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What Are the Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket?

What Are the Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket? - Avid Autowerx, Inc.

When you notice that your car isn't running right, you want to know what the problem is so you can get it fixed and be on your way. It could be an easy and inexpensive repair or it could be a labor-intensive job that will cost you, such as a blown head gasket.

What the Head Gasket Does

A car's engine contains two parts consisting of the cylinder block and the cylinder head. The cylinder block contains the pistons and cylinders. The cylinder head contains the spark plugs, valves and camshaft. The head gasket is located between these two engine parts. The head gasket has a critical function. It is responsible for sealing the cylinders' firing pressure and to ensure oil and engine coolant doesn't leak onto the cylinders or to the outside. The head gasket can eventually show signs of stress as it must continually endure two surfaces that expand and contract while doing its job.

Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket

There are many signs that you may have a blown head gasket. It is important to address the issue as soon as you suspect there is a problem.


If you notice any leaks other than condensation from your air conditioning system, it could be a subtle sign that you have a head gasket problem. If you notice oil or coolant leaks, then it's time to have your car checked to see if head gasket repair is needed.

Cylinder Misfire

The cylinder is where the gasoline that your car burns is turned into energy that powers your car. If there's a breach between two cylinders on the same head, you'll experience a misfire and you'll want to have this checked to see if the problem is related to a bad head gasket.

White Exhaust

Because your car goes through a series of high-powered start-up operations, the cylinders need time to cool. Upon starting your car, if you notice white exhaust, this could indicate a head gasket problem.

Other Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket

If you notice any of the following, you'll want to have your car checked for a blown head gasket:

  • Blue exhaust
  • Overheating
  • Discolored fluids
  • Oil and coolant mixing

A blown head gasket is a serious problem. Ignoring the issue will only make the problem worse. If you need head gasket repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!

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