2013 Dodge Dart Head Gasket Replacement

Apr 27, 2013
Hello Everyone,

My Dodge Dart started using coolant about a month ago. I suspected that the head gasket was leaking since I could not find any external leaks. A combustion coolant tester confirmed my suspicions. I have attached some photos for you all to review. I have 2 sets of photos that I will post.

Needless to say the engine is really clean on the inside. I acquired this car with about 60k on the clock. It has the 2.0 litre Tigershark engine. The CARFAX at the time indicated that the car had regular oil changes and I have followed the same service intervals of changes every 5 - 6k. The car now has 82k.

I am really surprised by the evidence of hardly any wear whatsoever in the cylinder bores. There is no ridge line and the bores are really clean.

I plan to replace all of the usual wear and tear items while it is apart (timing chain, and guides, water pump, serpentine belt, idler and tensioner pulleys etc).

Since I have owned the car the oil used has been Mobil 1 full synthetic 0w20. Filters have varied, from Mobil 1, and Purolator brands. Head will be eventually cleaned and decked before reassembly. The cam lobs and bearing journals are all in excellent shape.

I wanted to share these details with you all in the hopes of reassuring what many of us who do regular maintenance on our vehicles already know. That is, that today's synthetic oils do a wonderful job when it comes to wear protection, and keeping engines clean internally.

Please reply with any comments or questions. I will be happy to reply to all who may want to know more detail.


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Pretty clean looking, yes modern synthetics (and oils) do wonders for engines.

Surprised sub-100k and you're doing a head gasket, but honestly, I am not up the slightest bit on Dodge/Stellantis/Fiat/Chrysler vehicles.

Looks as if in short order you'll be back in business.
Well you know what cylinder was burning coolant. That is a clean piston top. Odds are it was improper tq at the factory that took enough time to manifest or just a faulty gasket.
Hey guys, thanks for responding. @ Redhat, yes I was surprised to have to do this repair at less than 100k. I can tell you that after ordering the correct Mopar parts that Chrysler has had multiple design revisions for the headgasket on this engine as well as those for the 2.4 Multi-Air variant. It seems that the siamesed bores are a little harder to seal since there is less capture expansion on those sides of the cylinder bores. Although this was not the first year for this engine (2.0 litre) it was the first year of Dart production and there may have been some needed changes due to cooling differences as compared to the previous applications. For example this car / application has a built-in oil to coolant oil cooler. This was probably an addition given the increased temps that this engine runs at to improve combustion efficiency for improved mileage charecteristics.

@ Thermo 1223, right you are. The combustion chamber for that cylinder was equally clean and the valves looked brand new. I dropped the head off at the machine shop today to have them check it for leaks and to deck it whatever is necessary to make it as flat as possible within desired specs.

Here are a few more pics. Third pic is one of the timing chain tensioner guide blocks. This has hardly any wear at all. Intake ports are nearly spotless.


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