Before going directly to a mobile mechanic and spending a lot of money, there are symptoms of a blown head gasket you can check for at home first. Most of your common signs will be caused from the cooling system so those would be the first symptoms to check. This includes your radiator and heater.
The most common symptoms of a blown head gasket include milk-colored oil, overheating of the vehicle, white exhaust smoke, green-tinted spark plugs (green coolant) or a leaking radiator. You can also remove the radiator cap, start your vehicle, and see if there are bubbles of air protruding from the radiator. You can also turn on your heater in the car and if you smell a distinct antifreeze smell protruding from the heater vents, this could be a sign. If your vehicle is overheating, do not keep running it or you might end up the bigger issue of a blown engine.
Two sure-fire tests to know that you have a blown head gasket:
- Coolant spewing from the spark plugs
- A dark milk-colored ring around the oil cap: Through a crack in the head or a blown head gasket, coolant enters the engine oil and evaporates leaving the dark, milky ring around the oil cap.
- Also, if your vehicle seems to working harder this could be a sign. If the engine seems like it is running rough this could be due to adjacent cylinders lacking compression. This could also cause a misfire in engine because of water running through the cylinders and causing the spark plugs to fail.
- Another test to check is using a compression meter in which replaces a spark plug. This meter then tells you what compression each cylinder is running on, and if the compression is very low than you most likely have a blown head gasket or in some cases, a warped head. Make sure to check your repair manual for the correct compression required.
After performing some of these tests and checking for symptoms, one last test you can do is taking the head to a machine shop and seeing if it is possibly warped and if not, it is just the blown head gasket. Remember if you are not a professional, or are unsure of the problem-causing issue, you should still take your vehicle to a local mechanic.
Check out the video below for further help…