Gaskets – what are they anyway?

The most widely heard word around the shop most days is GASKET.

Sometimes it seems as though every car in the shop is leaking from a gasket and therefore needs a new gasket.
Since I am n
ot a mechanic I finally had to ask…..

What is a gasket? And how many are in a vehicle?

To answer the first question simply look in the Dictionary (or more appropriately Dictionary.com)
A rubber,  metal, or rope ring for packing a piston or placing around a joint to make it watertight.

Or ask Google “what is a gasket in a car?”

I like the answer from Driverside.com:  Gaskets are literally everywhere in your vehicle.
When two metal parts need to be joined together the seal between the parts is provided by a gasket.
Gaskets can be made of paper, cork, rubber, or metal plates, and can often fail, requiring replacement to keep the more expensive parts it joins together from failing.  (picture of gaskets below)

There are gaskets in the engine block, cylinder heads, intake manifold, oil pan, rear main, timing and valve covers, transmission and more!

To answer the question “how many are in a car?”

There are MANY gaskets in MANY different parts of the vehicle and every brand of car has a different amount.

So the most reasonable answer to my question is that most vehicles have DOZENS of gaskets!

Now you must be wondering how much do gaskets cost?

Depending on the size and material gaskets range from .25 cents to $500.
The labor cost to remove and replace gaskets depends on its location so it also varies widely from $45 to thousands of dollars.

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