Gaskets are malleable ring or sheet-shaped devices that are designed to form a pressure seal between two engine components in order to prevent liquid or gas leakage. The seals are created with withstand pressure, temperature, electrical or electromagnetic forces. As gaskets must conform to a specific shape to form a seal, they are constructed using cork, foam, metal, rubber, or a combination of materials.

The head gasket makes a seal between the cylinder heads of an engine to prevent coolant, lubricant, or oil from leaking. When a head gasket malfunctions the engine undergoes extensive and expensive damage.

If the heat in an engine rises too high, the heads expand, which damages or breaks the gasket. Having insufficient coolant levels, too much coolant or a malfunctioning fan also lead to excessive heat and gasket damage. Correcting overheating problems by replacing a faulty thermostat or water pump reduces the risk of gasket damage.

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