Walnut Creek Auto Repair

What is a Head Gasket Leak?

Compressed right between the engine block and the cylinder head, a head gasket is a small component that is essential to the efficient functioning of your car. Without a gasket, the motor oil and the coolant will keep mixing together as they move through the casting ports of the engine block and the cylinder head.

Additionally, the internal combustion chamber will not seal properly, leading to reduced power from the combustion process. A blown head gasket means the cylinder block is cushioned properly from the cylinder head, and the engine fluids will start mixing and leaking to other parts of the engine. But what could lead to a head gasket leak?

The following are some causes that may result in a head gasket leak.


The billowing of clouds of white smoke is the utter indication of an overheating engine. Overheating causes the metal present in the engine to expand and loosen the grip on the sealing of the head gasket. The gasket material gets tampered with and can no longer seal properly. A leak is then generated.


Just like any other component, the head gasket's seals degrade over time. The normal wear and tear cause the gasket to lose its sealing ability. When you suspect you have a blown head gasket, don't hesitate to call a professional mechanic. A head gasket leak problem may need to be addressed immediately; otherwise, it may lead to more serious engine problems.


During the combustion process of the engine fuel-air mixture, intense pressure may mount around the cylinder's head. The accumulated pressure puts a strain across the head gasket that may lead to the seal's break. As a result of a poor seal, a leak starts to flow out.

Poor Installation

A mistake when installing the head gasket may result in leaking problems. Improper installation may also increase engine problems such as high temperatures in the engine. For this reason, it is advisable to get competent experts with adverse experience in installing and repair head gaskets to avoid such a predicament.

Warped Cylinder Head

Overheating of the engine may lead to a warped cylinder head. A cylinder head closes the engine's combustion chamber from the top. The heat leads to distortion of the metals, which affects the efficiency of the head gasket leading to leaks.

Signs of Head Gasket Leak

  • When the engine starts to overheat

  • When the motor oil start turning milky white

  • A drastic increase in the loss of motor oil and coolant

  • When your car start emitting white smoke

  • Unexplained bubbling in the radiator or the coolant reservoir

Your vehicle is a life investment. It is crucial to ensure it is at its best right from the head gasket. If you need head gasket repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!

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