Q: How to know if my head gasket is blown

asked by on September 11, 2016

I've had problems with losing coolant buy can't find a leak. I replaced the water pump cause it went out. Today i changed the thermostat and for the first time my car blew thick white smoke out of exhaust. It slow went to a constant white smoke but not so thick. My low coolant light is on now. The coolant reservoir starts to overflow right away. And now it's having a high idle and stalls after idle comes down. Smells like burnt antifreeze. Still no coolant mixing with oil or vise versa. Please help.

My car has 192000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. The white smoke coming out of the exhaust is a sure sign that the head gasket is blown or the head is cracked. This engine is very common to have cracked heads between the valves when the engine has been overheated. You may find cracks in the heads when the engine is torn down to check for blown head gaskets.

Was this answer helpful?
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

I have an open circuit code on the fuel injector on cylinder 3.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, your vehicle has an open circuit code on the #3 fuel injector, is going to require circuit testing. The fuel injector(s) are controlled by the injector driver(s) in the ECM (engine control...

05 Buick rendezvous won't start new battery new starter and alternator is good what could it be

You have not specified whether the starter motor works or not versus a circumstance where the engine does crank (turn over) but won't catch and run. I will cover both scenarios for you. Check to see if there are any...

p0305 Misfire in Cylinder 5

The fuel injector could be faulty and/or plugged and that would explain the high short term fuel trim on Bank 1 which contains cylinder No. 5. Another possibility is a vacuum leak around the intake to that one cylinder. If...

Related articles

What Does It Mean When My Car Is "Burning" Oil?
Burning oil is usually caused by leaking oil that burns up on hot engine or exhaust components. Fix leaking oil to prevent expensive car repairs.
Can Bad Roads Damage an Exhaust System?
We We tend to only think about the exhaust on our cars when something goes wrong, but it’s a critical system that we should be paying attention to on a regular basis. While it’s pretty durable, it can be damaged...
Symptoms of Bad or Failing Intake Manifold Gaskets
Common signs include the engine constantly overheating, coolant leaking, engine misfires, and a decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel economy.