What are the Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket?

A head gasket is a ringed panel that comes between the engine block and cylinder head. It works by acting as a barrier to prevent engine fluid from leaking into its cylinders. It also blocks off water and oil conduits from getting mixed with the fuel.

Unfortunately, the gasket head is located next to a hot section of the engine. If either the cylinder head or engine block expands from overheating, it causes the head gasket to fail. The engine may also experience detonation, damaging the fire rings or armors in the process. This event causes the cylinder pressure to leak past the fire rings and damage the head gasket.

Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket:

1. Overheating: Overheating happens when oil leaks into the coolant system, lowering its ability to cool off the car's engine. Most engines experience elevated temperatures, especially when driving at low speeds.

2. A mix-up of coolant and oil: The engine oil helps lubricate the moving parts. However, it leaks into the coolant when the head gasket is blown. This leads to grinding pistons as there is insufficient lubrication. You may also find oil in the coolant reservoir.

3. Poor running and rough idling: Some head gaskets are located between combustion chambers. These chambers require high pressure to ensure efficiency and maximum power. However, with a blown head gasket, the combustion chambers do not hold the pressure, resulting in rough idling and poor running of the engine.

4. White/gray smoke from the tailpipe: As said earlier, there are head gaskets between combustion chambers. If they leak, the coolant sips into the combustion chamber and gets burned alongside the fuel. The coolant produces white smoke, which is mostly visible in the mornings or on a cold day.

5. A milky build-up under the oil cap: The inside of the oil cap should be dry when the head gasket is intact. However, if it has a chocolate-milkshake substance, it means that the oil has mixed with the coolant, thereby contaminating the oil. You need to replace the head gasket and change the contaminated oil immediately in such cases.

If you need professional gasket repair, we welcome you to our auto repair shop today!