Overheating Car: Is A Simple Oil Leak Or A Blown Head Gasket?

If your car constantly overheats and leaks oil, it might have a blown head gasket. A blown head gasket can cause a myriad of problems if you don't repair it right away, including engine failure. If your engine fails, you may need to rebuild or replace it to keep your car operational. Here's what a head gasket is and why you should see an engine repair technician now.

What's a Head Gasket?

A head gasket is a special seal that keeps oil, coolant and other fluids separated as they circulate through the engine. The seal generally sits between the engine block and cylinder head of your car.  Sometimes, head gaskets blow, or fail, when the car constantly overheats.

The excessive heat in the engine may break down or weaken the head gasket until it not seals properly to the engine block and cylinder head. Cracks and tears may also develop in the head gasket that allow fluids in the engine to mix. You might notice coolant in your oil reservoir or transmission fluid in your coolant. The mixing of fluids may place strain on the rest of the car, including the transmission.

To avoid engine failure and other critical problems, it's a good idea that you take your car to an engine specialist like Joe Troegner Auto Service for a diagnostic checkup.

How Can an Engine Specialist Help?

The first thing an engine specialist may the fluids in the car to see if they show signs of mingling. A technician may also start your car and allow it to run for several minutes. By doing so, an engine repair tech may be able to locate the source of the head gasket damage. For instance, if the car emits white clouds of smoke, there may be damage between the cylinder head and coolant port.

One of the things an engine specialist may do is take apart the engine block and cylinder head to see if the head gasket needs replacing. If damage is found, a technician may choose to order the part, then make the repairs. But keep in mind that to complete the head gasket work, you may need to leave your car in a shop for a set amount of time. You may wish to discuss this part of the diagnostic test before moving forward with it. 

For more information about blown or damaged head gaskets or your overheating car, contact an engine repair specialist today.