3 Signs Your Car Has A Blown Head Gasket

Posted on: 26 September 2017

The head gasket is a small piece of your engine, but it is a vital one. It acts as a seal between the engine block and the head of the cylinders, preventing fluids from mixing in the engine. If your head gasket becomes damaged or torn, commonly referred to as 'blown,' it can have dire effects for the entire operation of your engine. Understanding the warning signs associated with a blown head gasket can make it easier for you to identify the problem when it begins to manifest itself so that you can head to a mechanic straight away.

Dirty Oil

Though it may seem like an oxymoron, dirty oil in this case refers to a white substance mixed into your oil. When checking your engine's oil level, if you notice a white ring around the lip of the reservoir (or mixed into the actual oil itself), this means that the coolant within your engine has mixed with the oil – which can only happen the head gasket has deteriorated. Once this happens, not only will you have to have the head gasket replaced, but you'll also have to have your oil changed as well.

Exhaust Issues

A blown head gasket can cause all sorts of problems for your vehicle's exhaust since fluids that are not supposed to burn are going to be burning in your engine. The clearest indication that you can get about the state of your head gasket is white smoke coming out of your muffler, which points to coolant burning within the engine. You should head to a mechanic straight away as soon as you notice this since these emissions can be harmful and represent your engine operating inefficiently, which can lead to other forms of mechanical damage if left unchecked.

Engine Performance

Beyond the above two warning signs, which tend to be a little more obvious, a blown head gasket can also cause massive changes in the performance of your engine. This includes slow acceleration and lower top speeds, as well as reduced fuel efficiency since your engine will be working inefficiently due to the presence of improper fluids in certain areas of the combustion process. Further, since coolant will not be directed to the compartments of your engine where it needs to go, a blown head gasket can make engine overheating much more likely. At the very least, you should see that your engine temperature is running higher than normal.

Contact a company like GSBP Automotive for more information and assistance.