Is Fixing a Blown Head Gasket Worth It?

head gasket, blown head gasketCounting the cost of the repairs and comparing it to the value of your vehicle is a smart thing to do anytime you get bad news from your mechanic.  This is something insurance companies have been doing for a long time when they decide whether to consider a car a total loss from an accident or recommend repairs to the owner.  Many insurance companies use the rule that if the repair value is more than 75% of the value of the vehicle they will consider it a total loss, so that is a good rule for us to use as well when we’re trying to decide if we should repair a vehicle or move on to the set of wheels.

Since you’ve already got a repair estimate in your hand the other piece of the equation is your vehicle’s value.  We recommend using sites like and as well as local classified ads for similar vehicles in similar condition to get an idea of the value of your vehicle.

One other very important thing to consider:

The other thing to consider in this whole equation is what other damage could have been done to your vehicle when you got a blown head gasket.

Other Damage Caused by a Blown Head Gasket:

  • Cylinder head damage
  • Engine block damage
  • Bearing damage

Cylinder Head Damage

Cylinder head damage can come in the form of warping, cracking or tunneling.  Warping is often due to overheating and can sometimes be fixed by machining things flat again.  Cracking can rarely be fixed and can be difficult to find with a simple visual inspection. Tunneling can happen when coolant leaks through to a cylinder for a long time and erodes the metal on the head.  This can sometimes be fixed by welding new metal on but often means the head casting is ruined.

Engine Block Damage

The engine block can have the same problems a cylinder head can from a blown head gasket.  Engine blocks are less likely to get damaged due to their materials used, amount surface area and the design of the block.  This is good news because replacing an engine block can be very costly. Even so, it’s still important to check the block deck for flatness before reassembling the engine.

Bearing Damage

Bearing damage can come from excess heat but is most often a product of having coolant in the engine oil.  If you pull out your engine’s dipstick and find your oil looking more like a chocolate milkshake then you’ve had a significant amount of coolant mix with your oil.  Water in your oil will allow your bearings to rust and wear out very quickly. If your head gasket leak has caused this problem you are almost always better off replacing the whole engine as a new head gasket will stop the leak but bearing damage has probably already been done.

If you don’t have bearing damage and the cost of replacing your head gaskets doesn’t make sense based on the value of your car, consider using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer to stop the leak and keep your car on the road.

You can find BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer, you can find it at one of your 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 Distributor
  • DYK Automotive
  • Fisher Auto Parts stores
  • Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
  • Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
  • Salvo Auto Parts
  • Advantage Auto Stores
  • Genuine Auto Parts stores
  • Bond Auto Parts stores
  • Tidewater Fleet Supply
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
  • Any Part Auto Parts
  • Consumer Auto Parts

Pictures Provided By:

blown_head_gasket.jpg – By Malkovstock – Licensed By Getty Images – Original Link

14 responses to “Is Fixing a Blown Head Gasket Worth It?

    1. Shannon-

      The BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer is only intended for water/coolant leaks. If you are getting coolant into the engine oil, as long as you are not losing coolant too quickly, the product would be able to seal that kind of a leak. You would want to change the oil before and after the BlueDevil procedure. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!


    1. Shawn-

      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!


    1. G. Lynn-

      Thank you for asking about your Mercedes. In order to get the benefit of using the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer, the vehicle would need to be able to idle for 50 minutes, without overheating or stalling out, and you shouldn’t be losing more than about a quart of water/coolant during the 50 minute run. If the vehicle can meet these requirements, you would be a good candidate for the product.

      Thank you!


    1. Mike-

      Once the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer creates a seal, it would be a permanent seal. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!


  1. The spark plug associated with cylinder 4 in my 2003 Mazda Protege5 is constantly needing to be replaced. Above, you mentioned that the spark plug cylinder with low compression (cylinder 4 when needing replacement) can allow coolant into my oil? I am asking as a preventive attempt, I am noticing signs of possible problems that I’d like to avoid (without fixing things that aren’t broken! Of course.).

    Having posed the question, I also would like to ask if there is any harm in putting Blue Devil into my car whether or not there is actually any problems? (I am comforted by dumping promises and hopes of a better future into my engine). I just cannot lose my car but I notice symptoms. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Thanks!

    1. Stranger-

      Thank you for asking about your Mazda Protege. BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer should not be used as a preventative measure/maintenance. It is only intended to treat water/coolant leaks. It may be worth taking the vehicle to a certified ASE mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

      Thank you!


  2. Hello there. I went to a mechanic shop this morning and I was told that the head gasket to my 2011 chevrolet Impala is blown out. It ran HOT this morning but I was still able to drive it to the shop, The mechanic instructed me to replace the motor instead of the head gasket only. Can you please assist? What should I do? Is it worth replacing the head gasket? I want to save money for a newer car if possible and not incur debt

    1. Jamie-

      Thank you for asking about your Chevrolet Impala. If the mechanic is recommending replacing the motor instead of just replacing the head gasket, they may be indicating that the engine bearings could be damaged as well and replacing just the head gasket would not completely solve the issue. Repairing the blown head gasket would do nothing for the bearings and the engine could still fail, just the same. It may be best to follow the mechanic’s advice and look into replacing the engine.

      Thank you!


  3. What if the water and oil mixed in the coolant reservoir, but I’m assuming none get in the engine because it was a small milky speck the size of a nerd candy on the stick? Also when I checked the coolant reservoir top it was full of milky substance, like the consistency of chocolate milk and inside of the coolant tank. I know it’s a head gasket, but having the damage to the bearings set in?

    1. Kita-

      Unfortunately, we do not manufacture a product intended to stop oil from getting into the cooling system. BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer is only intended for water/coolant leaks. Replacing the head gasket may be your best option.

      Thank you!


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