Fairburn Auto Repair

What is a Head Gasket Leak?

Your vehicle's engine is protected by the head gasket. This gasket between the cylinder block and cylinder head (when working properly) prevents fluids from entering the cylinders causing issues with your motor. What happens when the head gasket doesn't work properly? What are the signs of a head gasket leak?

When your head gasket isn't working properly, it has a leak. In other words, it's not doing its job of keeping fluids such as oil or coolant from getting in the cylinders and damaging the cylinder block, with coolant being the usual culprit. This is often referred to as "blowing" the head gasket.

Signs Your Head Gasket is Leaking

There are signs that you have an issue with the head gasket. These include:

  1. White smoke from the tailpipe is a sign that your head gasket is letting coolant leak into the cylinder block.
  2. If you notice bubbling sounds coming from your radiator or coolant reservoir, that is another sign the head gasket has a leak. The bubbling comes from the insufficient amounts of coolant in the radiator to effectively work because it is leaking out through the head gasket rather than recirculating in the coolant system.
  3. Your radiator and coolant reservoir indicate a leak because the fluid keeps getting low, but you don't see a spot on the ground.
  4. Your motor oil having a milky white look to it is another indicator your head gasket is leaking. This is allowing coolant to mix with your motor oil. When the head gasket is working properly, these fluids are effectively separated in your motor.
  5. When the temperature gauge on your vehicle keeps moving in to the overheating range, check your head gasket. A blown head gasket can make your car overheat quickly.

A blown head gasket can lead to a lot of other issues with your vehicle when not fixed right away, but can be prevented with routine maintenance. If you need head gasket repair, bring your car to Gowen's Automotive Repairs today and let one of our trained mechanics get you back on the road safely.

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