What Are the Symptoms of a Head Gasket Leak?

You recently noticed that your car wasn't running correctly. It has problems starting up, the engine is constantly overheating, and you notice blue smoke from the exhaust.

After asking around, someone mentioned that you might have a head gasket leak. However, you don't know what that means.

This article will help you understand what a head gasket leak is, including the signs to look out for and what to do in case of a head gasket leak.

What Is A Head Gasket Leak?

A head gasket is a seal found between the engine block and the cylinder head. The primary purpose of this seal is to prevent engine fluids such as oil, coolant, and compression from escaping.

A head gasket leak occurs when this seal breaks and coolant, oil, or combustion gasses start leaking into your cylinders.

Symptoms of a Head Gasket Leak

Blue Smoke

One of the first signs of a gasket leak is that blue smoke starts coming out of the exhaust. This blue smoke usually indicates that excess oil from lubricating pistons is leaking into the cylinders.

Problems When Starting Up

The second sign that your car will give off is problems starting up.

This could be due to loss of engine power due to lower compression. In some cases, you may also notice the engine making a cranking noise but not starting.

White smoke from the exhaust usually accompanies this problem.


Another symptom of a head gasket leak is overheating. A leaking head gasket allows oil to leak into the coolant system, limiting your engine's ability to regulate its temperature properly.

Milky White Coloration In Oil

The oil in your car should be an amber color. If you notice that the oil has turned milky white, it's likely because coolant is mixing in with it.

How to Prevent Head Gasket Leaks

One of the most crucial things you can do to prevent a head gasket leak is to ensure the coolant doesn't drop below a pH of 7.0. This is done by ensuring that the reservoir is refilled.

You should also avoid adding coolant and water separately. Mix the two, then add the mixture to the reservoir.

In case you notice any signs of overheating, cut off the engine.

What To Do In Case of a Head Gasket Leak

If you suspect your vehicle has a head gasket leak, ensure your engine is professionally checked and repaired.

And we're the best at it. If you need head gasket repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Oakmont Auto Care today!