Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Blown head gasket?

asked by on

Car started smoking from water reservoir area, temperature was all the way up too high. Pulled over waited for engine to quit smoking and hissing from reservoir area, added water. Car was hard to start, ran rough at idle. Oil still looks like oil, not milky or foamy. Also had weird chemical smell inside car. White smoke from exhaust. Did I blow head gasket? Check engine light is also on.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi, thanks for writing in. Unfortunately, w...

Hi, thanks for writing in. Unfortunately, white smoke in the exhaust, overheating and rough running all point to engine coolant getting into the combustion chamber. This is generally caused by a crack in the head or block or more commonly on the Sebring head gasket. Removing the spark plugs and looking to see if one is much cleaner than the others might be an indication which cylinder is getting the coolant incursion or having a coolant pressure test performed to ensure the cooling system is not leaking elsewhere. If it has been determined the leak is in a combustion chamber, the cylinder head would then need to be removed and then diagnosis to determine if the head gasket has failed or if the problem is caused by a cracked component.

If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car wont start

There are four common causes of why an engine won't crank over including, not enough amps in the battery to engage the starter, a broken starter, a wiring issue, or a ground wire that was not properly reconnected. It's very...

Q: ESP defective and engine turns off.

Hi there. Trying to diagnose mechanical issues in extreme cold weather you appear to be enduring is nearly impossible without being there to physically check a few common parts. The ESP stability control applies the brakes to the right rear...

Q: Car will start but will not idle good

Hello. An idling issue can be caused by many different parts on your car. I would need to know if this occurred before you replaced all of these parts or if it occurred right after. If it was after then...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.