Skoda Octavia VRS 2018 PH 7

What Is A Head Gasket And Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket?

Head gaskets are a simple yet essential tool that keeps the engine block safe from leaked liquids. It helps to maintain an engine’s lifespan. But do you know what a head gasket is and the signs of a blown head gasket?

Head gaskets are found between the cylinders that stop coolant leakage and keep the engine’s power constant. Overheated engine, power loss, coolant overflow, coolant leaking, releasing white smoke through the tailpipe, dirty oil filler cap, engine knocking, and polluted engine oil are the prime signs of a blown head gasket.

Cylinder sealing, path security, handling stress, transferring heat, and balancing compression ratio are essential jobs of a head gasket. Knowing a head gasket’s operations helps determine its importance in your car’s engine.

Head Gasket And Its Functions

The Head gasket is a seal between the engine plug and cylinder head. Preventing combustion gas from slipping into the cooling system is the most critical job of a head gasket.

A head gasket performs other vital functions besides working as a seal. Knowing these functions helps to understand the impact and importance of the head gasket.

Cylinder Sealer

The pressure created during the combustion in the cylinder can’t escape because of the head gasket. It acts as a sealer between the engine block and the cylinder head, helping maintain the pressure.

Passage Securing

Securing the engine path and the cylinder block is another prime function of a head gasket. As a result, coolant and fuel can flow safely in that passage. It also regulates and directs fluid flow according to operation.

Handling Metallic Stress

Some cars use iron to manufacture the engine and aluminum to make the cylinder head. However, these metals have different expansion and compression rates.

As a result, the metal combination has uneven stress, known as bimetal stress. The head gasket allows these metals to move at odd tension without friction.

Heat Transportation

A head gasket’s core matters transfer heat in the engine block and cylinder head path. It decreases heat concentration in a particular part of the engine and distributes heat throughout the engine uniformly.

Compression Ratio

Head gaskets sometimes work as a frame in the cylinder head and engine block. Consequently, it changes the cylinder’s volume, which modifies the compression ratio.

Bulky gaskets increase cylinder volume by increasing head-to-block distance but reduce the compression ratio. On the other hand, thin gaskets reduce the cylinder volume but increase the compression ratio.

Skoda Octavia VRS 2018 PH 31

Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket

Many signs indicate the head gasket has blown. Some indications are elementary to detect, but you’ve to be an expert to identify the complex ones.

Don’t worry if you’re an amateur. Check out these signs of a blown head gasket from aspiringhandyman and try to find a solution quickly.

Overheated Engine

The engine will often overheat when the head gasket is damaged. It doesn’t just overheat the machine when it blows between the cylinders. But, it creates a fuel-coolant mixture when a head gasket blows out of these cylinders. Hence, the temperature increases while affecting the cooling system.

It’ll cost you a chunk of money to fix the catalytic converter if it gets affected by the head gasket while driving.

Power Loss

Damaged gaskets can’t hold compressed fuel in the cylinder. So, there isn’t enough compressed air in the cylinder.

As a result, the engine can’t provide enough power due to an inadequate fuel-air ratio. In addition, harsh noise from the engine is a crucial indicator of a possible head gasket failure.

Coolant Leaking

Coolant leaks when a head gasket is damaged, hampering the fuel flow path and engine’s exterior. As a result, the motor gets damaged and even can catch fire if the coolant leaks continuously.

Coolant Overflow

The cooling system is located above the radiator with some air patches. Bubbles from the radiator or the overflow tank indicate a blown head gasket.

When air enters the combustion chamber, it forms bubbles. Consequently, it damages the head gasket through bubbles.

White Smoke Release

Coolant passed orderly through the gasket and cylinder produces a pleasant-smelling gas. The combustion chamber combines fuel and coolant that creates this pleasant-smelling steam.

This white color gas is then released into the environment through the tailpipe.

Polluted Engine Oil

A blown head gasket can’t keep water and engine fuel apart. Therefore, it makes a mixture of low lubricating quality. This thick, foamy combination gathers around the oil filler cap, finally polluting the engine oil.

Greasy Oil Filler Cap

It’s pretty elementary to detect a greasy oil filler cap. First, detach the filler cap to see if there is any accumulation of oil present. A froth of pale color confirms a dirty oil filler cap.

Engine Knocking

Engine knocking starts when the engine lacks power due to less compression. So many reasons are responsible for engine knocking.

So, it’s tough to confirm if a blown head gasket is the reason behind a stalling. You better contact an expert mechanic to ensure the defective head gasket.

Consequences Of A Blown Head Gasket

Coolant break-out and coolant accessing into the cylinder are two significant consequences of a blown head gasket.

Low coolant concentration overheats the engine faster and causes severe damage to the engine. When the coolant gets hot and comes under the car’s hood, it causes fire.

The result is even worse if coolant enters the cylinder. It’ll decrease the fuel quality. As a result, fuel won’t burn properly, which can stop the car while driving.

Don’t forget there’s a chance of damaging the catalytic converter and your car’s radiator if the head gasket is blown.


A blown head gasket is a result of poor car maintenance. It can affect the catalytic converter, and you’ll have to pay a fat fine if your catalytic converter doesn’t work. Also, it’ll affect the whole engine after some time.

Hopefully, the discussion about what is a head gasket and the signs of a blown head gasket has provided you with enough information to detect a blown head gasket quickly.

However, don’t try to fix it on your own if you lack proper knowledge and training. Instead, consult a mechanic to resolve issues with this significant part of your engine promptly.

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