What You Need to Know About Water Outlet Gasket Shopping
There is nothing more embarrassing than being an experienced driver and suddenly having a steaming engine-those passing drivers' eyes on you! The cracks in your hoses could be the probable reason for the coolant leak, but if there were no cracks, the problem could be a worn water outlet gasket. This gasket acts as a sealing separator between your intake manifold and water outlet housing. If you always find yourself refilling engine coolant, you must replace all coolant passages and, of course, this gasket component.
Shopping for the best: material and specs
Water outlet gaskets are exposed to excessive engine heat, and having anti-freeze flowing internally across them does not lessen the impact of the heat. So, this thin object must be made from durable and resistant material in order to withstand cold temperature from the inside and warm temperature from the outside. Aluminum, steel, and rubber are your material options. As you know, aluminum and steel are both durable, but the rust-resistant value goes to the former. While rubber is cheaper than these two, it is also heat-resistant; it also lasts long if not constantly exposed to changing temperatures that weaken it.
It is necessary to stress the importance of buying gaskets specific to the make, model, and year of your vehicle. These water outlet gaskets have a certain diameter that must match that of your car's intake manifold and water outlet housing. If not, the seal will be useless and cooling fluid will still seep through. Depending on the type of gasket, the diameter ranges from 40mm to 51mm. Also, these gaskets have bolt holes that slightly vary in roundness from type to type. Some gaskets also have three holes instead of two.
Shopping according to preference
It is surprising to note that water outlet gaskets come in green, blue, black, and other colors despite their remote location. Buy gaskets that are direct-fit for easier installation. If you drive to race, choose a thicker gasket that offers a quality seal. You still have to go for cheaper units without compromised quality. The cost is generally between 10USD and 20USD, but you can surely find much cheaper units in discount stores. An installation manual is a great plus.
Trouble-Free Water Outlet Gasket Replacement
You might not have been there yet, but all drivers cross their fingers in order to not experience a steaming engine due to coolant leak. Excessive coolant leak can only be caused by breaks and loose connections in the heater hoses and pipes. But if you have no leak and the coolant depletes rapidly, the problem is surely a worn water outlet gasket. This component secures the connection between the intake manifold and the water outlet housing, thus preventing any coolant from escaping. To prevent any driving hassle, you must replace this worn gasket immediately.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you'll need:
- New water outlet gasket (one specific to the make, model, and year of your car)
- Socket set
- Drain pan
- Torque wrench
- Masking tape
Step 1: Ensure safety first. Let the engine cool down before touching any hood component. Place a drain pan under the engine oil reservoir and the radiator drain plug. Slowly twist the radiator lid to release inside pressure, then do the same for the oil reservoir. Allow the coolant and oil to drip until the containers are empty. Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal.
Step 2: Label the parts for later identification. Since the water outlet gasket is located at a far-flung location, you must name the parts before taking them out until you get to the gasket. Labeling will make reassembly easier.
Step 3: Start disassembling the parts. Remove bolts, screws, and other fasteners carefully as you take out any component including hoses, pipes, wires, sensors, connectors, valves, and other assemblies. Make sure that you place the fasteners next to the corresponding parts they secure. Also, align the parts on the floor according to the order of disassembly.
Step 4: Replace the old gasket. Once you gain access to the water outlet housing (a bent tube connected to the intake manifold by two bolts), you must remove it to replace the gasket. First, loosen the two bolts on the housing and pull the housing out. Sandwiched between the housing and the manifold is the old gasket; remove it and replace with the new one.
Step 5: Start reassembling the parts. Install the two mounting bolts on the housing, then push the water outlet gasket toward the surface of the housing. The holes in the gasket must be flush with the bolts. Then, connect the housing to the manifold, making sure that the gasket remains in place (closing the gap between the tubes) while tightening the bolts to 15-feet-pounds. Reinstall all the components accordingly.
Step 6: Refill the radiator and oil reservoir with the fluid in the pans. Replace the lids, reconnect the negative battery cable, and start the engine. Check for coolant leak.