Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

How to remove a gasket

How to remove a gasket and gasket residue

Gasket material and gasket adhesives can be difficult to remove. In the old days you probably used a sharp scraper or even razor blade scrapers, and then you finished it off with a rotary scrubbing disc. Use any of those methods on a modern aluminum engine and you can seriously damage the metals surfaces. In other words, ban all of those from your tool box. Here are the best ways to remove gaskets and gasket residue from a modern aluminum engine.


scrapers you shouldnt use to remove gaskets

How to remove paper and rubber gaskets

Use a safety scraper to remove the gasket material

Safety scrapers hold a hard rigid scraper blade that looks just like a razor blade. They’re made from a very hard plastic but they won’t gouge the soft aluminum.

titan scrapers

Use the scraper to remove as much gasket material as possible. Then spray the remaining gasket and gasket adhesive with a gasket remover like Permatex or CRC. If you don’t have those, try aerosol electrical contact cleaner, brake cleaner, or carburetor cleaner. Let it soak for at least 10 minutes. Then use the scraper. Repeat as necessary.

permatex gasket remover

Remove RTV gaskets

RTV gaskets can be a bit trickier than ordinary paper gaskets because you have to remove all the silicone before applying new RTV. Why? Because new RTV won’t bond well to left over RTV and you’ll have a leak.

Start by spraying the RTV with aerosol electrical contact permatex gasket removercleaner, brake cleaner, or carburetor cleaner. Let it soak. Those cleaners help debond the RTV from the metal, making it easier to remove. Once you remove most of the rubbery RTV, clean off the rest with Permatex or CRC gasket remove.

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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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