What is a Blown Head Gasket

Hearing that your car has a blown head gasket is never a good thing. If your car has white smoke coming out of the tailpipe, is overheating or there's a milky ring around the oil cap, you may have a blown head gasket. Unfortunately there's no easy-or cheap-fix for this problem. You'll either have to shell out some serious cash to get it fixed, or, if you're a car expert, tackle it yourself. 

The head gasket seals the cylinder head to the block. This is part of what makes fixing a blown head gasket so expensive, even though the part itself is relatively cheap: its location. In order to access the head gasket, you have to remove and then replace a whole lot of car.

When you have a blown head gasket, often times coolant doesn't end up where it's supposed to. It leaks, sometimes into the engine's cylinders, sometimes into other parts of the car. A blown head gasket may affect the compression between cylinders. This can result in your engine not being as powerful as usual, something you'll definitely notice. Your car may also idle harder than it typically does.

So how do you get a blown head gasket? Occasionally they simply get old and wear out, but oftentimes there's a deeper (and therefore even more expensive) problem at hand. Head gaskets are known to crack or even burn through. If your car overheats often, you can blow a head gasket.

Sometimes a blown head gasket is a result of human error; it simply wasn't put in properly. Head gaskets need to be clean and flat to work properly. Make sure you go to a mechanic you trust, and if you have problems with a head gasket soon after having a new one installed, either take it back or take it to a different garage.

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