Even though a head gasket is a small component in a car, the functionality of this gasket is just too big to ignore. In order for the combustion process to proceed without any hindrance, the gasket should be in perfect working condition. The gasket also prevents oil and coolant from mixing together and hence, a good gasket is truly crucial for your engine and cylinder to perform at optimal levels. Any leak or crack with the gasket can lead to total messing up of the coolant system and the combustion procedure which in turn may result in more problems with the car. For this reason, it is important to know the blown head gasket symptoms.
Blown Head Gasket Effects
If there is a problem with your head gasket, you should stop using your car and take it to a mechanic quickly. Continuous usage of the car with a worn out gasket will only lead to more problems. A blown gasket won’t provide proper sealing for the coolant and hence, the coolant system may collapse. Engine overheating is a direct effect of a failed gasket. If this is ignored, the entire cooling system can boil and suffer from immense pressure which may result in failure of the radiator hoses. In some worst cases, the expansion tank may explode due to contamination of water and oil. Cylinder head cracks may appear as a result of a failed gasket. Also prolonged driving of car with an overheated engine will lead to a major catastrophic engine failure.
Identifying Blown Head Gasket Symptoms
Fortunately, if you pay enough attention to your car, you can identify the blown head gasket symptoms and take measures accordingly. Mechanics always run technical tests to identify problems with gasket, but as a car owner, you can do some tests on your own to find out if the problem is with the gasket. It doesn’t require technical expertise and if you have some observing skills, you can do the basic testing on your own. If the test results indicate problems with the gasket, you should immediately take your car to a mechanic to repair or replace the head gasket.
- When the engine is cold, open the bonnet and check the level and color of the coolant. The coolant should be clear and the color may reflect the color of the antifreeze. If you find any creamy deposit on the expansion tank or radiator, it is a clear indication of a head gasket failure.
- The oil dipstick can be easily removed from your car and you should closely observe the oil attached to it. Again, the creamy texture and color means that the coolant and oil have mixed up.
- Allow the engine to run for a few minutes with the coolant system functioning. If the temperature gauge is normal, then you probably don’t have much to worry about as of now. Switch off the engine for a few minutes and wait for a couple of minutes. Squeeze and open the top hose from the radiator and check the coolant level. If water is bubbling and gushing, it means there is a problem with overheating. Check the oil deposit once again and if it is creamy, it is time to replace your head gasket.