Having a blown head gasket is a big deal. It’s such a big that some people will refer to it as a blown motor, or consider a repair so major that it often isn’t worth completing and would be better to just have a whole new motor installed. In some cases, this can unfortunately be true. If you continue to operate your vehicle with a blown head gasket you run the risk of causing more damage in just a few miles.
When your head gasket blows it will allow engine coolant to escape either out of your engine as an external leak or into the combustion chamber of your vehicle. In either case, the escape of the hot coolant through the gap in the gasket can cause pitting or deformation of your cylinder heads or engine block. If you were simply to replace the broken head gasket with a new gasket your engine would still not be sealed properly as the pits and warping of the engine block or head would still allow coolant to leak past the new gasket. In some cases, you can remedy this problem by machining the engine block and cylinder heads to remove the pits and make sure they are flat and smooth. This process is not only expensive and time consuming, but there is only a certain amount of machine work that can be done before the block or heads are not usable anymore and your vehicle will need a new engine.
To make sure you do not get to the point of this kind of damage, you need to know the signs of a blown head gasket. Whenever the head gasket is blown, the problem is leaking coolant. Coolant either leaks past the head gasket out of the engine or past the head gasket into the cylinder and combustion chamber.
If you have an external leak you will notice coolant leaking from in between your engine block and the head. This usually will happen just below the exhaust manifold or the intake manifold. You may notice the leak while the vehicle is not running but it will most likely be noticeable when your engine is running and warmed up as steam spraying out from the motor.
If you have an internal leak where coolant is leaking into the cylinder and combustion chamber, it can be more difficult to diagnose. As the coolant leaks into the hot combustion chamber it will quickly evaporate. If the leak is large enough you will notice white, sweet smelling smoke coming from your tail pipe, but if it is small, your exhaust may look normal. Also, if the leak is large enough, you may get water in your oil as the coolant seeps past your piston rings or if there is a gap in the gasket between an oil passage and the water jacket. Water in your oil will look milky or white around the underside of your oil cap.
The last sign of a blown head gasket with an internal leak is to look for the presence of exhaust gas in your coolant. If there is a hole in between your combustion chamber and the cooling jacket in your head gasket, each time the piston pushes exhaust gas out of the combustion chamber into the exhaust system some exhaust gas will also be pushed into your cooling passage. With a big enough leak you will find bubbles in your coolant overflow bottle or in your radiator. With a small leak, there will still be some exhaust gas present in your coolant and you can get a chemical test kit to test for the presence of those exhaust chemicals. This test, available at most parts stores, is the best and most reliable way to test for a blown head gasket.
Now that you know the signs of a blown head gasket you can catch it quickly before you do permanent damage to your engine. If you notice a small leak it is also possible to fix it without ever removing your head gasket. BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer is an easy to use product designed for small head gasket leaks. BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer is easy to use even if you’re not mechanically inclined and can save you a significant amount of time and money.
For more information about BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer, visit our information page here: Pour N Go Head Gasket Sealer
To purchase BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer you can visit any of our partnering local auto parts store like:
- 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
Picture provided by:
signs_of_a_blown_head_gasket.jpg – By Tony Harrison – Licensed By Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 Via Flickr – Original link
blown_head_gasket.jpg – By Irontite – Licensed by Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 – Original Link
153 responses to "Signs of a Blown Head Gasket"