It can be hard to determine in some cases if you have a blown head gasket, and you probably are hoping that’s not the case, given how expensive it can be to repair. Still, it is a possible issue you can face with your vehicle, so it’s important to know how to diagnose the problem and what you must do to address it.
Here’s some information from our auto repair shop in Madison, TN about dealing with blown head gaskets.
Signs you may have a blown head gasket
Are you wondering whether a blown head gasket really is the problem you’re having with your vehicle? Here are just a few signs that this could the case:
- Overheated engine: This is one of the most common symptoms of a blown head gasket, but it can also be a symptom of other problems with your vehicle. While an overheated engine should result in you seeking maintenance, you shouldn’t automatically assume a blown head gasket is what you’re dealing with.
- Rapidly draining coolant: If you have to keep replacing the coolant in your radiator but haven’t been able to diagnose a leak anywhere in the system, this is a sign you could have a blown head gasket.
- Large amounts of engine exhaust: As your coolant leak gets worse, it will start to pour into the cylinders, which can result in it being burned up as excess exhaust. It won’t look like clear steam—it’ll be darker smoke that emanates from your vehicle.
- Engine misfires: If at least one cylinder in your engine is misfiring, there’s a chance this is being caused by the coolant leak in your vehicle and that this leak is causing it to not fire.
If you’re experiencing these issues or if you have any other reason to believe you have a blown head gasket, you might be wondering what steps you should take next.
One of the best and most reliable ways you can diagnose the issue is to use a combustion leak tester. This type of device finds exhaust gases in the coolant, which can help indicate the presence of a leak.
This detector has a piece that fits into the neck of the radiator with the cap off, and gets filled with a blue liquid. You let the vehicle run for a few minutes, and if that fluid turns yellow, this means there are exhaust gases in your coolant, meaning you have a damaged head gasket.
You can also use a leak down tester, a type of tool that injects pressurized air into the engine cylinder. This tool tells you exactly where the air is escaping from, which then means your coolant leak is coming from that spot.
You should never attempt to repair a head gasket on your own if you do not have the proper mechanical training and experience to do so. Instead, seek out a professional in the field of auto repair in Madison, TN, who can assist you with your repair and ensure the job gets done correctly, preventing you from having to spend significant money on additional repairs. Visit Madison Muffler & Auto Repair today for help with this and any other vehicle problems you’re experiencing!