5 Signs That Your Car Has a Blown Head Gasket

A blown head gasket can cause some pretty scary symptoms, and if you’re not well-versed in car mechanics, it might be hard to diagnose what’s going on with your vehicle. However, if you think your car might have a blown head gasket, there are some telltale signs to watch out for. So keep an eye out for these five signs that your vehicle has a blown head gasket, and what to do about them!

White Exhaust Smoke

The head gasket is essential because it creates a seal between the cylinder head and engine block. The primary purpose of the head gasket is to keep oil and coolant from leaking into the cylinders and maintain pressure inside the combustion chamber. The most common sign of a blown head gasket is white plumes of smoke coming from the car’s exhaust. This is due to coolant and oil seeping into the cylinders.

Unexplained Low Coolant Level

If your car’s head gasket is blown, the coolant level may be low, but you may not see signs of a leak. This is because coolant is seeping into the combustion chamber and being burned rather than leaking out on the ground from a bad hose.

Contaminated Coolant

A blown head gasket can also allow coolant and oil to mix, resulting in a frothy sludge with a slightly milky white tint. In addition, contaminated oil forms a thick film that can deposit itself on the radiator cap or in the coolant reservoir. This severe problem will significantly reduce the coolant’s ability to draw heat from the engine.

Bubbling Coming From the Radiator or Coolant Reservoir

If the head gasket has failed, air from the engine can get into the coolant system and cause bubbles noticeable in the radiator or coolant reservoir. Engine coolant contaminated with air will not cool efficiently and lead to an overheated engine.

Engine Overheating

While overheating is one of the leading causes of head gasket failure, it can also be a symptom. When the head gasket fails, air or oil usually contaminates the engine coolant. In addition, coolant can leak into the combustion chamber or on the ground. All of these scenarios will result in an overheating engine because the coolant will not be able to cool the engine effectively.

Suppose you notice any of the signs of a blown head gasket. In that case, it is crucial to see a professional to get it diagnosed and repaired before severe engine damage is done.

Unfortunately, head gasket replacement is labor-intensive and costly. However, a blown head gasket will ruin your car’s engine if ignored. So see your trusted mechanic immediately if you suspect your car’s head gasket is blown.

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