Signs of a Blown Head Gasket

by Andrew Automoto21. November 2013 10:04

There are many signs of a blown head gasket that you can look for, it can go out in different areas and cause different symptoms.  Below you will find a couple clues you can look for. However when in doubt and you have tried every solution, get it checked by a certified specialist first to see if the head was a problem. This way you’re not wasting your time replacing the gasket.

Symptoms may include;

  • Visually inspect the engine for any leaks.
  • Bubbles of air coming up into your radiator (remove cap before starting), when you rev the engine you will notice bubbles coming out from the top of the radiator.
  • White smoke coming out of your tailpipe there may also have drops of water from the end of the tail pipe.
  • There will be milkshake colored oil surrounding your oil cap.
  • Your engine will also show the lack of power due to compression loss, it will run poorly so you should also be careful because the engine will overheat quickly, if it’s been driven for too long a blown engine will be your outcome.
  • Spark plugs will have a green tint around them, however if the problem is severe the coolant may start squirting out of the plug holes.
  • Turning on the heater on often is also a way to know when the head gasket is blown; as an odour of coolant will come from the heater vents.
  • If your radiator coolant looks foamy and brownish, that usually means there’s oil in your cooling system, which is a sign that a severe breakdown has occurred.


 Many of the symptoms of a blown head gasket can be caused by other problems in the cooling system without the head gasket being damaged. However other problems with the cooling system may cause a blown head gasket.

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‘The information provided in this article is for general advise only.  It is not intended for instructional use.  Use of the information is at your own risk.  We recommend you seek the advice of a trained professional.  ’