3 major signs of a blown head gasket

04 June 2018 / Lindleys Autocentres

The role of the head gasket is to keep the coolant and oil out of the combustion chamber to maintain correct pressure and contain exhaust gasses, thus improving engine efficiency. Typically sitting between your engine block and cylinder head,the head gasket seals the combustion chamber.

Driving with a blown head gasket can cause serious problems for any motorist, including; erosion of the engine block, oil contamination and radiator problems which can prove costly. Look out for these major indicators, so that you know if your head gasket is blown.


Faulty exhaust pipe

If your car produces a white smoke from your exhaust, it could be an indicator that you have a blown head gasket. This is because coolant is burning/evaporating during the combustion process which is more often than not due to a fault with the head gasket. Water escaping from the exhaust pipe can also be an indicator of this, so keep an eye out.


Oil contamination

If your head gasket is blown, coolant can leak through, causing oil to become contaminated. Oil is used to properly lubricate your engine so adding coolant to the mix will cause problems if left unchecked. Over a period of time, the mix of oil and water turns a milky white colour. A quick test to help you check for this is to look at your oil cap. If there's a milky residue on the cap, your oil is contaminated which is often a sign of a blown head gasket.


Engine Troubles

If your engine is prone to overheating, a blown head gasket could be the cause. Due to the excess heat produced from a faulty combustion process and the inability of your vehicle’s radiator to cool the contaminated coolant, metal components can expand resulting in permanent damage. This can lead to your entire engine needing to be replaced if left for too long without repair.

A blown head gasket can cause serious engine problems if not dealt with quickly. When using your vehicle lookout for these telltale signs. If you have need of any further advice or your car requires servicing, get in touch via our website, or give one of our local branches a call.



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