Rust and Blown Head Gaskets

Most recent answer: 05/19/2017

I recently bought a "new to me" car and the dealer said he had just replaced the head gaskets. 11 days later I'm in the shop with a blown head gasket. The guy insists that the part was brand new, but I asked the mechanic to hang onto the old ones. Mechanic showed me that the screws were rusty that held the gasket in and the heads themselves had rust on them as well. Is it possible for rust to form this quickly if the part was just replaced?
- Kelly Hale (age 45)
Gainesville, GA 30506

Without knowing the exact metal of the screws, what sort of materials (salt spray?) it was exposed to , etc. we can't say for absolute certain that the rust couldn't have happened quickly. Common senses, however, says that your suspicions are much more likely to be true. Perhaps you could somehow get the dealer to give you some of those screws. Then you could test if there's any reasonable way for them to have rusted so quickly.

Mike W.

(published on 05/19/2017)