Heat is what makes the head gasket crack, which is why we here at Premier Auto Repair recommend that you never drive your car, truck, or utility vehicle if the engine is overheating. The excess heat above 220 degrees Fahrenheit can blow the head gasket, which is serious engine damage. If your vehicle is doing any of the following things, you have a cracked head gasket underneath the hood.
White Exhaust Smoke
When the head gasket blows, the engine starts to hemorrhage coolant through the crack. Unfortunately, the coolant sprays all over the engine and is burned away by the engine’s heat. The hotter the engine gets the more it burns away the coolant. This will leave you with white exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe. It may also leave you with white smoke coming from underneath the hood.
Reduced Coolant Level
Naturally, when the engine hemorrhages coolant it reduces the coolant level in the cooling system. As you can imagine, your engine is going to get very hot very quickly if it wasn’t already overheating. If you continue to drive your automobile without enough coolant circulating through the engine, you could cause even more damage including a cracked exhaust manifold or cracked cylinder block.
The coolant will continue to escape out of the blown head gasket, so this means that your engine is going to overheat constantly every time you try to drive your automobile. The trick of turning up the heater to reduce the engine’s heat will not work. You need to stop driving your automobile and have it towed to our shop. It is not worth the engine damage to continue to drive it.
Boiling Engine Coolant
In fact, the engine is going to get so hot that the coolant will start to boil inside the radiator and the radiator overflow reservoir. You will be able to hear the coolant boiling. As we mentioned above, operating the automobile opens you up to additional and severe engine damage. It is going to be expensive enough to repair the blown head gasket.
Milky-White Motor Oil
Another reason why you should stop driving your vehicle is that the coolant is going to mix with the motor oil once the head gasket blows. When this happens, you have diluted motor oil circulating through the engine. This prevents the motor oil from protecting the engine.
Premier Auto Repair in Tyler, TX, is here to help, so call us today if you suspect that you have cracked the head gasket in your vehicle’s engine.