Skip to content
Home » Blow head gasket – 15 Causes, Symptoms and how to prevent and fix?

Blow head gasket – 15 Causes, Symptoms and how to prevent and fix?

blow head gasket

How do you blow a head gasket?

The head gasket of a car is a seal that keeps the engine’s coolant level, engine oil, and combustion gases from leaking out of the engine. The head gasket is made from a flexible material that allows the engine to expand and contract as it heats up and cools down. This post focuses on things that can blow the head-gasket and how to prevent them.

What causes a head gasket to blow?

If your car has a blown head gasket, there’s a good chance it will not be drivable for very long. The reason for this is that the blown head gasket is so bad that it allows coolant leaks and oil to seep into each other’s systems, making them both useless.

The coolant system is where your car keeps the water that cools down its engine; if it gets mixed with oil, you’re left with nothing but a big mess. To fix this issue, you’d have to replace both the head gasket and the oil pan, which would cost thousands of dollars.

blow head gasket

What is a head gasket?

A head gasket is a type of gasket used to seal the joint between the cylinder head gasket and the engine block. It prevents coolant, oil, and combustion gases from leaking into each other’s areas.

In most cars, the head gasket is steel or copper-coated steel. The steel material is easier to work with but can rust if not properly cared for. Copper-coated steel is stronger and more corrosion resistant than steel, but it is also more expensive.

There are generally two types of head gaskets: composite and metal.

Composite head gaskets are made of several layers of paper or fiber pressed together with a compound that seals gaps in between them.

Metal head gaskets are made of either copper or steel and are installed directly on top of each other to form a single unit.

The function of any type of head gasket is to seal combustion pressure inside an engine compartment so that there’s no leakage into cooling passages or other parts where the pressure may cause engine damage to other components such as hoses or pipes.

How much is a head gasket?

It’s difficult to say exactly how much a head gasket will cost you because the price will depend on your car and what kind of work needs to be done. But, on average, it’s about $500 for a basic head gasket repair and $1500 for a more complicated one.

If your head gasket is damaged, you’ll want to get it fixed right away because if not, your engine will start overheating and eventually fail altogether.

It is an important part of the engine block that seals the cylinders, so they don’t leak out oil or coolant. It also prevents combustion gases from escaping into the cooling system or air intake ducts.

What causes a blown head gasket?

A blown head gasket is a serious problem that can cause you to lose engine power.

There are many causes of a blown head gasket, including:

1. Overheating

One of the most common causes of a blown head gasket is overheating. If your car is, the metal in the engine will expand and contract at different rates. This can cause cracks in your engine that allow oil and coolant to leak into each other’s systems. This makes it hard for your car to run smoothly and efficiently.

2. Old age

Another common cause of a blown head gasket is old age. A car will age over time and become less efficient as it ages, which means there’s more strain on your engine parts than there used to be. Eventually, this can lead to a blown head gasket because of all the stress put on it by regular use!

3. Corrosion

Corrosion occurs when metal reacts with its surroundings over time, causing damage or degradation that can lead to head gasket leaks in your engine components, including the head gasket. When this happens, oil begins leaking into coolant lines instead of staying where it belongs: inside the engine block itself.

4. The wrong type of gasket was used during the installation

A blown head gasket happens when the wrong type of gasket is used during the installation of a cylinder head. This means that there is a problem with the mating surfaces between the gasket and engine block (or head), resulting in an air or coolant leak, which may overheat the engine’s cylinders.

5. Excessive pressure on the engine block

The blown head gasket is caused by excessive pressure on the engine block. When the engine gets overheated, the coolant can come in contact with the cylinder head, which is made of aluminum. The heat eventually causes expansion and contraction in the cast-iron cylinder walls and heads, which can lead to a crack or rupture.

6. Improperly installed hoses or clamps

A blown head gasket is caused by improperly installed hoses or clamps that allow coolant to leak out of the engine and onto the hot exhaust manifold. The high temperature causes ignition in the coolant, resulting in what is called a thermic explosion. This causes extensive damage to your entire engine.

Symptoms of a blown head gasket?

A blown head gasket is one of the most common causes of overheating engine. The head gasket symptoms of a blown head gasket can vary depending on the severity of the problem, but they typically include:

1. A loud knocking noise that gets louder as you drive faster

A loud knocking noise that gets louder as you drive faster is one of the most common symptoms of a blown head gasket. You may also notice other strange sounds when accelerating, decelerating and braking.

So, if the engine of your car is making a loud knocking noise that gets louder as you drive faster, then the chances are very good that you have a blown head gasket. It is best you get your car to your mechanic as fast as possible.

2. White smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe

White smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe is one of the most common symptoms of a blown head gasket. A blown head gasket means that there is too much pressure in the cylinder, so excessive combustion occurs, and parts of the inner engine begin to melt.

The white smoke is actually oil vapor mixed with coolant or antifreeze. White smoke that comes out of a car’s exhaust pipe can also be caused by a bad turbocharger or leaky valve seals.

3. Coolant or oil in the engine block

If you have coolant or oil in the engine block, it is a sure sign that you’ve got a blown head gasket. You need to get the car checked out right away, so the issue doesn’t cause much more damage.

4. An increase in oil consumption

An increase in oil consumption is the most common symptom of a blown head gasket. The engine will consume roughly 1 quart of oil every 400-1000 miles, and if you notice an increase in your car’s oil consumption, then there could be a problem with your engine.

The oil pressure gauge on your dashboard may fluctuate, while the check engine light can come on as another warning sign. You’ll also notice a sweet smell of burning oil.

5. Engine overheating

The most common engine overheating symptom is the temperature gauge needle will register or remain near the hot zone. A blown head gasket also requires diagnosis as there are other causes for a vehicle overheating.

While other factors contribute to engine overheating, these factors may cause engine coolant to flow into the wrong areas of the engine, which could make your vehicle overheat.

6. Lack of power and acceleration

If you notice that your engine is lacking power and/or acceleration, this could be a sign of a blown head gasket. If your vehicle is having difficulties starting and/or stalling while driving, this is another sign of a blown head gasket.

7. Oil in the coolant system

Oil in the coolant system is a symptom of a blown head gasket, which is one of the more common car problems. The diagnosis can be made easily, and the repair should be done by a professional technician so that it doesn’t lead to other problems down the road.

8. The car is running rough when you accelerate.

A blown head gasket is often a result of a leak and the chance of overheating. When you accelerate, instead of going faster, your engine will run rough and can stall out. The car will also not function at full capacity, which may be signified by sluggish acceleration or pulling to one side.

9. Check engine light on

If you see your check engine light on, it’s important to have it checked. The precise nature of the problem may not be immediately apparent; a blown head gasket can cause any number of other problems with your vehicle.

If a head gasket is damaged, though, the engine may overheat or fail to start as well, leading to a component breakdown due to overheating or running out of gas.

blow head gasket

How to fix a blown head gasket without replacing it?

The head gasket is a thin piece of material that seals the cylinder head to the engine block. The purpose of this seal is to prevent coolant or oil from leaking out of the engine. So, if the head gasket is blown, then coolant or oil may be leaking into your engine, causing damage.

There are many ways to fix a blown head gasket without replacing it:

Replace the radiator cap

If your radiator cap is old or worn out, then replacing it with a new one may solve your problem.

Add stop leak to your coolant system.

Stop leak is basically like glue for your engine block and cylinder heads; it fills in cracks and prevents leaks from occurring further down the line.

You can buy stop leaks at most hardware stores or auto parts stores; make sure you choose one that’s recommended by an automotive professional.

Car blowing white smoke but not overheating?

If your car is blowing white smoke and not overheating, then the issue maybe with the engine coolant.

The coolant circulates through the engine and absorbs heat, which is then transferred to the radiator. The radiator then transfers this heat to the air outside of your car.

When a car has an overheating problem, it means that there is not enough coolant to absorb all of the heat in the engine. This can lead to serious problems like cracked heads or blown gaskets.

If you have noticed that your car is blowing white smoke and not overheating, it is important to have it checked out as soon as possible by a professional mechanic.

How much does it cost to replace a head gasket?

The cost of replacing the head gasket on your car will depend on the make and model. For example, if you have a Honda Civic and go to a local mechanic, it’s likely that you’ll be charged somewhere in the neighborhood $1,000 for this repair.

However, if you take your vehicle to an independent shop or dealership, that cost could be as high as $2,000.

The reason for this wide range has to do with different factors such as labor costs and availability of parts. In general, however, the average cost of replacing a head gasket is anywhere from $800-$2,500, depending on where you go to get it done.

Just as said earlier, the cost of replacing a head gasket is highly dependent on the type of vehicle and what kind of work needs to be done. For example, if you’re looking at replacing your head gasket in an older car, it’s going to cost less than if you were looking at replacing your head gasket in a newer vehicle.

There are also parts that need to be purchased for this job, like seals and gaskets. These can be purchased from auto part stores at varying prices depending on how much you want to spend on them.

If your vehicle has an engine that uses water instead of oil as the lubricant, then there will be more work involved with replacing your head gasket than if it used oil as its lubricant.

This means that if you want to replace your head gasket yourself, then you will need to take more steps than someone who simply wants their old one fixed up so they can get back out onto the road again as soon as possible without having to pay too much money out-of-pocket once all is said and done.

Can you drive with a blown head gasket?

If you have a blown head gasket, you should take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for inspection and repair as soon as possible because these leaks can cause major damage to your engine if they aren’t fixed right away.

In most cases, driving your car with a blown head gasket isn’t dangerous if you don’t allow it to overheat. However, if there’s no other way for you to get home safely than by driving with a blown head gasket, then it’s best not to risk damaging your engine further by continuing on down the road when there are other options available such as calling nearby or roadside mechanic.

What would cause oil to spray all over the engine?

Oil spray all over the engine is a common problem for many car owners. It can be very frustrating to see oil stains on your driveway or garage floor, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are several reasons why oil would spray out of your engine, and here are some of them:

1. A leaky valve cover gasket

A leaky valve cover gasket can cause oil to spray all over the engine. A loose or damaged timing belt can also cause this specific problem and can be easily fixed. A mechanic should be able to fix this problem for you without causing any further damage to your car.

2. Failed camshaft seal

Faulty camshaft seals can break and allow oil to leak from the inside of the engine, potentially damaging other components. A failed camshaft seal will require immediate repair to prevent further damage.

3. Worn valve seals

Worn valve seals are a likely cause of oil spray out the back. The motor has a valve located at the top of its cylinder head. As the valves open and close, they allow air and fuel into the cylinder, creating an explosion that pushes the piston down.

The movement of this piston is what turns the crankshaft that makes your wheels turn. Most of these valves are like doors on a hinge, so they open and close with a hinge mechanism with a seal that goes around it to keep dirt from entering the engine.

4. A bad oil pressure sending unit

If you do have a leak, this may be the cause. The oil pressure sending unit tells the gauge in your instrument panel how much oil is left in your engine as well as how fast it’s flowing.

If a faulty oil pressure sending unit sends bad information to your gauge, you’ll see a high-pressure warning light that indicates too much pressure when there isn’t actually anything wrong with your car.

5. Clogged oil filter

The oil filter is one of the most critical components of your car’s engine. Its job is to keep debris from entering your engine, which can cause damage and lead to costly repairs or, worse, having to buy a new car. A clogged oil filter can also reduce performance and increase fuel consumption.

6. Blown head gasket

A blown head gasket is a common problem for most cars. This can cause oil to spray all over the engine and make for a sticky situation. The blown head gasket causes the engine to overheat because the coolant is not able to circulate through it properly.

Will the head gasket sealer ruin an engine?

No, a head gasket sealer will not ruin your engine. The purpose of a head gasket sealer is to repair a leaky head gasket, which is a component that helps keep the coolant in your car’s engine cool. If you have a leaky head gasket, it can cause all kinds of problems, including overheating and even engine failure.

Is it worth fixing a blown head gasket?

Yes, it is worth fixing a blown head gasket. A blown head gasket is a very serious problem that can cause your engine to stop working entirely. You should not ignore this problem and risk driving around with a blown head gasket. This can damage your vehicle’s engine and may cause you to have to pay for expensive repairs in the future.

If you are looking for an estimate on how much it will cost to fix your blown head gasket, there are many factors that need to be considered. The cost of the repair will depend on whether or not the engine needs to be replaced or if it can just be repaired with new parts that do not require replacement gaskets.

If you have already had this type of problem once before, then it is likely that the same thing has happened again because there were no repairs made last time that would prevent another head gasket failure from occurring again soon after being repaired initially by someone else who did not know how best to fix what caused them.

How many miles do head gaskets last?

Head gaskets can last anywhere from 50,000 miles to 200,000 miles. The number of miles you get out of your head gasket is affected by many factors, such as the age of your car, how you drive it, and the quality of the parts you use when replacing the head gasket.

But generally speaking, if a head gasket wears out before 100,000 miles, something else is probably wrong with your car, and you need to get it checked out ASAP.


This page reveals all you need to know about the importance of a head gasket and the effect of when your car runs with a blow head gasket. It’s important to know how to prevent blowing a head gasket because it can be a costly repair.

A blown head gasket means that your car’s engine is no longer sealed properly. This means that coolant and air can escape from the engine, which could cause overheating or even engine head gasket failures.

In order to prevent blowing a head gasket, make sure you’re using the right kind of oil for your car. If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding oil changes, you could end up with an engine that leaks because its seals are wearing out prematurely.

If you want to keep your car running smoothly and avoid spending money on costly repairs like replacing a blown head gasket, then it’s important to do regular maintenance checks every time you take it in for an oil change or other routine service appointment at your local mechanic’s shop.