He knows that if he ever springs a leak or throws a gasket, his dad will be there with duct tape and chewing gum to patch him up ...


Does "throws a gasket" in the above mean "misses/drops a gasket?" Thanks.
A gasket is a thin pressure / liquid seal where 3 parts mate, especially in an engine.
To throw a gasket has two meanings:

Literal: the gasket fails, causing pressure and liquid loss.
Idiomatic: To have a temper tantrum; to explode with anger.

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Thanks, AlpheccaStars.

Got it!

By the way, is 'throw a gasket" equal to "pitch a fit?" Thanks.
Yes, they do mean the same, but "throw a gasket" is often used for adult males, but "pitch a fit" is used more for kids. "to have / throw a hissy fit" is used for women.