Replacement of head gasket

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Old 05-22-07, 09:32 AM
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Replacement of head gasket

Not sure if that's what it's called, but I recently got an oil change at a new place. Being that I'm not sure to trust them or not...they mentioned to me that they had to replace the head gasket (?) b/c the thread (?) was messed up. The guy explained to me that with heat and contraction or expansion,etc....this causes it to get messed up. The replacement was free, but I've never heard of such a thing. I thought those things get messed up b/c of one taking and putting them on incorrectly or tightening them too much?

If it matters, my car's a 2003 Nissan Altima.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 09:46 AM
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Head gaskets are replaced because they leak. There are many reasons for a leak. I've never heard of a messed up thread causing them to leak, unless this means a head bolt was stripped.

The contraction/expansion he was talking about is what is called "thermal cycling". This is characteristic of an engine designed with an iron block and aluminum head. The materials have different heat expansion rates. It is most pronounced with straight six engines, which have the longest dimensions. With use, the micromovement from thermal cycling can erode head gaskets until they leak.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 09:58 AM
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Cool. Thanks So....basically, he's telling the truth and it's ok and good that he replaced it?
 
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Old 05-22-07, 10:55 AM
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Was the head gasket leaking?... what were the symptoms other than "the thread was messed up"?
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:04 AM
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A head gasket has nothing to do with an oil change, are we talking about the little gasket on the drain plug? Replacing a head gasket is a big job and wouldn't have been done for free or by a 'quick lube' place. The little washer/gasket on the drain plug would be replaced to prevent oil drips.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:05 AM
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I don't think it was leaking b/c he didn't notice anything until they tried to take it off. He said it was hard to get off and then noticed the threads were messed up.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:18 AM
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....so he just installed a new drain plug? They do get messed up occasionally, especially if they are in a hurry.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:18 AM
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Hi DIY
You are talking about the oil drain plug
(not a head gasket)

It's most likely the threads got stripped either that oil change, or the last one
The heat cycle story is a long shot
Most likely someone over tightened or wasn't careful about starting the threads

The free fix is OK, but you'll want to ask how they fixed it

I'm assuming it just wasn't a replacement gasket if the threads were stripped

Is this the 4 cylinder engine?
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:20 AM
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marksr:
Jinx!...kinda
You owe me a Coke...er...half a Coke
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:29 AM
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Hey slick, you can have the whole coke me an carbonation don't get along well.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:35 AM
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Ok... now I REALLY don't know WHAT I'm talking about. Sorry guys. I should've brought in my statement. Anyway, what's a head gasket? I thought that's the part where they change the oil? If not....? I don't know how that word got into my brain...but it's their for some reason...and I really don't know about cars.

If I just got an oil change, I would have to assume it was the oil drain plug...but I'm not sure b/c he said they replace it with a chrome/metal one...or whatever. I haven't changed my oil for over 13 years...so I really don't remember what's there. But...that's all they did was replace the cap.

The car is 4 cylinder.

Humph....well...I'm sure I'll be able to be more exact when I get home and look at the statement again...
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:37 AM
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The four cylinder engines in those Nissans are great engines
But you need to change the oil more than once every 13 years
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:40 AM
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The head gasket goes between the engine block and the head. It is a very specialized gasket and as already pointed out it would be both an extensive job and cost $$$.
I think maybe the drain plug gasket was referred to as a "thread gasket".

You didn't change your oil for 13 years??? You should really do it every 300 miles!!!
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:40 AM
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Jinx, slick!! Great minds think alike.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:40 AM
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"what's a head gasket?"

It's the gasket between the "head" (top) and engine "block" (middle)
The head is where the spark plugs and valves are
The block would have the crankshaft

The oil pan would be under the block
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:42 AM
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Jinx again...

Thread gasket

Ha ha...never heard it called that
makes perfect sense though
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:43 AM
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there are great minds on this site???
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:44 AM
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And by the way, don't any of you have jobs????????
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:45 AM
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Marksr, Towguy, and Slick
Three minds that think as.....




....uh...two?
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:46 AM
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Uh...every ***300*** miles Tow Guy? Wow! So that would be every time BEFORE I have to fill up my tank???!!!!

Sorry...I meant I haven't personally gotten under the car myself and changed the oil MYSELF-in 13 years.

Ummm...now you guys are giving me too much info. Let me get under my car and review....I'll be back in a month k? LOL!

I do believe it's the drain plug gasket. That sounds more like it.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:48 AM
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"And by the way, don't any of you have jobs????????"

Ha ha...got done early today
New paint scrapers saved me two hours
Wow!


Change the oil every 300 miles?
You run one of those oil change places TG?
 
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Old 05-22-07, 11:49 AM
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"I do believe it's the drain plug gasket. That sounds more like it."

That would make sense
 
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Old 05-22-07, 05:33 PM
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My 2 cents

I am thinking maybe the oil cap. drain plugs are not chrome. For sure not a head gasket at a quick lube place while you wait.
 
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Old 05-22-07, 10:04 PM
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did you get a new 710 cap?


You got a new oil drain plug.. because they screwed it up...

3 things every auto owner should be able to do..

Change a tire.

Change your oil.

Do a tune up.



Later

Mike Murray
 
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Old 05-23-07, 04:48 AM
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" Do a tune up. "

Not always feasable for the average diyer. Nissan's altima with the 3.5 [?] V-6 has such a crowded engine compartment the owner's manual says the tune up is a dealer only procedure - might require pulling the engine to get to the plugs
 
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Old 05-23-07, 04:58 AM
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LOL, okay, so you caught me in a typo.

Three THOUSAND miles, not three hundred.
 
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Old 05-23-07, 09:12 AM
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Ok...so I found my statement and it states specifically

"Drain plug came out rough. Replaced drain plug AND gasket."

So... obviously it was the drain plug (the oil thing right)? Then...what's the gasket? The same thing? If the drain plug is not chrome then what IS chrome? The gasket? Slick, you mentioned drain plug gasket...now why would they refer it to drain plug AND gasket? I'm soooo confused!

Murray....710 cap huh? I got that funny email forwarded to me this week. That's hilarious and though I'm a female... I kinda know the *very* basics! ha!
 
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Old 05-23-07, 12:03 PM
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The gasket is basically a washer that helps the drain plug to seal, preventing any leaks/drips.

I wouldn't think the replacement plug would be chrome but........ who knows The gasket is made out of a rubber or composite material.
 
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Old 05-23-07, 12:23 PM
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How to Change Your Oil

Women:

1. Pull up to Jiffy Lube 3000 miles after the last oil change.

2. Drink a cup of coffee.

3. Fifteen minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.


Men:

1. Go to O'Reilly auto parts and write a check for 50 dollars for oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and scented tree.

2. Discover that the used oil container is full. Instead of taking it back to O'Reilly to recycle, dump in hole in back yard.

3. Open a beer and drink it.

4. Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.

5. Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.

6. In frustration, open another beer and drink it.

7. Place drain pan under engine.

8. Look for 13mm box end wrench.

9. Give up and use crescent wrench.

10. Unscrew drain plug.

11. Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil; get hot oil on hand in the process.

12. Clean up.

13. Have another beer while oil is draining.

14. Look for oil filter wrench.

15. Give up; poke oil filter with Phillips head screwdriver and twist it off.

16. Beer.

17. Buddy shows up. Finish case with him. Finish oil change tomorrow.

18. Next day, drag pan full of old oil out from underneath car, dump in hole in back yard.

19. Throw kitty litter on oil spilled during steps 11, 15, & 18.

20. Beer. No, drank it all yesterday.

21. Walk to 7-11 and buy beer.

22. Install new oil filter making sure to apply thin coat of clean oil to gasket first.

23. Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.

24. Remember drain plug from step 11.

25. Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan. Pan is empty. Find drain plug in back yard hole.

26. Hurry to replace drain plug as last drop of fresh oil drains onto floor.

27. Slip with wrench and bang knuckles on frame.

28. Bang head on bumper in reaction.

29. Begin cussing fit.

30. Throw wrench.

31. Cuss for additional 10 minutes because wrench hit Miss December (1982).

32. Clean up. Apply Band-Aid to knuckle.

33. Beer.

34. Beer.

35. Dump in additional 4 quarts of oil.

36. Beer.

37. Lower car from jack stands.

38. Accidentally crush one of the jack stands.

39. Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during step 26.

40. Drive car a quart low for 7000 miles when it'll be time for another oil change.
 
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Old 05-23-07, 12:24 PM
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Ahhhhhh....NOW I get it Thanks marksr. I think it may be time for me to get under the car and physically check out exactly what they're talking about. I wouldn't think the plug would be chrome either. Maybe I'm aging and not listening very clearly either.
 
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Old 05-23-07, 01:13 PM
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...what?
...





I have a collection of drain plug washers ranging from fiberous gasket stuff to rubber to plastic to plastic with metal impregnated in it to all copper
 
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Old 05-23-07, 01:19 PM
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Tow Guy....I love that one

Are you SURE it's not:

"1. Pull up to Jiffy Lube *300* miles after the last oil change."

ha ha ha...ok. I just HAD to say that.

Slick...why do you have a "collection" of all that?????!!!
 
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Old 05-23-07, 01:26 PM
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I like working on cars
Especially older ones
Sometime you don't know what type of gasket-if any-it's supposed to be until you remove the plug
Then sometimes you can't get just the one you want, you have to buy a "Help!" package asst. from the store

"Help" packages have all sorts of neat stuff for older cars in them
Door arm screws, carburetor springs, manual choke conversion kits...
Ya know...fun stuff!
 
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Old 05-23-07, 03:12 PM
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Haha are you kidding?

I take my car down to get the oil changed 30 miles BEFORE it's due.

Hubby procrastinates doing it himself until he worries about the damage he is causing to the engine, then asks ME to take it down to get the oil changed. Then I have to explain to the nice mechanic why there is no oil left and how my hubby knows better :-)
 
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Old 05-24-07, 05:16 AM
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Actually slick used to work at a Jiffy Lube and that's the collection of plugs & washers he forgot to reinstall.
 
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