re usually made of some sort of rubber, which over time begins to crack and fail after prolonged exposure to heat and pressure.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They’re naturally in a harsh environment

They have to be able to withstand temperatures of 2300-3600°F, withstand pressure of 1000-1600 PSI for gasoline or up to 2500 PSI for diesels

They need to stop oil ranging from sludge to water in terms of viscosity and also a few hundred degrees, that’s pressurized, as well as coolant, which is also hot and pressurized

As well as being able to withstand clamping forces upwards of 10,000 lbs

Most other parts are typically designed for one harsh thing, while gaskets are tasked with doing multiple

Anonymous 0 Comments

Time, heat and not changing your oil enough. I can’t stress this enough. Hydrocarbons from your fuel attack the softeners in your gaskets and they harden. Hard gaskets can’t deform under thermal cycle so you end up with leaks.

It’s always easy to spot the neglected engines.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Something else that happens besides wear is different rates of heat expansion. As the engine heats up and cools down, cycling, it expands and contracts. The gasket material, maybe a multilayer steel head gasket, may not expand at the same rate as the aluminum engine block and cylinder head. This leads to chafing and eventual failure.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I think the short answer is all gaskets will go bad. Their purpose and design guarantees this.