Blown Head Gasket Symptoms and Test

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Blown Head Gasket Symptoms and Test

Auto Repair

When your head gasket is blown, you might wish that you had paid more attention to the blown head gasket symptoms and test. Our repair technicians at Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton see that the problem usually begins with a leak in the cooling system that goes unnoticed, or with a car that is not maintained properly.

Here’s a list of warnings that you should pay attention to.

  • Engine Overheating
    When your car overheats it could be a head gasket problem, but it can mean other things too. So take your car to a technician that can find out what’s causing it.
  • Dropping Coolant Levels
    If you don’t see a coolant leak but you have to keep refilling coolant for your radiator or coolant reservoir, it could be a symptom of a head gasket problem.
  • Engine Misfire
    If your car has one cylinder in your engine that is misfiring this could be caused by coolant leaking into the cylinder and not allowing it to fire.
  • Excessive Exhaust Smoking
    If coolant pours into the cylinders, it is burned up by the combustion process. This creates steam that looks like smoke emitting from the exhaust and usually occurs when the leak is getting worse.

The way we diagnose a head gasket problem at Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton is by using a combustion leak tester, which detects exhaust gasses in the coolant. A combustion leak tester fits into the neck of your radiator with the cap off and is filled with a blue fluid. We start your car and leave it on for a few minutes. If the blue fluid turns yellow, then we know you have exhaust gasses in your coolant and that means a cracked head gasket.

A leak down tester can also be used to check for a head gasket problem. This tester injects pressurized air into the engine’s cylinder. With the piston at TDC on the compression stroke, it shows if the air is slipping through the valves, rings, or cylinder head.

Head gasket repair can be relatively expensive, but it should be done by a professional. So, when your car overheats, your coolant levels drop, your engine misfires, or you see exhaust smoke, bring it to Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton and have us look at the blown head gasket symptoms and test it to see if you need to have your head gasket repaired.

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