"Can I drive my car with a blown head gasket?" Mechanics hear this question and they cringe. The short answer to this question is no. A blown head gasket is a serious problem and not one that should be aggravated by further driving. Here is a quick rundown of why it generally isn't a good idea to drive your car with a blown head gasket.
A blown head gasket can be caused by several things. Sometimes head gaskets get old and just wear out, but that generally only happens with older cars and even then it's fairly rare. Other times head gaskets crack or burn through. If your car overheats often, it can destroy your head gasket. Occasionally you can get a blown head gasket if it wasn't installed properly. This may happen after you've had repair work done on your head gasket.
One of the more noticeable signs of a blown head gasket is coolant leaking. Your coolant can leak into your oil. You may open up your hood and see a milky ring around your oil cap, where coolant is getting in. Any time you have something like that happening in your car, it's not a good idea to keep driving. If coolant is leaking into your oil, you could destroy your engine, which is obviously a very expensive repair to have to make. Another reason not to drive your car if it has a blown head gasket is that you will lose a lot of compression. Your car will lose a lot of power, to the point where it may be very noticeable. Your car could end up idling quite roughly.
One way to combat an overheating car is to drive with the heat on. Obviously if it is summer, this is not going to be a desirable option.
The best thing to do is to get your head gasket repaired before you drive your car, especially if you plan on driving it any sort of long distance. It's better to be safe than to pay a lot for damage that was done by driving with a blown head gasket.
Head gasket repair is not a job to be tackled lightly. Here's why.
A blown head gasket is one of the absolute worst things that can happen to your car. Learn the signs.