What Are the Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket?

A head gasket is a flat component that forms a barrier between the cylinder head and the engine block. Its main job is to keep engine oil and coolant separated. When the head gasket goes off, several things can happen. 


For one, you most likely will have a warped cylinder head, which will cost you money to replace. Moreover, you may find coolant in your oil, or oil in your coolant. Either way, the fluids will be contaminated, and you’ll need to have them replenished. 

Here are some symptoms that you might notice when your head gasket is in serious trouble:

  • White exhaust smoke 
  • Engine misfires 
  • Rough idling
  • Poor fuel mileage
  • Coolant or oil puddle
  • High temperature reading
  • Dashboard warning light on

The truth is oil contaminating coolant is not as serious as coolant leaking into your motor oil. Because there needs to be a steady flow of coolant running at all times, your engine is at high risk of overheating. In turn, that will cause even more damage. In worst-case scenarios, you may need to replace the engine entirely.


The key to keeping your engine in good shape is preventative maintenance or tune-ups. When you have our professional technicians at your side, you don’t have to worry about costly repairs. When you bring your car to Austin’s Automotive Specialists, we can perform in-depth inspections to identify minor problems early on.


If you’re in need of cooling system and/or engine repairs, look no further than our auto repair shop. Please give us a call or visit today.