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Phil's Service

503 S 2nd St
Killeen, TX 76541

When it comes to your car's engine block, your head gasket is a little like the bouncer at a party. Its biggest job is to stop any fluids from gaining access to each other and mixing with each other in ways they shouldn't. Using an airtight seal, it stops residue buildup in its tracks and keeps your engine free of things that might catch fire and explode.

If you've ever looked into car maintenance and where your automotive risk factors lie, you'll understand why this is important. Like any other component in your vehicle, head gaskets can and will wear out over a long enough time. This could be due to misuse or neglect but often results from age and use.

So how do we tell if we've blown a head gasket? What are the warning signs of a blown head gasket that tells us to drop everything and get the car looked at? Join us, today, as we find out.

Blown Head Gasket Symptoms

Signs of blown head gaskets can be subtle. Here are eight of the most common signs that the head gasket is broken.

Telltale Leaks

With car repair, there is one warning you can always count on to mean something, and that's a leak. Your car's fluids are meant to be a closed system, so losing anything more than air conditioning condensation can be a telltale sign.

In the case of a blown head, external oil or coolant will leak out from the seams between the engine block and the cylinder head. These leaks are a sign of head gasket failure and a good sign you need to have any potential cracks and cylinder head twists looked at, immediately.

Malfunctioning Cylinders

A misfire with your cylinders is another sign that your head gasket may have failed. The cylinder is literally the chamber in which gasoline burns and turns into the power that powers your car. Especially in cases where there's a breach between two cylinders on the same head, you're going to want to look into blown head gasket repair.

Cylinder compression and leak testing are great for localizing leaks so you can examine them during disassembly.

Startup Troubles

During the startup process, keep an eye out for white exhaust smoke. Your car is running through a series of high-powered startup operations, and your cylinders in particular need cooling. It's with this in mind that white exhaust fumes are an indicator of a head gasket fail.

When it comes to expenses, blown head gasket repair costs can seem intimidating to somebody just realizing they need this work done. The costs of waiting out this issue until it "gets really serious", however, vastly outweigh what you're likely to pay.

Blue Exhaust Fumes

White exhaust smoke isn't the only warning sign of a blown head gasket. Blue smoke may indicate head gasket failure and that your engine is burning oil. When oil leaks from where it's lubricating pistons and into the actual combustion chamber, it's time to bring the vehicle in for some repair work.

Smoke is a big warning sign that should raise warning flags when you notice it. Thick, smokey car exhaust fumes are caused when the head gasket breaks or wears out next to the oil system. Oil leaks out into the combustion chamber, as mentioned, creating a very noticeable smoke.

Oil doesn't burn as cleanly as fuel, which is one of the reasons why we use gas to power our cars and not most oils. As it burns, the smoke it creates is thick and unpleasant, but the oil itself actually leaves behind a residue, as well. This residue builds up in your combustion chamber, where it can lead to problems, later on.

Overheating

Overheating is never a good sign, but it is specifically one of the indicators that a head gasket has blown. When oil leaks into your coolant system, it slows its ability to cool your engine off, with the result being your engine rapidly overheating.

Your leak may be more or less severe and, depending on this, it's not uncommon to find bubbles in your overflow tank. What this means, you may have guessed, is that the cylinder has started leaking into your cooling system.

Fluids

One of the more subtle signs of a blown head gasket is discolored fluid. Your head gasket's job is to stop fluids in your engine from mixing. Discoloration may not be common, but it's a surefire sign that this component has failed and things are mixing where they shouldn't be.

Oil And Coolant Mixing

Your engine oil serves a very important process and, if it stops working, it can lead to grinding pistons and various other complications. This presents a problem when your head gasket blows, as it can lead to both your oil and coolant mixing in different ways.

Oil With Coolant In It

Oil that has been contaminated with coolant will foam up. It's not usually very subtle, either. Imagine the foam off of cappuccino and it's in your valve cover. Not ideal and a definite problem as it impedes your oil's ability to do its work, properly.

Coolant With Oil In It

When coolant has oil introduced into it, it forms a thick, white film. It can be upsetting to discover, but it resembles mayonnaise and is found in radiator caps or, sometimes, in overflow reservoirs.

This change in the oil's texture makes it much less efficient at lubricating your engine. This will quickly lead to quicker wear on your engine components.

A Blown Head Gasket

Worried you may have a blown head gasket? Found your vehicle on today's list? Take your time to fully diagnose the issue, whether on your own or with the help of a mechanic. Consider dry and wet compression tests, or a cylinder leak test in order to pinpoint the exact location of your leak.

A block tester is also a good idea in order to determine the presence of any combustion gases in the cooling system. Not only is this safe, but it's a useful yardstick by which to gauge head gasket failure. Ultimately, for many of you, you'll want to call your trusted mechanic, ask for a blown head gasket cost breakdown, and make a decision as soon as possible.

Looking for more great vehicle maintenance and repair insights from an industry pro with years of experience in the field? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog content, today!

Pin It
A serious vehicle issue requiring an immediate attention, before your stress levels blow through the roof, explores the symptoms of a blown head gasket.

When it comes to your car's engine block, your head gasket is a little like the bouncer at a party. Its biggest job is to stop any fluids from gaining access to each other and mixing with each other in ways they shouldn't. Using an airtight seal, it stops residue buildup in its tracks and keeps your engine free of things that might catch fire and explode.

If you've ever looked into car maintenance and where your automotive risk factors lie, you'll understand why this is important. Like any other component in your vehicle, head gaskets can and will wear out over a long enough time. This could be due to misuse or neglect but often results from age and use.

So how do we tell if we've blown a head gasket? What are the warning signs of a blown head gasket that tells us to drop everything and get the car looked at? Join us, today, as we find out.

Blown Head Gasket Symptoms

Signs of blown head gaskets can be subtle. Here are eight of the most common signs that the head gasket is broken.

Telltale Leaks

With car repair, there is one warning you can always count on to mean something, and that's a leak. Your car's fluids are meant to be a closed system, so losing anything more than air conditioning condensation can be a telltale sign.

In the case of a blown head, external oil or coolant will leak out from the seams between the engine block and the cylinder head. These leaks are a sign of head gasket failure and a good sign you need to have any potential cracks and cylinder head twists looked at, immediately.

Malfunctioning Cylinders

A misfire with your cylinders is another sign that your head gasket may have failed. The cylinder is literally the chamber in which gasoline burns and turns into the power that powers your car. Especially in cases where there's a breach between two cylinders on the same head, you're going to want to look into blown head gasket repair.

Cylinder compression and leak testing are great for localizing leaks so you can examine them during disassembly.

Startup Troubles

During the startup process, keep an eye out for white exhaust smoke. Your car is running through a series of high-powered startup operations, and your cylinders in particular need cooling. It's with this in mind that white exhaust fumes are an indicator of a head gasket fail.

When it comes to expenses, blown head gasket repair costs can seem intimidating to somebody just realizing they need this work done. The costs of waiting out this issue until it "gets really serious", however, vastly outweigh what you're likely to pay.

Blue Exhaust Fumes

White exhaust smoke isn't the only warning sign of a blown head gasket. Blue smoke may indicate head gasket failure and that your engine is burning oil. When oil leaks from where it's lubricating pistons and into the actual combustion chamber, it's time to bring the vehicle in for some repair work.

Smoke is a big warning sign that should raise warning flags when you notice it. Thick, smokey car exhaust fumes are caused when the head gasket breaks or wears out next to the oil system. Oil leaks out into the combustion chamber, as mentioned, creating a very noticeable smoke.

Oil doesn't burn as cleanly as fuel, which is one of the reasons why we use gas to power our cars and not most oils. As it burns, the smoke it creates is thick and unpleasant, but the oil itself actually leaves behind a residue, as well. This residue builds up in your combustion chamber, where it can lead to problems, later on.

Overheating

Overheating is never a good sign, but it is specifically one of the indicators that a head gasket has blown. When oil leaks into your coolant system, it slows its ability to cool your engine off, with the result being your engine rapidly overheating.

Your leak may be more or less severe and, depending on this, it's not uncommon to find bubbles in your overflow tank. What this means, you may have guessed, is that the cylinder has started leaking into your cooling system.

Fluids

One of the more subtle signs of a blown head gasket is discolored fluid. Your head gasket's job is to stop fluids in your engine from mixing. Discoloration may not be common, but it's a surefire sign that this component has failed and things are mixing where they shouldn't be.

Oil And Coolant Mixing

Your engine oil serves a very important process and, if it stops working, it can lead to grinding pistons and various other complications. This presents a problem when your head gasket blows, as it can lead to both your oil and coolant mixing in different ways.

Oil With Coolant In It

Oil that has been contaminated with coolant will foam up. It's not usually very subtle, either. Imagine the foam off of cappuccino and it's in your valve cover. Not ideal and a definite problem as it impedes your oil's ability to do its work, properly.

Coolant With Oil In It

When coolant has oil introduced into it, it forms a thick, white film. It can be upsetting to discover, but it resembles mayonnaise and is found in radiator caps or, sometimes, in overflow reservoirs.

This change in the oil's texture makes it much less efficient at lubricating your engine. This will quickly lead to quicker wear on your engine components.

A Blown Head Gasket

Worried you may have a blown head gasket? Found your vehicle on today's list? Take your time to fully diagnose the issue, whether on your own or with the help of a mechanic. Consider dry and wet compression tests, or a cylinder leak test in order to pinpoint the exact location of your leak.

A block tester is also a good idea in order to determine the presence of any combustion gases in the cooling system. Not only is this safe, but it's a useful yardstick by which to gauge head gasket failure. Ultimately, for many of you, you'll want to call your trusted mechanic, ask for a blown head gasket cost breakdown, and make a decision as soon as possible.

Looking for more great vehicle maintenance and repair insights from an industry pro with years of experience in the field? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog content, today!

Pin It
Ron Phillips
Phil's ServiceAuto Repair Shop in Killeen, TX$$$503 S 2nd St, Killeen, TX 76541254-616-1659service@philsservice.com
Mon:08:00am - 05:30pm
Tue:08:00am - 05:30pm
Wed:08:00am - 05:30pm
Thu:08:00am - 05:30pm
Fri:08:00am - 05:30pm
Sat:08:00am - 04:30pm
Sun:Closed
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