How To Tell If You Have A Blown Head Gasket
Proper automobile maintenance many times takes on the “for the want of the horseshoe nail” appearance. A car owner is always very vigilant about the transmission and the current battery, but sometimes it is the smallest parts of the interior that can cause serious disruption. A head gasket is one of them. A faulty head gasket can result in loss of needed coolant and bring on overheating. That may not cause an immediate problem, but damage will ultimately come to the cooling system of the automobile. There can be a chain reaction as hoses and radiators are adversely affected. A problem that faces many car owners is they simply don’t know what the signs are that a head gasket has become faulty or blown. Knowing some of the warning signals can help bring about prompt action.
Symptoms of gasket trouble
Head gaskets will seal the cylinder heads of an engine. There is more than one head gasket and the signs of trouble can differ from one to the next. Engine misfiring is one symptom of a bad head gasket between the cylinders. Overheating alerts the driver to the possibility of gasket trouble that is occurring between the cooling system and a combustion chamber. The overheating problem may not be constant, and it is entirely possible that short trips will not reveal any overheating at all. The lubrication system of any automobile is critical for the health of the engine. The sign that there may be head gasket damage are external oil leaks. The same is true for coolant and a drop in coolant levels can be the result of a blown head gasket. A difficulty in determining whether or not a damaged head gasket has occurred is that the owner may think it is something else that is wrong with the car. The following are the most common symptoms:
• Coolant coming out of the water pump;
• A radiator that is leaking;
• If the car has a green coolant the spark plugs may have developed a green tint;
• Exhaust system that has a sweet smell to it;
• Rather foul odor coming from the radiator.
Let the professionals diagnose the blown head gasket
The danger of a blown head gasket is severe damage to the engine itself. Overheating is a definite alarm bell ringing, and a car should not be driven if it is overheating. Any the above symptoms will justify taking the car in for diagnostic work. The automotive repair center may do a hydrocarbon check on the coolant. Presence of hydrocarbons will indicate that there is a difficulty. As mentioned before, the problem may be the head gasket or something that is close by. The car owner should make note of all the symptoms that he or she has seen, and communicate that to the professional auto mechanic. That is going to cut down on the time needed to find out where there is a malfunction underneath the hood.
Preventive steps for head gasket problem
Prevention is one of the best ways to maintain any automobile. There are certain things that can be done to prevent head gasket problems from happening. One way is to check the engine coolant periodically. Should the pH level fall below 7.0 there could be a malfunctioning head gasket. Overheating is something to handle immediately and if the car does overheat, shut it off as soon as possible. That might mean pulling over to the side of the road, but it should be done. Other preventive actions include:
• Be certain that coolant is mixed with water before it is put into the engine;
• Difficulty with detonation or any sign of pinging should be responded to quickly.
The good news is that rapid response to any of the signs can result in corrective action that is nowhere near as expensive as it could be. Faulty gasket heads result in coolant and oil leaks that will ultimately result in either the engine becoming too hot, or lubrication not available where it should be in the system. Gaskets are not huge pieces of equipment. However, these components of the engine block are vital to proper performance of the car. It is better to have an automotive service center do the diagnostic work and the repair needed. The reason is that mistakes made by an amateur will only compound the problems in the end. The gaskets are critical to keep fluids flowing properly through the engine system. There maintenance when trouble arises cannot be ignored.