Olympia Auto Repair

Signs of a Blown Head Gasket

An enginehead gasket is a ringed panel that is located between the engine block and cylinder head. Its primary function is to barricade the cylinders from potential coolant leaks or oil leaks. The head gasket is situated next to one of the hottest parts of your car. And when your engine is on the brink of overheating, it can cause the head gasket to fail. A blown head gasket can cause immense destruction to your motor, and a professional should inspect it as soon as it’s safe to do so. To prevent this catastrophe from happening, you need to look out for any of these three warnings:

Engine Misfiring and Rough Idling

Depending on your car, sometimes you can find some head gaskets between combustion chambers. If you have a blown head gasket, the assemblies can not withstand the stress and pressure, which will result in rough idling and engine misfiring.

White Exhaust Smoke 

Coolant could escape into the combustion chamber if a leak exists within the system and get burned alongside gasoline. The process will result in white exhaust smoke. If you notice this white haze coming from your tailpipe, please immediately bring your vehicle to our shop for an inspection.

Temperature Gauge Reaching "H"

If you notice the temperature gauge on your dash hiking up towards the "H" symbol or red zone, it means that your car is overheating. You should pull over immediately, inspect your vehicle, and call for a tow.

Milky Build-Up In Oil

The lining of your oil cap should be dry when the head gasket is intact and functional. But if you see a cloudy substance covering your oil cap or contaminating your oil, then you have a coolant leak on your hands. You should inspect your head gasket and flush your oil soon.


If you are uncertain whether you need gasket or engine repairs, we welcome you to Olympic Transmissions & Auto Care for a complete vehicle inspection. Our certified team can diagnose your vehicle and repair your blown gasket if necessary. Please call us at (360) 810-5510 or visit our shop if you have any questions or concerns.

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