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Detailed Explanation On All You Should Know About Blown Head Gasket



car head gasket

A lot of people do hear of head gasket blowing but don’t have the basic knowledge of how it works and what will lead to this blowing.

This post is here to address the issue.
At the end of this post, you will know the work of the head gasket, what might cause it to blow and how to possibly prevent it from blowing.

Before we proceed, let’s know what the head gasket does in cars.
Head gasket is a gasket that sits between the engine block and cylinder heads in an internal combustion engine. Its purpose is to seal the cylinders to ensure maximum compression and avoid leakage of coolant or engine oil into the cylinders.
The head gasket also acts as a passageway for motor oil and coolant, and keeps the chambers separated so there is no mixing of the two liquids. These liquids should stay separated at all times because they serve completely different purpose.

Let’s now move to what will cause your head gasket to blow.

Engine overheat/Extreme engine temperature.
This has been the most common cause of blown head gasket. When the engine starts running hotter than it was designed to, a lot of things might go wrong.
When an overheating engine is not properly handled, it might result to blown head gasket. Prolonged engine usage at high RPM is also a cause of engine overheat

Avoiding overheating is easy , this post on 8 Tricks On What To Do When Your Car Starts To Overheat can be of help to you someday.

What will be the effect of driving a car with blown head gasket?

Operating your car with a bad or blown head gasket will certainly lead to engine damage. The moment your head gasket got ruined, a time bomb for your engine destruction will just be activated.

If the fault is detected on time and properly handled, it may save you the cost of replacing the entire engine and other parts that could get damaged as a result of the blown head gasket.

What symptoms will tell me I have a blown head gasket?

1. Abnormally high engine temperature:
car engine temprature gauge

This is the most obvious of all the symptoms. This is a cause of blown head gasket as well as a symptom. Once the head gasket is damaged, the engine temperature will sky rocket.

2. Low coolant level:
This is because a blown head gasket will always leak coolants.

3. Sluggish car performance:
Your vehicle will stop running smoothly as it used to. You’ll notice your engine stall, jolt slutter. Your engine will lose power.

4. Engine oil discolouration:

This is as a result of coolant mixing with the engine oil. This will appear lighter than normal, and will take almost a milk-chocolate-like colour. You’ll notice this when you use your dipstick to check your car oil level.

5. Light-colored smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe:

smoking car with blown head gasket
The smoke could be gray or white in colour. This is because the damaged head gasket allowed coolant to leak into the combustion chamber. This will alter the right combustion of air and fuel.

When you notice these symptoms, have your car checked ASAP to avoid things getting out of hand.


Emeka is a Contributor at Autojosh. A graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering with a B.Eng degree. Emeka is a car enthusiast who is interested in traveling, writing, movies and driving. He also loves drinking garri with cold water.

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