What Causes a Blown Head Gasket?

Head Gasket FailureIf you are asking what causes a blown head gasket it’s probably for one of two reasons; you found out your have a blown head gasket on your vehicle, or you have a vehicle known for getting blown head gaskets and want to try and avoid having one in the future.  This article will address both of those concerns, but first we will talk a little bit about what a head gasket does and how it might fail.

Any gasket in your vehicle’s engine, or any machine for that matter is designed to accomplish a relatively simple goal.  When two parts of a machine or device come together an you want to keep a fluid or a gas either in or out you need a gasket to help.  For example, if you go open the front door to your home there likely will be some weather stripping all around the door jamb where the door will meet it when it’s closed.  The weather stripping is really a gasket designed to keep the outside air out, and your conditioned comfortable and clean air in your home.  The gaskets in your vehicle’s engine serve the same purpose of keeping air, or a fluid like coolant or oil where it should be at the joint of two parts of the engine.  In the case of the head gasket, it has the job of keeping intake air and combustion gases in the cylinder and coolant out of the cylinder in the water jacket of the block and head.

So, what causes a blown head gasket? Well, a head gasket can blow, or fail in a few different ways from a few different causes.  The reality is the head gasket has to hold back all the pressure of the intake vacuum and combustion explosion while keeping the engine coolant out during an extreme range of temperatures and it has to do it mile after mile.  The other difficultly is that due to the design of the cylinder heads, the position of the cylinders, valves and any other equipment in the head, there can only be a small number of bolts securing the cylinder head to the block and keeping the head gasket flat and sealed.  This relatively small number of bolts can cause uneven pressure and stresses on the head and head gasket as it expands due to heat and other stresses.

Blown Head GasketFor all the reasons it can be difficult to tell exactly why your head gasket has blown.  It is possible that normal driving can cause a head gasket failure due to the factors above.  Besides normal driving, it seems the most common cause of a blown head gasket is an overheating engine.  The excess heat will cause the engine block and head to expand more than usual and can exploit a weakness in the head gasket causing a failure.  If you are looking to prevent a head gasket failure in your vehicle keeping your engine coolant at the proper level with the proper mixture and changing it as often as the manufacturer recommends is the best way to avoid a head gasket failure.  You can also ensure your water pump is working properly by regularly listening for noises and observing the water pump pulley at the front of your engine to make sure it isn’t wobbling or loose.  If you drive a car equipped with a super or turbo charger you can also keep a close eye on the amount of boost they are creating.  If your engine experiences higher than usual boost levels, it can create higher than normal cylinder pressures which also can cause a head gasket to fail.  One last way of keeping your head gasket from failing is not proven and may only help minimally, but avoiding down shifting in a car with a manual transmission may help extend the life of your head gasket.  While downshifting can help save your brakes it can put pressure on your cylinder head as your engine increases RPM while slowing your vehicle down.

Trying all these things can help prevent premature head gasket failure, but if you already have a blown head gasket you may not be in as much trouble as you thought.  Replacing the head gasket can be a very expensive proposition but replacement may not be necessary to fix your problem.  BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer can repair your blown head gasket permanently sealing your leak and giving your vehicle with new life without the high repair bill.  BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer contains no particulates that can harm your engine and is safe and easy to use. 

BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer

Click the link for more information about BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer.

You can pick up BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer at our partnering local auto parts stores like:

  • NAPA
  • Pep Boys
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Car Quest Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • Advanced Auto parts
  • Prime Automotive Warehouse
  • AutoZone

Pictures courtesy of www.ma70.com and www.latinbayarea.com

81 responses to “What Causes a Blown Head Gasket?

  1. It’s a little confusing when there are two different products from the same manufacturer which purport to do the same job. It brings the inevitable questions of “Which one should I use?” “Does one work better than the other?” “Under what circumstances would I choose product A, and likewise, under which circumstances would I choose product B?” “Do they really do the same job equally well?”
    The two products in question are: A) Head gasket Sealer, and B) Pour n’ Go Head Gasket Sealer. Please advise.

    1. Patrick,

      You may use either product. The “Pour N Go” (16 oz./white label) is a less concentrated formula that does not require the removal of the thermostat or a flush of the cooling system prior to use. Whereas the “Mechanic Approved” (32 oz./yellow label) requires both the removal of thermostat and a flush before applying the product; the 32 ounce is the more concentrated formula.
      The recommended amount of the Head Gasket Sealer with the yellow label (32 oz.) will give you best overall results as long as you can remove the thermostat and flush the system prior to use.

      Feel free to contact us at 1.888.863.0426 with any further questions.

      -BDP

        1. Henry-

          Please contact us at 888-863-0426 so that we may discuss your vehicle and the symptoms you have been experiencing. This will help us make the best recommendation for getting it repaired.

          Thank You!

          -BDP

      1. Alphonso-

        It is normally not necessary to use BlueDevil more than once however there are some instances in which we recommend a 2nd dose.

        Please contact us at 888-863-0426 so that we may discuss your situation in more detail.

        Thank you!

        -BDP

  2. My boyfriend has been trying to hide the fact that my car has a blown head gasket for quite some time. I have had a previous vehicle that blew a gasket, and similar things have happened with this vehicle so I basically knew but didn’t. The thing is this, I heard something knocking or rattling actually in the engine once and he told me there was a loose pulley or something along those lines. I also want to add that there hasn’t been one drop of coolant in my car this entire winter. He has been using water! I asked him if that was the right thing to do!?!?!? And he said yes! It was fine…it had been hard to keep running and was idling really high at times. It was dying at stop signs etc. Please answer if it was possible that this gasket blew or went bad because of the lack of coolant use. Also, the water pump did quit working and that has been replaced. Is there a video online on how to put the sealant on the gasket? If so can you please email me the link?

    Thank you so much!

    1. My Mini Cooper was doing the same thing i wasn’t loosing coolant and my car was dying whenever i made a hard stop so i checked the oil level and it was low so i filled it up and the idle is fine now but i noticed the coolant went down and there was a milky look to the oil a little bit so i have a minor head gasket leak

      I would try to put oil and definitely get that water pump working

  3. I took my wife’s car to pep boys for a brake inspection. I wasn’t happy with the price they quoted me and my wife went and picked the car up. On her way home she noticed her temperature gauge going up. She pulled over on the freeway. I drove over with coolant, lifted the hood and saw the radiator cap laying on the engine, coolant everywhere. I put more in and drove the 2 miles home when it started over heating and smoking again. The next morning my father in law and I put more coolant in,left it running idley and when I gave it gas white smoke started coming out of the exhaust. We went back to pep boys and they tried givinge the whole, it could be many different things other than a blown head gasket. What are your thoughts base on the information?

    1. Jeremy-

      Granted, we have not actually seen the vehicle but the symptoms you are describing are often tell-tale signs of a blown head gasket. You may want to take it to a different shop to get a second opinion because it definitely sounds like you have signs of a blown head gasket.

      If it turns out the head gasket is blown then you could consider using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

      1. Hi, can I use bluedevil as precaution for blown head gasket? Theres nothing wrong with my engine but its a 1997 model so probably the head gasket gets weaker, thanks,.,

  4. Hi I drive a 06 cobalt and just recently my car has been over heating and I add coolant then it’s okay again and now there’s oil leaking when I took it to get an oil change they left side note oil contains water and also it blows out a lot of white smoke from the exhaust . Could this have caused a blown head gasket

    1. Alejandra-

      Yes, based on your symptoms it is likely that your Cobalt has a blown head gasket. We recommend using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer to help repair your vehicle.

      For best results, you will want to change your oil before and after the BlueDevil process.

      -BDP

      1. I’ve got a blown head gasket. The A A inspected it. Told me so! Said the blue devil won’t work as it’s fully blown. Any advice

        1. Sean-

          Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so that we can get a little more information on the vehicle’s condition and be able to make any appropriate recommendations.

          Thank you!

          -BDP

  5. I have a 2005 dodge neon srt 4..I have a high pitched whirling sound, white smoke that smells like burning rubber from the exhaust but no overheating no leakage anywhere no bubbles under the radiator cap when the engine is running nor is there any water in my oil or milky substance in the oil..whats wrong with my car?! Please help me out. I think it’s my timing belt..

    1. Morey-

      Thanks for your question about your 2005 Dodge Neon! From your description it doesn’t sound like you have a timing belt issue, although if you are past due for that maintenance it is wise to replace your timing belt to avoid being stranded or damaging your engine. The problem sounds more like you have a bad turbo. When a turbo goes bad, it often makes a high pitching whining sound or a whirring or whistling sound. Also, as the bearings in the turbo wear out, they can also start to wear out the seals which will allow some oil and coolant that is running through the turbo into your exhaust pipe. Since your turbo is after your engine you won’t notice any problems in the engine, just the burnt coolant and oil in the exhaust. We recommend taking your Neon to a shop to help you decide if you need a new or rebuilt turbo.

      -BDP

      1. Hello Team,

        Would a bad turbo also cause having oil in the coolant reservoir ?
        Does your Head Gasket Sealer help to solve this problem?

        1. Euris-

          Typically, a bad turbo would not cause oil to get into the coolant reservoir. That would usually be associated with a head gasket or intake manifold leak. Unfortunately, we do not manufacture a product for that type of a leak. A hard part repair may be your best option.

          Thank you!

          -BDP

  6. I was driving my 03 2500 silverado from florida to north carloina when it started over heating and blowing white smoke I had it towed from NC to Fl and the mechanic said its not a blown head gasket it is the water pump. And while they were there they replace all hoses to the collant and oil. 1 day after i pick it up from the shop there is a coolant leak. I brought it back and now they say theres a blown head gasket that happened after we picked it up… I dont believe i have this bad of luck.. what is your suggestion?

    1. Nicole-

      It is very possible that the head gasket was already leaking prior to the water pump being replaced. If the water pump has been replaced and you are still losing coolant then there is a great likelihood that the head gasket is blown.

      If you are trying to avoid the costly repair could try using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer to help seal the head gasket from leaking. More information about the product can be seen here: http://store.gobdp.com/head-gasket-sealer-38386/

      Feel free to contact our tech support team at 888-863-0426 with any questions.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  7. I have a izusu 2002 rodeo and I’m buying it from this guy. I haven’t paid it off. He told me that the motor was good and everything. But I don’t know nothing about cars but my izusu is a four cylinder. Can driving it too fast can cause the headgasket to blow up?

  8. I had a local shop check over my ’06 Subaru (140K miles). I just bought this car a few weeks earlier and there is nothing noticeably wrong with the car. No under performance, over-heating, tailpipe smoke, coolant or oil loss.
    They had another local shop do an HC test at the Radiator Cap opening with a Gas Analyzer to see check the Head-gasket instead of the Bubble Test. They got a reading of 20ppm and told me that the gasket is ‘Blown’!
    They recommended that it be replaced ($3500) and if more problems are discovered it can go upto $6000!
    If I don’t do the work, don’t drive the car on long trips (50ppm is the time to be concerned or more watchful of you fluids and engine temp.
    My questions:
    Is a 20ppm reading confirmation to do a major engine job?
    Should I pour Blue Devil Stop Oil Leak in the engine?

    1. Ron-

      A cooling system with no leaks will have a reading of 0 ppm. The fact that you are getting a reading of 20 ppm does indicate that the head gasket is blown. However, it is impossible to predict how quickly the problem will become worse and how long the vehicle will be in good enough shape so that it can be driven safely.

      BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak would not help with the issue you are experiencing. It sounds like the vehicle is getting combustion/exhaust gases blowing into the cooling system and creating some pressure. We would recommend using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer.

      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.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

      1. Thanks for the reply. I should have mentioned that I also did the Bubble Test at the Radiator cap and the Blue test liquid did not change color at all after 5 minutes while the temp was at it’s normal range.
        I understand the Bubble test checks for CO gas unlike the Gas Analyzer, so for the Bubble test, when the liquid changes to green or yellow, that’s an indication of a larger HC failure?
        Is the 20ppm test value a early sign of HC failure and if that value goes up to over 50-100ppm I have a real problem to deal with?
        Is the Blue Devil Oil Stop Leak used if I’m burning oil?
        Finding the spark plug port with lowest compression is not easy since my Subaru has the H6 Boxer engine, access is a pain and I have no tools for this, so I’d have to just apply the BD HC Sealer and hope that improves the situation.
        Thanks,

        1. Ron-

          Normally, they would need to have the Block Dye Test hooked up for longer than 5 minutes to get an accurate reading; the combustion gases will not show up until the thermostat opens which will almost always take more than 5 minutes. You may want to have the test done again and have the tester left on for 15 – 20 minutes so that you may get an accurate reading; you can also rev the engine slightly so that the engine temperature rises a little quicker.

          The BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak is designed to sop oil loss from around any rubber seal or gasket such as an oil pan gasket, rear main seal, valve cover gaskets, etc.

          Feel free to contact our tech support team at 888-863-0426 with any further questions.

          Thanks Again!

          -BDP

          1. So, the instructions for the Block Tester are incorrect, because they say to have the test done for at least 2 minutes. I did the test for about 5 minutes right after I drove home from work. I connected the bleed off hose to the tester. The connections were sealed by use of a tapered adater so I was sucking radiator vapors into the tester. I can repeat this test for 15 minutes. What if it still does not change color?My frustration is that I can’t find an authority on how to intrepet the Gas Analyzer reading. I’ve read that the test can give ‘Fault’ results if it is not setup correctly. Part Per Million, that’s very small and I don’t believe the HC is “Blown”. For me, ‘Blown’ mean you have more visible signs that your car is f’d up.
            Thanks

          2. Ron-

            The vehicle should have already been running and engine warmed up when you start to use the tester. I would allow your vehicle to idle for 15 – 20 minutes and then start the test after the engine has a chance to warm up to ensure the thermostat is open.

            If the dye does not change colors at any point during the test then that simply tells you that you do not have combustion gases present within the cooling system. Not all blown head gaskets will have combustion/exhaust gases present. Many times you will experience steam/smoke out of the tailpipe or water/coolant leaking into your engine oil. However, in the early stages of a blown head gasket you will not always have the obvious tell-tale signs.

            Thank You!

            -BDP

      2. If the engine was misfiring on a certain cylinder or two would that be a good indicator or what spark plug or plugs to pull?

        1. Lindsey-

          Yes, that would be a pretty good indication. The vehicle would only be able to idle with one spark plug removed. If you have more than one cylinder that is getting the leak, or if its hard to tell which cylinder it is based on the spark plugs, you may want to have a compression test performed. Then, whatever cylinder is reading with the lowest pressure, that would be the plug you would want to pull.

          Thank you!

          -BDP

  9. Okay, did the test for the third time, the test was always done after the car had been run for 30 minutes or more. This time I tested for 15 minutes and had someone rev the engine about 20 times over this test period. No color change at all! My wife did not understand the test so I placed the tester near the cars exhaust pipe and watch the color change in 5 seconds, which help convince her the shop had B.S.’d her to have her motor replaced!
    As stated earlier, this car has no symptoms of HC failure. We got going down this path based on a 20ppm reading from a shop that does not keep records of test results. At this point I will simply do what I do with all my (4) cars. Do maintenance and keep an eye on fluid levels. If I do have a sign of HC failure, I will go the Blue Devil treatment route vs the >$3K repair job first!
    Thanks for your time.

  10. I have a 2003 Lincoln Navigator that overheated on a freeway. It went to Hot and the Engine Temp emergency lights went on. When the car cooled down I checked and the radiator fluid was nearly empty. I had all my fluids topped off recently so it shouldn’t have been empty. I added water as an emergency and was able to drive home without further overheating. I had a radiator fluid flush and the fluid that came out looked orange like carrot juice. I had a power flush done at a friend’s recommendation. The guy at the shop said it looked clear now. I was driving a couple of days later when the car started to run hot (about 3/4 of the way) I checked it when it cooled down and again, the radiator fluid was low again. I had the car inspected by 2 different shops and they could not find the culprit, they said there were no leaks they could find, just low fluid. They did yet another flush and topped off my radiator fluid. Leaving the shop, my car AGAIN started running hot (I turn the car off at 3/4, not letting it get hotter than that in case of causing damage). I take it back and they say, well, maybe your thermostat is bad, so they change that. Driving away my car overheats AGAIN. I take the car back and they say it’s a blown head gasket which will cost $2500 plus likely other things like new spark plugs (which I just replaced this year). My question is, how could this be if I haven’t had any other symptoms, my car had passed smog inspection between visits to the mechanic. I am told it is probably just the water pump which I’m having replaced in the next couple of days. Will the head gasket sealer work? and when should it be used, before or after replacing the water pump? Thank you for any help you can give.

    1. Jay,

      Thanks for your question about your Navigator. Often times mysteriously disappearing coolant is a sign of a blown head gasket that is still just a very small hole. There are a few different things you can check to prove you have a blown head gasket, so before you go further, try reading our article about that here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/signs-of-a-blown-head-gasket/.

      If you do have a blown head gasket, you can save yourself the hefty repair bill using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer (available here: http://store.gobdp.com/head-gasket-sealer-38386/). We would recommend using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer after you replace your water pump as it will not harm or damage your new water pump, but it is very important that BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer be circulated throughout your engine and a good working water pump will help with that.

      Thanks for your question and if you have any more please leave us another comment on the article listed above.
      -BlueDevil pro

  11. Hello, I have a 99 honda civic (lx I think, it’s a four cylinder non vtec sohc if that’s at all relevant) with a head gasket that was diagnosed as going bad last august if I remember correctly. The car has a salvage title and almost 200k miles, and was my boyfriend’s brothers car when it first started overheating. The first time it happened I realized that his radiator fan wasn’t working, and that the coolant was all brown and chunky and gross (he never put any maintenance into it and didn’t even know where the radiator was when he had me look at it at that point which should tell you something about the level of neglect here) at which point he took it to a mechanic who told him the head gasket was going bad and that the only option was putting a new(well, used) engine in it and that it wasn’t worth the cost due to the savage title. He finally got a new car in the beginning of december and instead of taking the honda to the junkyard I had him sell it to me.

    I got it through that month with just an oil change and a radiator flush with the only issue being the overheating while idling thing (no white smoke and no milky oil but there was still oil leaking into the coolant). Since then it got to where it was overheating much more quickly and frequently at which point I got the pour and go head gasket sealer (I had also used a different brand of head gasket sealer a month or to prior which held me over till that point). I also fixed the radiator fan and had a new thermostat put it, flushed everything from the radiator (and my friend also claimed he back flushed the engine although I was inside at that point so I’m not entirely sure, idk why he’d make that up though) at which point we added the pour and go stuff and suddenly it was like I owned a brand new car. There were a couple days where my coolant suddenly disappeared between filling it at my house and arriving at my job (about 22 miles mixed highway and city driving) but even that stopped happening after maybe a week and it was doing great. I used the blue devil stuff on April 9th 2015, and maybe two weeks ago it started having a new issue, where when it started the rpms would be VERY low, and this was intermittent, during both warm and cold starts seemingly randomly (although pretty much every time I got gas). I started using premium gas and it got a tiny bit better (could be just a coincidence though) but about four days ago I went to start it and it wouldn’t even get to the point where I could rev it up to keep it from stalling (I might be using the wrong terms here but it would turn over but not catch? If that makes sense?). Prior to this it hasn’t been overheating or having any issues other than this one.

    My question is, is it just too far gone at this point? I’ve never had any white smoke or milky oil, the only symptoms it’s ever had at any given point were overheating while idling (not recently though), oil in the coolant (hasn’t had much of that recently either), and this low rpm while starting thing (it’s only while starting, when it happens once I either rev it up a little or turn the ac on high it goes back to normal – although lately when cold starting the rpms at ‘normal’ are a bit lower than they used to be, however it’s also been a lot hotter out). I’m assuming the culprit behind this issue is that the bad head gasket just isn’t letting me get enough compression to start the engine, would adding the more concentrated blue devil head gasket sealant do anything for the compression (or is there anything I can add to it that would help other than a new head gasket?) I guess it would have to be able to start for the stuff to work though… Anyway the gist of this rambling tirade is to see if I have any options left other than dumping my baby at the junkyard 🙁

    (Oh one other issue it’s had is that when I put the other brand of head gasket sealer in it got between the gaskets/seals in my radiator cap and knocked one loose, so I bought a new one which is WAY tighter than either of the other two I’ve had, and most every time I open it after I’ve been driving you can hear a bunch of bubbles coming up into the reservoir tank. I’m not sure if that’s relevant but I figured I’d throw it out there, if for no other reason than to maybe caution other people about potential issues of using other types of head gasket sealer)

    Anyway, thanks for your time, and for getting an extra month out of my baby 🙂

    1. Kat-

      Thank you for your posting about your ’99 Honda Civic. Unfortunately, it sounds like the only way to get your vehicle back to running the way it should is expensive repair. We were happy to hear that the BlueDevil did improve your situation even if it was for a short time. It may just be an instance where all of the symptoms have become too severe for BlueDevil to work to its full potential.

      You will have to weigh out what the value of the Honda is to you and whether or not it would be worth having the expensive repairs done or searching for a new vehicle.

      We wish you the best of luck!

      -BDP

  12. Saw a article that said if a head gasket blown something else has caused it that there’s more issues than just a head gasket can overheating blow just a head gasket and that be all that’s wrong with it or is there more than likely another issue

    1. Jeff-

      A blown head gasket doesn’t necessarily mean there are additional problems with the vehicle. However, if an engine is overheated due to low coolant or another factor, the extreme heat can cause various issues with the engine.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  13. I have a blown head gasket on my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee it is in the process of getting fixed. I had replaced the water pump prior to the blown head gasket about 5 months ago. Do I need to now replace the water pump again did the blown head gasket ruin the new water pump?

    1. AJ-

      It is not likely that just a blown head gasket would cause a new water pump to leak. However, if you were running just plain water in the system, rather than antifreeze, it can sometimes cause a water pump to leak due to water not having the same lubricating properties as antifreeze.

      You may still be able to have the part warrantied since it has only been installed for about 5 months. We recommend checking with the shop that installed it or the manufacturer of the part if you installed it yourself.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  14. Can you tell me if the “…permanent repair..” is really a permanent repair? Will i need to do a follow up in a few months or miles? Is it guaranteed in any way?

    1. Nicho-

      Once the product seals, it would be a permanent seal. Also, there is a money-back guarantee on the product. If for whatever reason the product is unable to help seal your leak, you are able to contact us and be refunded for your purchase.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  15. Hi my son got a 95 blazer as a gift, something to tinker with, knowing it needed work. Discovered it needed a Head gasket, as had a miss and lots of white smoke in exhaust. Got some yellow label blue devil, but it sat on shelf for a couple months while he fixed other stuff on it till we finally got around to trying the blue devil today. Smoke from exhaust seemed to stop about the 30 minute mark, but by 50 minutes was back. Question is, reading previous replies here, we should maybe have pulled the spark plug with the miss? Would that have made it work better? Can’t really test drive it much right now no tags on it yet. No oil in coolant, nor coolant in oil, and wasn’t losing an extreme amount of coolant.

    1. Amy-

      It often will take a day or two before all of the moisture clears from the exhaust system. Hopefully by now all of the symptoms have alleviated and the vehicle is able to be driven normally.

      We do sometimes recommend pulling the spark plug from the affected cylinder but only in situations where combustion/exhaust gases are blowing back into the cooling system.

      Feel free to contact us at 888-863-0426 with any further questions.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  16. I have a 2004 Subaru Outback which seems to have a blown head gasket. The car runs fine, no white smoke from the tail pipe, no oil coolant mix in radiator or engine, no misfire. However the radiator overflow bottle keep fill up and I have to add coolant to the radiator ever morning. I also get P0303 and P0304 codes returning every two weeks (cylinder 3 and 4 misfiring). Can I remove the spark plugs from cylinder 3 and 4 and use Blue Devil head gasket sealer to fix the problem?

    1. Jason-

      Yes, we recommend applying the the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer.

      Based on your description, it sounds like your vehicle may be 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 lowest compression reading. You will only want to leave one plug out during the 50 minute idle. 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.

      Feel free to contact us at 888-863-0426 with any further questions.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  17. i have a 2005 subaru forester. i have replaced the head gaskets more than 3 times. i have changed out on of my heads. my question is can my catalytic converter cause blown head gaskets?

    1. Steve,

      Thanks for your question about your 2005 Forester. The chances of your catalytic converter causing the blown head gasket are next to nothing. If your cat is very clogged it could increase back pressure and put extra stress on the head gasket during the exhaust stroke but that is a major long shot and would cause other symptoms as well. If you’ve had 3 blown head gaskets and have new heads it is possible that your block is actually warped and needs to be decked before replacing the head gaskets again. You may also consider using a tri-metal head gasket instead of the factory gasket.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  18. Hi…my Nissan Serena lately have consumed more water than before…which make me to top up the coolant more often…I also found out that there is a whitish creamy sludge at the engine oil cap…there are also air bubbles in the coolant spare tank…My foreman told me that these are the probable signs of a gasket head blow…which you know will surely cost me thousands of dollars….so I want to ask if I purchase the product how long will it last? and do I eventually need for a head gasket replacement?

    1. Areem-

      Once the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer procedure is complete and the product has sealed, it would create a permanent seal. Based on your description, it sounds like your vehicle may be 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 a low compression reading. If you are not sure which one that is, you may pull all of the spark plugs and will sometimes 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.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  19. i have a 2000 honda civic lx and i replaced thermostat and radiator. we put some gasket sealant in but when we start the car the fluids from the radiator shoot straight up and all over the place. any suggestions as to what could be causing that. could it be a blown head gasket? Even with traveling I have to constantly put fluids in it because i will go to the store and come home and before i go anywhere else I have to fill the radiator back up

    1. Ashley,

      Thanks for your question about your Honda Civic. Based on your description, you could have a blown head gasket, but your symptoms would indicate a large leak. If that is the case you should have some other problems like low power and white smoke from the exhaust. If you have those symptoms we would recommend using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer (available here: http://store.gobdp.com/head-gasket-sealer-38386/) to seal the leak so you don’t have to keep filling the radiator up.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

      1. I have a 2000 mercury sable and I’m my oil dipstick, and when I open the oil. Cap both look milky. Will your blue devil product work? Also I had been using water and not antifreeze until it got to cold and frozen up. That’s when I noticed the milky oil. Can this mess my engine up? It has alot of white smoke, and smells kinda like gas inside the car..
        PLEASE help I am a single disabled mother and this is this is our ONLY CAR!

        1. Amanda-

          Thank you for asking about your Mercury Sable. Based on your description, it sounds like you have a blown head gasket. We recommend using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer. The product does not contain any solid or particulate matter, so it would not clog up the engine. Based on the symptoms your vehicle is having, you would want to have the oil changed before and after the BlueDevil process. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

          Thank you!

          -BDP

  20. This is the second time I’ve noticed a fine mist oil spray across my driver door and the passenger door on the the drivers side. I noticed a knocking in my engine about a month ago and now this. Should i look for any other signs and does this Sound like a blown head gasket?

    1. Julie-

      Based on your description, it is possible your vehicle has developed a blown head gasket. The knocking sound coming from your engine may be an indication that you are getting water into your oil, so we would recommend checking the oil and changing it if necessary. Unfortunately, the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer is only intended for coolant/water leaks. If you are leaking oil from the head gasket, the product would not be able to help with that issue.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  21. Hi, my Tata Indica overheated in August, whereafter the mechanics I called, filled up the water and drove it back to their workshop. They replaced the thermostat housing, the water pump, placed a second hand radiator, filled up with anti-freeze and put a new thermostat. Now, not even two months later, it overheated on my way to work last week. I was a lot further from home and they once again filled up with water and drove it back to their workshop. The car’s engine seized on their way. Now their quotation states the head gasket had blown, they need to have the cylinder head overhauled, replaced the fan switch and replace the thermostat (again).

    Does this diagnosis seem correct? Can driving my vehicle back have damaged my engine more – even if they kept the water filled up?

    1. Melanie-

      Thank you for asking about your Tata Indica. Based on your description, it is possible that when the vehicle overheated the first time, it caused a head gasket leak. It seems like over time, the leak may have gotten worse, causing the head gasket to blow. Continually filling the system up with water would not have been able to remedy the issue if the head gasket was already blown. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  22. if I have used the Bars leak product and didn’t work do I need to flush that out of the system before using this product?

    Thank you.

    1. Chris-

      Yes, you can use the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer on your VW Beetle. As long as the vehicle isn’t losing water/coolant too quickly and the vehicle would be able to maintain idle for 50 minutes, without overheating or stalling out, you would be a good candidate for the product.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  23. I purchased a 2006 Subaru Outback 6cyl. Within a week, I noticed not a drop of coolant in the coolant reservoir bottle and I could not see any coolant in the radiator, add about a litre of water to both radiator and the res., bottle. Since then, the the car dealer put in red coolant in. It overheated the same day. The coolant rises in the coolant res., bottle to the top and into the engine compartment draining the coolant from the radiator. It happens also when it doesn’t show a high temp on the temp gauge. Air bubbles can be seen rising in the coolant res., bottle. Coolant has been bleed of air twice, no effect. A number of mechanic mentioned head gasket. what caused the problem in the first place? the person who owned the car?? A coolant specialist said it was a blocked radiator?? If using you head gasket product, do we need to correct the problem that caused it in the first place? Needing help.

    1. Robert-

      Thank you for asking about your Subaru Outback. Based on your description, we would recommend using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer (32 oz yellow label), found here: http://store.gobdp.com/head-gasket-sealer-38386/ .
      Due to fact that the vehicle may be 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 capacity of your cooling system.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  24. I have a 2006 ford escape my check engine light has been on it not over heating to my knowledge it give a reading of one of my cylinders but the mechanics said something about a vale it had a miss as well as sometimes jeering really bad sometime then my check engine light will come on is this a sign of a blown head gasket

    1. Georgia,

      Thanks for your question about your 2006 Ford Escape. Your mechanic is correct that a misfire code could be an indication of a blown head gasket as cooling leaking into a cylinder could cause it to misfire. We would recommend checking for other causes of this code first like bad spark plug or ignition coil, a clogged fuel system, or even a bad sensor. Any of these problems would also cause your car to run poorly as well. before starting down the road of repairing a blown head gasket, also look for some of the other symptoms mentioned in this article.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto pro

  25. Hi guys i have opened my engine for changing the engine valves should i change the head gasket as well or i can put the old one thanks

    1. Jonie,

      Thanks for your question. If you’ve removed the cylinder head from your engine you should install a new head gasket when you re-install the cylinder head. New head gaskets are relatively inexpensive and good insurance against a blown head gasket in the future. A new gasket will ensure a good seal between the head and engine block. Some engines also require replacing the head bolts as well if they are torqued to yield during installation, so you may check to see if that is a requirement of the engine you’re working on as well.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  26. My car not stating due to running too hot and blow up my radiator but now I have a new radiator my car still not stating… so the mechanic told me it my head gaskets so I would have to get a new head gaskets but I don’t know if he knows about yu guys but can I use the blue devil head gasket to fix my problem????

    1. Gontacha-

      Thank you for your question. In order to get the benefit of using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer, the vehicle would need to be able to idle for a full 50 minutes, without overheating or stalling out. Unfortunately, if the vehicle is unable to start, it would not be a good candidate for the product. A hard part repair may be your best option.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  27. 2008 Chevrolet Colorado truck have milky in the oil truck runs goodnow change oil light indicator is coming on do I have a blown head gasket

  28. Hi Guys, I have a Mercedes-Benz OM355 engine with a blown head gasket and the engine wasn’t overheating (at least from what I can see on the gauges). What could be another cause for a blown head gasket in a diesel? Much Appreciated.

    1. Jade-

      Thank you for asking about your Mercedes Benz. Another possible cause for a blown head gasket, besides overheating, could be oil loss. The most common cause of a blown head gasket is the engine overheating, whether its due to a loss of water/coolant, defective fan switch or fan clutch, faulty thermostat or a defective water pump. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

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