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WATCH: What’s the Right Way to Remove a Gasket?

To do the job right, your customers might need a double-sided scraper that’s specifically designed to remove old gaskets from aluminum parts without scratching or gouging the surface.

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This video is sponsored by MAHLE.

Before you replace a gasket, you need to remove the old one first. How can you help your customers do it right the first time?

Back in the days of cast-iron engines, removing a gasket was fairly simple. If the old gasket was stuck in place, you could scrape it loose with a metal scraper or putty knife, and you didn’t have to worry much about damaging the sealing surface.

With today’s engines, it’s a different story. Newer engines have a lot more aluminum, plastic and other materials that are much softer than cast iron, so you need to use a lot more finesse when you’re removing a gasket. That’s because even a small imperfection on the sealing surface can prevent the new gasket from sealing properly, and that can create a potential leak path.

To do the job right, your customers might need a double-sided scraper that’s specifically designed to remove old gaskets from aluminum parts without scratching or gouging the surface. The trick with any gasket scraper is to hold the tool almost parallel to the surface so you can shear away the gasket without digging into the part.

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For removing difficult gasket residue, your customers also might need an aerosol gasket remover. You spray it on the old gasket, wait for the chemical to do its job – that can be anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes – and then scrape away the gasket residue with a scraper tool. Just remember, when you’re working with any kind of aerosol product, it’s important to wear the right personal protective equipment. And you should always advise your customers to follow the directions on the product label, because the chemicals in some of these products actually can attack certain plastics. Plus, reading the directions is just a good practice in general.

Here’s the bottom line: When you’re selling gaskets, remember that your customers need to remove the old gasket first. They might need a scraper tool, an aerosol gasket remover, safety goggles and maybe even some heavy-duty rags to wipe off the sealing surface.

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