A head gasket is a lining (gasket) that sits between the engine block and cylinder heads in your car’s engine. Its purpose is to seal the cylinders to ensure maximum compression and avoid any mixing between your engine’s coolant and engine oil.
A head gasket leak means the filter no longer seals the cylinders or separates the oil and coolant. When this fails, a variety of problems and symptoms can occur if you don’t get a head gasket repair scheduled soon:
Coolant leak: If coolant is drawn into your combustion chamber, it can foul your spark plugs and cause rust along the cylinder walls and piston rings, lowering your compression and causing long term engine damage.
White smoke coming out of your exhaust: This often indicates coolant has leaked into the oil passage. It’s a major, visual sign that your engine has a head gasket leak.
Coolant and oil get mixed: You will notice your engine oil becomes like a milky substance. Ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in coolant, doesn’t work well as a lubricant and will slowly cause engine damage as heat and friction builds up in your engine.
Overheating engine: If your coolant either leaks or burns away, you will have nothing with which to cool your engine. Engine damage follows.
When you notice any of the above issues, you may need to a head gasket repair right away to avoid further damage to your car. You should also consider an engine inspection to ensure your engine doesn’t need further repair.
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