Do you have a bad head gasket??

Do you have a bad head gasket??

If your car was overheating and all of the sudden it stopped starting then you might have a bad head gasket. A blown head gasket is a very expensive issue to fix so you want to have a professional look at the car before you jump to conclusions. But there are a few things to look for that may give you an idea of whats going on.

A car’s engine is made up of two major components. A lower end consisting of the engine block, pistons and the crankshaft. And the upper end consisting of the cylinder head, valves and rocker arms. The head gasket is the gasket between these two parts.

To cool both these components the manufacturers have antifreeze pass through cooling ports. The problem is that sometimes the head gasket allows coolant into the cylinders.


Obviously if your car is overheating it isn’t automatically a bad head gasket. Although if your car fails to start after overheating you might have a blown head gasket.

White Exhaust Smoke?

One really obvious symptom of a head gasket issue is a lot of white smoke from the exhaust. Its important to note that black or blue smoke is indicative of other issues, but a large plume of white smoke is a strong indicator that your head gasket is bad.

Milky Oil?

Check the color of your oil on your dip stick. Your oil will either look like a clear brown or a darker black. If your oil is the color of milk then you have coolant in your oil and this is really a clear sign of a head gasket issue.

Replacing the head gasket is a big repair. If you think the gasket is blown let us evaluate it before you take action.

There is one test that is a 100% indicator of a bad head gasket. Unfortunately not every bad head gasket will exhibit this issue. Remove the radiator cap. Then crank the engine. If coolant starts to bubble up over the radiator cap you have a bad head gasket.

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