Signs of a Blown Head Gasket

signs of a blown head gasketOne of the best ways to figure out what is going on with your car is to know how it normally operates so you can tell when something has gone awry.  Most of the time while we’re driving we’re so distracted by the radio, the scenery or even worse our cell phones, that we can often overlook our vehicle’s cry for help.  Getting used to the way your car sounds, feels and looks normally can be the best way to help you detect the early symptoms of a problem so you can repair it before it leaves you stranded or does even more damage to your vehicle.

Every week or so, it would be a good idea to turn off your radio and really focus on the feedback your car is giving you.  You should start this exercise from the moment you jump in your vehicle, even before you start the engine.  Look for anything unusual around or under your car.  Are there any puddles or drips under your vehicle?  Are there any new scratches, dings or dents you don’t remember?  Is anything discolored, are your tires pudgy or getting cracked or have low tread depth?  Observing all these things can help you catch problems early.

Also, pay attention to when you start your engine.  Does it start easily?  Does it make any funny noises or smells?  Do any warning lights on your dash board stay on after the engine is running?  Lastly, during your drive listen for the same types of things.  Are there any clunks, rattles, whines, or grinding sounds?  If so when do they happen?  Does your car accelerate, brake and corner smoothly?  Keeping an eye on these types of things can help you make sure your car is in great shape and help you catch a warning sign early.

Some of the signs you may be looking for, especially if your car model is prone to blown head gaskets, or you happen to have a lot of miles on your car, are the sings of a blown head gasket.  Blown Head Gaskets can cause your vehicle to do some very strange things and give confusing symptoms, so we’ll list the symptoms here so you can identify your problem early.

Signs of a Blown Head Gasket:

  • White smoke from the tail pipe
  • Bubbles or exhaust gas in your radiator
  • Coolant flowing out of your coolant reservoir
  • White milky substance in your engine oil or around your oil cap
  • Loss of power
  • Overheating engine
  • Coolant leak from between your engine block and cylinder head

Your head gasket serves as a seal between your engine block and cylinder head.  It keeps the combustion gases in the combustion chamber while keeping the coolant in the water jacket.  A blown head gasket will allow coolant to leak into the combustion chamber, or externally, or could allow combustion gases into the cooling passages.

If coolant leaks into the combustion chamber it will come out of your tail pipe as white smoke.  It can also seep past your piston rings while your engine is off and contaminate your oil causing a milky white color.  When your engine is running, the high pressures in your combustion chamber can push exhaust gases into the cooling passages causing coolant to bubble in the radiator and pressures to get so high that coolant will actually be forced out of the coolant reservoir.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms within a few minutes of starting your vehicle’s engine, there is a good chance you have a blown head gasket.

The good news is if you’re paying attention to these symptoms and catch them early, you often can seal your head gasket leak without having to replace the head gasket.  BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer is a powerful formula that can seal head gasket leaks even in vehicles with very large cooling capacities like V8 engines and truck engines.  BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer is easy to use and can quickly and easily seal your head gasket leak.

BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer







Here are some other questions you might consider:

What Can Happen if You Have a Blown Head Gasket?

Once you’ve discovered that you have a blown head gasket, it’s important to know what might happen next.  Once there is coolant traveling into the combustion chamber it’s important to realize that your coolant level will be slowly lowering.  Once your coolant level gets too low your engine will start to overheat which can lead to significant problems.  Overheating can lead to further deformation of your cylinder head or engine block as well as other leaks in your engine from excessive expansion and contraction of components.  These factors make it important to repair a blown head gasket sooner rather than later to avoid other problems with your vehicle.

How Do You Know if You Have a Bad Head Gasket?

It’s difficult to “know” if you have a blown head gasket without taking your engine apart and inspecting the head gasket for holes or tears.  The most definitive test is a chemical test that checks for the presence of exhaust gases in your coolant that is available at your local auto parts store.  Unfortunately, this test can only prove the presence an internal head gasket leak not an external head gasket leak.  The easiest way to be sure you have a head gasket leak is to look for multiple signs mentioned above.

Can You Drive a Car with a Blown Head Gasket?

Driving with a blown head gasket is a risky operation.  If you’ve got multiple signs of a blown head gasket, you can run the risk of overheating your engine due to a low coolant level as mentioned above.  Similarly, driving with coolant flowing into your combustion chamber will eventually allow coolant into your engine oil.  Water in your engine oil can quickly cause damage to other parts of your engine by allowing the machined and polished surfaces to rust which will cause pitting and excessive wear.  Driving with a blown head gasket can quickly take your repair form a head gasket replacement to an engine replacement.

How Much does it Cost to replace a Blown Head Gasket?

Blown head gasket replacement costs can vary significantly from shop to shop and from vehicle to vehicle so the best way to make sure you’re getting a good deal is to call a few local shops asking for a quote for a head gasket replacement for your vehicle.  You can also check out our article on head gasket repair costs to get an better idea of what labor times look like to replace a head gasket in your car.  The majority of the cost in any head gasket repair job is the labor costs.  Labor costs can vary significantly based on the configuration of your engine and how it is mounted in your vehicle so checking with local mechanics is the best way to estimate cost.  If the cost of replacing your head gasket is prohibitive based on your budget or the value of your vehicle, consider using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer to save money and keep your vehicle on the road!

You can purchase BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer along with its money back guarantee from the link above or at your favorite 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:

signs_of_a_blown_headgasket.jpg – By Tony Harison – Licensed By Creative Commons Via Flickr – Original Link