Q: Keep burning through head gaskets

asked by on October 30, 2015

My 2006 Chevrolet Equinox needed a new head gasket at around 50,000 miles when it started running rough one day. Wasn’t happy but I figured I ran it too hard. Now it is doing the same thing at 81,000 miles. I have been very careful to check oil and not drive too hard. Is there some reason my engine is going through head gaskets?

Unfortunately this is a well know problem with the Chevrolet Equinox’s. It really has nothing to do with driving habits, or lack of maintenance, but on the design of the engine cooling system, particularly the design of the head gaskets. When your head gasket blows, a number of things might happen. You can experience a overheating condition, a loss in oil pressure or both! The car may suddenly begin to run rough, or even stall. You may also notice an excessive amount of white smoke from the tail pipe or your oil make take on the look of chocolate milk. If you experience any of these symptoms, shut the vehicle off immediately! Failure to do so may lead to addition problems such as a warped cylinder head or even a cracked block, not to mention a ruined engine! It is far cheaper to replace a head gasket than an entire engine! There are numerous articles on this issue, but no official Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) or recall from GM confirming that they are officially at fault for this issue. Most people experience a blown head gasket at least once before the 100,000 mile mark and some have multiple failures. Because this type of repair is normally very expensive, find out if your warranty or extended warranty covers the repair. If the warranty period for your vehicle is expired you can also use a repair service such as Your Mechanic to get an estimate on the cost to repair this issue

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