Head Gasket Leaks Need Immediate Attention.
It is easy to be mislead, when trying to diagnose a bad head gasket. Symptoms will often vary considerably, depending on how the gasket fails. The term “blown head gasket” does NOT necessarily describe a single thing.
Head gaskets may fail in several different ways. With each failure type different symptoms may result. The symptoms each person sees depend on how and where the head gasket fails.
Design of the engine is often a factor in head gasket failure. Some vehicles have more problems than others. This is due to engine design limitations. Preventing head gasket and cylinder head problems is always much easier with good cooling system service.
A well maintained cooling system greatly reduces the odds of head gasket and cylinder head problems.
A handy procedure for identifying a blown head gasket is the carbon dioxide test. When combustion gasses leak into the coolant, we may detect the carbon dioxide from the combustion process. We use a tool, made for the purpose, and special chemicals that change color when exposed to carbon dioxide.
Types of head gasket failure:
Engine misfire caused by a leaking head gasket
Oil in the coolant and coolant in the oil
An external oil leak
Overheating from a blown head gasket