Can You Prevent a Blown Head Gasket?

blown head gasketGetting a blown head gasket in your vehicle can be a very frustrating experience.  It can be difficult to know why it happened, and what you can do as a vehicle owner to prevent it from happening.  Having a blown head gasket can be so frustrating because the repair costs can often be prohibitively expensive and can often take your car from being a valuable possession to a headache taking up space in your driveway or garage.

In this article, we want to take a look at the some of the reasons head gaskets blown to see if there are any ways we can prevent a blown head gasket.

The head gasket in your car is the gasket that is in between your engine block and your cylinder head.  This gasket forms part of the combustion chamber and allows coolant to flow outside of the combustion chamber between the engine block and cylinder head.  These requirements of the head gasket subject it to high pressures and extreme temperature fluctuations.  These pressures and fluctuations are usually the things that end up causing a blown head gasket.

Having high pressures in your combustion chamber is a necessity of every internal combustion engine.  The high pressure is created by the rapidly expanding gases produced during the combustion process and it is this high pressure that is able to push the piston down and actually cause your engine to run.  Even during normal operation these pressure can be extremely high.  Your head gasket is designed to consistently hold these pressures, but if for some reason that pressure is higher than it should be, you can end up with a blown head gasket.

Some things that may cause excessive combustion chamber can include early ignition, also called knocking or pre-ignition, an abnormally high compression ratio, or in the case of an engine with forced induction, high intake manifold pressure.  You can prevent pre-ignition or knocking by making sure your ignition timing is set to the manufacturer’s set point and your car has a clean fuel system.  The compression ratio in your engine is set by the shape and size of the combustion chamber which shouldn’t change unless you have excessive carbon build up.  Carbon build up can reduce the size of the combustion chamber effectively increasing your compression ratio and causing problems.  You can remove the carbon deposits in your engine using BlueDevil Fuel System Cleaner.  Lastly, if you have a car with forced induction like a supercharger or turbocharger, make sure the pressure limiting mechanism, like the waste gate or bypass valve is hooked up and operating properly.

blown head gasketThe other big killer of head gaskets is excessive temperature.  Head gaskets are designed to withstand the normal operating temperatures of your engine including the high temperatures of combustion.  If temperatures climb much above normal, it can damage the head gasket, the engine block or the head.  High temperatures can cause the metal parts in your engine to expand and contract at different rates which can cause the pieces to shift in relationship to each other and cause leaks in your head gasket.  Also with the expansion that comes along with high temperatures, the parts in your engine can often warp since they cannot expand where they are bolted together, but can expand and will warp and deform in between the bolts.  This can quickly lead to a leak and a very expensive repair.  To best way to avoid excessive heat in your engine is to keep your cooling system functioning properly and keep a careful eye on your temperature gauge during heavy engine load.

If you do end up with a blown head gasket for whatever reason, repairs can be costly due to the amount of work needed to tear down your engine.  Before you grab a wrench or take your car to the mechanic, consider using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer to seal the leak in your head gasket.  BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer is a chemical sealing agent that can seal a leak due to a blown head gasket or even a cracked or warped head.

For more information about BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer, visit our product information page here:
BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer

 

 

 

 

 

You can purchase BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer online at the link above or at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • CarQuest Auto parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Fast Track
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
  • S&E Quick Lube Distributer
  • DYK Automotive

Pictures Provided By:

head_gasket.jpg – By urfinguss – Licensed by Thinkstock Photos – Original Link
cylinder_head.jpg – By Stason4ic – Licensed by Thinkstock Photos – Original Link

 

 

15 responses to “Can You Prevent a Blown Head Gasket?

  1. I have a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero that is losing water but not into the oil. I have been told its a head gasket. My question is, if I use the Pour -N-Go sealant and it doesn’t work, how much additional trouble will I have doing a head gasket job. Is it like the liquid glass product that once used the engine is almost a throw away if additional work is required.

    1. Tom-

      First of all, BlueDevil Pour N Go Head Gasket Sealer carries a success rate of over 90%. The product will work to stop coolant loss regardless of whether or not it is leaking into the oil. Any future repairs will not be made any more difficult due to the product being used.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  2. Brought my 2009 Ford Crown Vic PI to the garage yesterday and was told my coolant leak was due to a blown head gasket. Was basically told its not worth fixing due to the cost and I might as well drive around with a bottle of coolant, ensuring its topped up.. However, I wasn’t really down with my engine overheating and steam from sizzling coolant rising up from the hood of my car — Does not look good! On top of that, my heat was not working. After work, I went to Canadian Tire and bought a bottle of Blue Devil gasket sealer, and thankfully it worked. No more coolant dripping on the ground, no more overheating. However, my heat still does not seem to work so I guess that’s a separate issue.

    Thanks for keeping my car on the road during this time of year! Just gotta figure out the heat problem and I should be good to last through winter with any luck..

    Cheers

    1. John-

      That is excellent to hear! Once the product seals, it would be a permanent seal, so you should be good to go at this point. For the heat issue, after you have ensured the system is topped off, you may want to try bleeding the system to get rid of any air pockets that might still be in the cooling system. We appreciate your positive feedback!

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  3. Perhaps the old method to prevent head gaskets from blowing is to retighten the head gaskets after so many hundred thousand kilometers like in the old days…. EG 160,000 kms or 100,000 miles

  4. I have a 2002 Toyota Camry le. I use other products they last for a week.only to damage my raditor. 2 times. Know I have a new radiator car still runs hot. Don’t have the money to fix it the old way I need my car for work. What do I do.

    1. DL-

      Thank you for asking about your Toyota Camry. What are the symptoms your vehicle is having? Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so that we can get a better understanding of the vehicle’s condition and be able to make any appropriate recommendations.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  5. Hello-
    I have a 2002 Hyundai Elantra that is periodically overheating, due to (I believe) a blown gasket causing pressure to build up and coolant to burn. There aren’t any external leaks. Could this be a product to help fix the situation? With such an old car, I’d love to avoid a costly repair, especially since it is typically just a “station car” (i.e. Rarely more than a few miles per day). Thanks!

    1. Daniel-

      Thank you for asking about your Hyundai Elantra. It is possible that you are getting combustion/exhaust gases pumping back into the cooling system. You can use a “Block Dye Tester” to confirm whether or not that is the case.
      BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer will still work if your vehicle is getting combustion/exhaust gases blowing into the cooling system and creating pressure. To give yourself the best overall chance of BlueDevil working successfully, in addition to the directions, you should remove the spark plug from the cylinder with the leak; this will be the spark plug from the cylinder with the low compression reading. If you are not sure which one that is, you may pull all of the spark plugs and will notice one will have a white-crystal-like substance on it and/or may look dirty; this is the plug you should pull. Leave that plug out for the 50 minute idle in order to relieve the pressure from building up and thus allowing the product to seal properly. Be sure to follow the guidelines for the proper amount to use based on the size of your cooling system.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  6. I have a 2008 pt cruiser changed the thermostat replaced the radiator cap got a pressure test and he told me I need to replace the water pump and head gasket the coolant isn’t visible to my knowledge he says it’s a small crack 🤔 I call bs can I use the sealant and add the right coolant I should be able to drive

    1. PT Cruiser owner-

      Are you noticing a loss of water/coolant? Is the vehicle overheating at all? Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so that we can get a better understanding of the vehicle’s condition and be able to make any appropriate recommendations.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  7. Today my car over heated instantly turned on the heat and pulled over the gauge began to go back down towards normal..I checked the reserve seemed to take a lot of antifreeze and itself was over flowing, about twenty minutes it went back into radiator.. I then checked antifreeze in radiator when it was cool she was full and reserve was almost empty???..does this sound like something that has to do with the gaskets???..going to macanic tomorrow but dont want to be taking for a fool …we women are known to be taking advantage of..Thanks..

    1. Diane-

      It is good that you are taking the vehicle in to a mechanic for a proper diagnosis. Based on your description, it sounds like there may be some kind of a restriction in flow. Unfortunately, a vehicle can overheat for a number of different reasons. Without seeing white smoke coming from the exhaust or water/coolant getting into the engine oil, it would be tough to say whether or not it is related to the head gasket. You can check the thermostat to make sure it is opening up at the correct temperature. Otherwise, the mechanic should be able to pinpoint the cause during the diagnosis.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *