Vehicle Maintenance Head Gasket

The head gasket plays a very important role in the function of your car’s engine.

Head Gasket Basics

The head gasket plays a very important role in the function of your car’s engine. A blown head gasket is often a common cause for a number of symptoms and can cause serious damages to your engine if not fixed. Things such as coolant in the engine oil, a misfiring engine or oil leaking from the engine could all be symptoms of a blown head gasket.  However these symptoms could all have other causes and an actual blown head gasket may not show the symptoms noted above.

The head gasket is a seal that is fitted between the piston cylinder head and the engine block. It seals the internal combustion process which also keeps the coolant and oil from mixing together as the two different fluids travel from the engine block to the cylinder head.


Blown Head Gasket Symptoms

  • Keep a close eye on your engine temperature gauge, if your engine is constantly overheating it may be a symptom of a blown head gasket.
  • Carry out regular checks on the engine coolant level. If the car is constantly losing coolant then it could be because your car’s coolant is leaking from the cooling system into the oil pan. This happens when the head gasket is blown.
  • When checking your car’s oil level with the oil dipstick, look to see if there’s froth on the dipstick. The froth could indicate that the coolant is being mixed in with the oil due to a head gasket problem.
  • If you’ve got sweet smelling white smoke with water droplets coming from the exhaust pipe this could also be a sign of a blown head gasket.


What To Do If You’ve Got A Blown Head Gasket

A blown head gasket is a serious issue and will need fixing. People can buy new head gaskets from various car part retailers. The reason why the head gasket is so expensive to repair is because of labour costs. It requires a lot of time to change the head gasket, which is why sometimes it could end up costing more than what your cars worth.

Vehicle maintenance is key to avoiding a blown head gasket. If you spot a leak in your engine then find whatever is leaking and get it replaced as soon as possible, one of the worst things you can do (in the long run) is to use a coolant leak sealer to stop a leak as it will only cause more problems. Getting a full car service will also prolong the life of your engine. 

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About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The Protech Academy is a centre of excellence where the Protyre team learn the latest mechanical knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and develop their expertise to share with our customers at their local garage. The Academy is also designed to help us stay ahead of the ever changing automotive market by ensuring we have the best skills available to deal with advanced driver assist systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles in addition to all the new technology finding their way into our vehicles. During Dean's career he has worked for some of the biggest names in the fast-fit and mechanical aftermarket and as the man responsible for developing our people and their mechanical skills he is ideally suited to help provide advice in the latest in car technology and ongoing maintenance of your vehicle no matter how new or old it maybe.

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