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Showing posts from July, 2010

Head Gasket Replacement

A casual night on the town turned into a steaming mess after my radiator cap blew off. My 1991 Honda Civic Si was overheating. By the time I stopped at the gas station the water cooling system was completely empty. In a hurry, I filled the radiator before letting the engine cool. I should have waited, but created a commotion at the gas station when steam started pouring out of the hood. Water flowed through the cooling system, which surrounds the piston cylinders. The head and block contracted, stressing the head gasket, causing it to fail. The gasket keeps the cylinders sealed at the head and block interface from air and water. I drove out onto the street and steam started coming out of the exhaust pipe. The car did not have enough power without the head gasket sealing the cylinders, so I stopped and called a tow truck. An unfortunate problem became an interesting two-week long project during the summer before I came to MIT. A professional head gasket replacement costs over a thousan