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HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 04:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

What are the signs of a blown head gasket???????

Typical symptoms of a blown headgasket MAY include: -Bubbles of air coming up into your radiator (remove cap before starting) AND WHEN ENGINE COLD NEVER OPEN RAD CAP WHEN ENGINE HOT AS YOU WILL GET SCALDED run the engine they should be no air bubbles showing in the filler tank -leaking radiator -milkshake colored oil -overheating -rough running -coolant in oil- or oil in coolant -spark plug(s) that have a green tint (if green coolant). -white colored or sweet smelling exhaust. I emphasize "may" include one or more of these symptoms.

A blown head gasget can go out in different areas causing differnt symptoms. There's no straight simple answer to this question. There's lots of clues you can look for. When in doubt and you have tried everthing, pull the head have the head checked out by a well established specialist first to see if the head was the proplem. This way you're not wasting your time replacing the gasket.

Sometimes a blown head gasket will cause a whistling or wheezing sound,but not always.It will not always cause coolant to enter the oil,or oil to enter the coolant,but they are signs to look for.Overheating will almost always occur,Check your overflow bottle for exhaust smells. Does the car idle rougher than normal?

Another clue: turn on the heater; often when the head gasket is blown an odour of coolant and synthetic rubber will emanate from the heater vents.

Many of the symptoms of blown head gasket can be caused by some other problem in the cooling system, without the head gasket being damaged. Convesely, other problems with the cooling system can cause a blown head gasket and/or warped head.

For example, a corroding radiator filler tank can send chunks of rust through the cooling system which take out the thermostat and water pump. If the thermostat is old, sticking and corroding, it can send those chunks through the system and take out the water pump or cause a blockage in the radiator, etc.

Radiator leaks can be the primary cause, or a result, of failures in other cooling system components.

Don't keep driving with the car overheated! Especially if your engine has an aluminum head, you are likely to warp it. If it is warped beyond a certain tolerance, it cannot be planed and will have to be replaced when the head gasket is replaced.


There are a few simple indicators you can check for with the engine cold and not running.

1. contaminated oil, it will have a milky appearance from the coolant mixing in the oil. 2. oil on the top of the coolant inside the radiator.


Having these symptoms is not always indicitaive of a blown head gasket and usually if the gastket is gone there is going to be some warping of the head and or block of the engine.

There are a few other things that can give similar symptoms to the ones listed above 1. internal damage to coolant/oil galleries 2. damage to oil/coolant intercoolers if fitted 3. weakened hoses on the cooling system can cause pulsations in the coolant 4. leaking valve seals may drop oil into the chambers 5. poorly bleed cooling systems or systems where there are high loops in the coolant jacket may have some bubbling.

Visual inspection of the head and gasket, involving major engine disassembly.

NOTES: You can only truly confirm your suspicion by actually seeing the gasket, although precursor signs are usually evident.

1) Check your oil. If the oil on the dipstick looks like chocolate milk, then there's coolant in it, and this is the surest sign of a blown head gasket or a cracked engine block.

2) Check your radiator coolant. If it looks brownish and foamy, that usually means there's oil in your cooling system, which is another sign that a severe breakdown has occurred.

3) Visually inspect the engine for leakages of an oil/coolant mix.

4) Loss of engine coolant with no external leaks, a continuous stream of bubbles can be seen with the radiator cap off,
white smoke coming from your exhaust when engine fully warmed up, and the sweet smell of coolant from exhaust.

All spells signs of a head gasket blown or very close to it and SHOULD get it seen to ASAP as you will further damage your engine........... a Mechanic can find a HEAD GASKET FAILURE by a ''Sniff Test'' commonly known this is like a big eye dropper with a chemical liquid in it and it changes when mixes with coolant and that will tell you if an Internal Leak is occuring and Hydrocarbons found in mix next is a ''Compression Test'' that will tell you to

Last edited by stiimpreza1984; 04 Apr 2009 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 08:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 06:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

Might want to make that a sticky to Pete
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Old 04 Feb 2009, 11:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

cheers. good info
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Old 02 Mar 2009, 12:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

great info!
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Old 07 Apr 2009, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

been told my head gasket has gone not doing any of them symptoms
no loss of water
no oil in water
heaters still hot
but when you rev it the radiator pipes swell up and its misfiring when drove hard
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Old 07 Apr 2009, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

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Originally Posted by lewis123 View Post
been told my head gasket has gone not doing any of them symptoms
no loss of water
no oil in water
heaters still hot
but when you rev it the radiator pipes swell up and its misfiring when drove hard
Did they compression test the engine and what was the results did they sniff test the coolant this will show up hydro carbons in the coolant from exhaust gases escaping and polluting the coolant the chemical liquid in this sniff test device will change to yellow if hydro carbons are found if an internal leak? also was they coolant at the top of your plugs, dont belive some of them if they dont show you proper proof that head gasket is really gone once you see the proof from these tests fair enough then new head gasket if that the case but some people out their want your money they normally the two tests to see if head gasket goes did the mechanic do them?
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Old 07 Apr 2009, 06:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

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Originally Posted by lewis123 View Post
been told my head gasket has gone not doing any of them symptoms
no loss of water
no oil in water
heaters still hot
but when you rev it the radiator pipes swell up and its misfiring when drove hard
Going by this post fella you just need to replace the rad hoses cause they aged and you can get pulses with old coolant pipes and find the misfiring problem but cause I cant see your car its hard to tell and with them tests I was saying if you had the readings from compression test that would change my mind if their is or noting wrong with your engine
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Old 07 Apr 2009, 07:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

the mechanic done no tests think i have solved the misfiring problem my pal is clued up a bit he tapped the boost controler thing lol dont know what its called its got a ball bearing in it and it has somit to do with the waste gate on the turbo any how the car has stopped misfiring now apart from once ,no where near as bad as before so he told me to do away with it and use a bleed valve (hope this makes sense)
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Old 07 Apr 2009, 11:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

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Originally Posted by lewis123 View Post
the mechanic done no tests think i have solved the misfiring problem my pal is clued up a bit he tapped the boost controler thing lol dont know what its called its got a ball bearing in it and it has somit to do with the waste gate on the turbo any how the car has stopped misfiring now apart from once ,no where near as bad as before so he told me to do away with it and use a bleed valve (hope this makes sense)
Not being smart fella with ya but I'am a mechanic myself so that mechanic is talking s**t wheres the proof that your head gasket gone if he didnt do any tests on it it grand saying that head gasket gone on your car but if he dont have the proper tests done to prove it he talking up his own a** and just wants money of ya.Anyway thats great you sorted the misfiring your pal seems to know more than the mechanic glad you sorted it, Id do away with it to must have caused the problems if gone now
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Old 17 Nov 2011, 08:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

Hi guys

Sorry for bumping an old thread up (if I have), but I hope someone can help me. I've been told by a local garage that my car's head gasket is blown, and I'm really just wanting confirmation that's what's happened.

I was driving the car along the motorway when engine oil temp increased, white smoke started billowing out the exhaust and the engine warning lights came on. I luckily was able to pull into a service station, and as soon as I put the brake on the engine cut out. When I tried to turn it back over, the ignition tried to get it going, but all that happened was a boiling sound and smell of oil came about, and the engine wouldn't, and still wont, start.

When I got it back from the garage they said it was the head gasket and I would be cheaper getting a new engine rather than fixing the problem. From what I've said is this likely the case? Apologies if the information I've given is extremely vague!

Feel free to ask any questions, I'll answer them to the best of my abilities The car is a '97 2.0l turbo estate, however the engine was chipped before I got it. The intercooler is also aftermarket if that's any help.

Mike
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Old 18 Nov 2011, 03:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elias View Post
Hi guys

Sorry for bumping an old thread up (if I have), but I hope someone can help me. I've been told by a local garage that my car's head gasket is blown, and I'm really just wanting confirmation that's what's happened.

I was driving the car along the motorway when engine oil temp increased, white smoke started billowing out the exhaust and the engine warning lights came on. I luckily was able to pull into a service station, and as soon as I put the brake on the engine cut out. When I tried to turn it back over, the ignition tried to get it going, but all that happened was a boiling sound and smell of oil came about, and the engine wouldn't, and still wont, start.

When I got it back from the garage they said it was the head gasket and I would be cheaper getting a new engine rather than fixing the problem. From what I've said is this likely the case? Apologies if the information I've given is extremely vague!

Feel free to ask any questions, I'll answer them to the best of my abilities The car is a '97 2.0l turbo estate, however the engine was chipped before I got it. The intercooler is also aftermarket if that's any help.

Mike
The Chip didnt help the car anyway ecu chipping?? has anyone ever tried sounds like head gasket but could get a second opinion by another mechanic always 2nd opinion is good aswell, did you check your oil is their coolant in oil and vice versa, could rebuild the engine but again all depending on the damage on your own
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Old 19 Nov 2011, 01:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

Yeah, sadly I bought the car pre-chipped Haven't checked anything myself, I actually dumped the car outside the garage when it broke down (broke down on a saturday) because the alarm wouldn't stop going off, which is irritating at half 5 in the morning! I'm going to see if a mechanic can come round and have a look and I'll be there at when he's doing it.

I'd rather get a replacement engine, my luck would probably just have it go again. Got quoted 840 inc VAT + delivery for a reconditioned one yesterday, is that a decent price? Will they be likely to have any idea of the engines history ie. mileage, why it need work done? Jap Auto Parts in Birmingham, if that helps.
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Old 20 Nov 2011, 06:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

if you are buying second hand engine i would factor in a timing belt and water pump change as well as a service kit........
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Old 20 Nov 2011, 06:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: HEAD GASKET BLOWN SYMPTOMS

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Originally Posted by Elias View Post

I'd rather get a replacement engine, my luck would probably just have it go again. Got quoted 840 inc VAT + delivery for a reconditioned one yesterday, is that a decent price? Will they be likely to have any idea of the engines history ie. mileage, why it need work done? Jap Auto Parts in Birmingham, if that helps.
Cant comment on the place you getting the engine so dont know as over in Ireland try your best to get as much info about engine as possible and make sure it comes with a warranty
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