Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket

Head Gasket Replacement

At Pat Peck Honda, we’re here to help Gulfport, Long Beach, and Biloxi, MS, motorists with their service and repair needs. If you suspect issues with your head gasket, we want to help you identify whether that is indeed the problem. Let’s look at the symptoms of a blown head gasket.

We’ll review the most common signs and help you see how to fix a blown gasket. If you have questions, reach out to our certified service technicians today!

Can You Still Drive a Car with a Blown Head Gasket?

Coolant Leak

The real question is this: Is it safe to drive a car with a blown head gasket? The answer: an emphatic no. A blown head gasket is a serious engine problem that should be repaired as soon as possible. You might be able to drive to your local service center, but we don’t recommend driving beyond that.

A blown or cracked head gasket can cause coolant to escape from your engine—or possibly enter your cylinders. In the former situation, you’re at risk of an overheated engine. In the latter situation, severe engine damage is also a possibility.

Most head gaskets don’t blow right away but start as small leaks. When you notice a blown gasket, you should schedule service immediately.

Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket

The symptoms of a blown head gasket aren’t always obvious. If you notice these signs, however, have your head gasket checked as soon as possible…

  • Misfire on startup with a puff of white exhaust: This could indicate a leak from the cooling system into the cylinder.
  • Overheating caused by a restricted radiator
  • Blue exhaust smoke
  • Discolored fluids

You may also notice coolant leaking into your engine oil. The mixture of the two looks frothy—you might compare it to a latte in terms of color. Alternatively, oil-contaminated coolant may be a symptom. It can form a mayonnaise-like film that you may find on the radiator cap.

How to Fix a Blown Head Gasket

Blown Head Gasket Service

The easiest way to fix a blown head gasket is to purchase a new cylinder head gasket to replace the one that has failed. You will need to remove the top half of the engine and use specialized tools to remove a slew of parts (timing chains or belts, etc.) and reinstall them.

You may want to consider professional service, as this can be quite complicated. If the head gasket has a minor leak only, however, you may be able to stop it with head gasket stop leak sealer. Just pour this stop leak fluid into the radiator. The coolant will carry it to the head gasket.

There, it will fill in any leaks, harden, and reseal the gasket. If this doesn’t work, you can always turn to a local service center for professional maintenance.

Repair Your Blown Head Gasket Today

You deserve to drive more safely on the roads of Gulfport, Long Beach, and Biloxi, Mississippi. If you’ve noticed the symptoms of a blown head gasket and are ready to address them, reach out to our certified technicians.

You can book an appointment< here at the Pat Peck Honda Service Center. Our experts will find the right way to repair your blown gasket and return your engine to prime running condition!