What Are the Signs of a Blown Head Gasket?

One of the worst things you can do for your vehicle is to drive with a blown head gasket. The head gasket in automobiles is responsible for sealing the engine’s combustion chamber from the rest of the engine so that oil and coolant don't mix together. Since the engine runs at high temperatures and extreme pressures, the gasket can get blown as a result. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of a blown head gasket.

Low Coolant Levels

One way to tell if you have a damaged head gasket is by checking if your coolant is under the hood. When your car is cooled down, you can look at the reservoir to see if there is a sufficient amount. When the gasket cracks, a majority of the coolant will leak into the cylinders. 

Overheating Engine

When your engine can’t get a proper flow of coolant, it will run hotter than before. Plus, the cracked head gasket allows excess heat into the engine. In severe cases, you may even hear the coolant boil or sizzle. You can also tell if your car is overheating by keeping an eye on the temperature gauge on your dash. 

White Exhaust

Once coolant reaches the combustion chamber, it can burn the coolant, causing white exhaust smoke. You might notice steam emitting from underneath the hood, signaling you to stop driving. You should pull over and shut off the engine immediately.

Contaminated or Milky Engine Oil

Since a blown head gasket allows the coolant and engine oil to contaminate one another, your motor oil may look milky the next time you check it. If you suspect a minor crack or damage to the head gasket, you should first check your oil using the dipstick.


We invite you to Richman Automotive & Towing for all your automotive needs, including engine repairs. If you need your blown head gasket repaired, feel free to give our certified technicians a call or visit today.

Having Trouble finding us?Get directions


Request an Appointment

Let Us know how we can help you. Request an online appointment using the form below.