Q: Can I take a 600 mile trip with a blown head gasket?

asked by on

I have a 2004 Pontiac Vibe with 164,000 miles. In August it overheated for the first time. I added about a gallon of antifreeze to the cooling system, and every thing was back to normal, except for a very faint smell of burning rubber. I've driven it at least 1000 miles since then. Last week I noticed that the heating system is not emitting much heat. Three days ago a pressure test was done on the cooling system. It was determined that the engine has a blown head gasket, and that the price of fixing the car is more than the car is worth. But it runs as well as ever! Good pick up; no smoke coming out of the tailpipe. Yesterday I drove it more than 150 miles from Baltimore to Fredericksburg Va and back. No problem. No overheating. No smoke out the tailpipe. Today, however, I added about a 1/4th gallon of antifreeze to the cooling system for the first time since August. But the runs as well as ever. I'm planning a 600 mile round trip to North Carolina on Monday. Should I do this?

My car has 164000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello there. Head gasket failures can cause much larger issues with your 2004 Pontiac Vibe. It is not recommended to drive a vehicle with a faulty head gasket as it can cause the engine to fail if overheated severely. In many cases, the head gasket problem is not able to be detected until the engine is warm and then the head gasket will start to leak. When head gaskets leak oil and coolant mixes this results in a sludge that ruins internal parts inside the engine. To have this taken care of, a qualified technician, like one from YourMechanic, will be able to inspect the vehicle to determine what actions may be needed to prevent issues on longer trips.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Can I take a 600 mile trip with a blown head gasket?

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: Car wont start - 2001 Nissan Sentra

Hello there, a variety of faults will cause your 2001 Nissan Sentra to overheat, be low on coolant, and now have starting trouble. The first problem is the vehicle being low on coolant, either there is a leak in the...

Q: My passenger window stop working but my other windows work so what could be the problem every time I puss the button one the drive

It is possible that you could have a failed window motor and regulator assembly. The switch, the regulator/motor assembly, and the wiring are the only parts to this system. If you get smoke when you press the window switch, I...

Q: My Battery Charge System Light is on. Has my alternator or battery gone bad?

There are two key tasks in a charging system diagnostic initially: one is to measure the output of the alternator, at the battery terminals, and compare that output against the factory specs; and the second is to load test the...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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.