Don’t Drive Your Vehicle With a Cracked Head Gasket

Trinity Auto Care cannot overstate how important it is that you avoid driving your automobile if the head gasket is cracked. The head gasket creates a seal above the combustion chamber to prevent auto fluids from leaking into the cylinders. It also helps compression build up inside the chamber for combustion. Driving with a cracked head gasket can damage your engine beyond repair.

Significant Coolant Loss

For example, when the head gasket cracks, coolant immediately starts to leak out of the engine and into the cylinders. Even if you keep adding coolant to the cooling system, the coolant leak will reduce the coolant level in the engine until you have the head gasket replaced. In addition to coolant leaking into the cylinders, your vehicle’s motor oil will also leak into the cylinders.

Constant Overheating

Getting back to the coolant, however, this constant leak will cause your engine to overheat every time you drive your automobile. Unfortunately, driving with a hot engine can cause additional damage beyond the cracked head gasket. In severe cases, you could actually crack your engine block. In addition, you can crack the exhaust manifold or the exhaust manifold gasket with a hot engine.

Boiling Hot Coolant

In fact, because there is little to no coolant in the engine, it can get so hot that the coolant will start to boil. This creates dangerous pressure that builds up inside of the radiator. As you know, this pressure can cause the radiator to blow its cap. When this happens, you end up with scorching hot coolant that can leave you with third-degree burns. Do not drive your automobile if the coolant is boiling.

White Exhaust Smoke

As the coolant burns away in the cylinders, your automobile will release white exhaust smoke out of the tailpipe. The exhaust smoke may also have a blue tint to it because the oil is being burned in the combustion chamber, as well. It’s never a good idea to drive your vehicle when it is releasing exhaust smoke of either color. Continuing to operate the automobile can damage the engine.

Milky-White Motor Oil

In fact, when the head gasket blows, the coolant mixes with the motor oil. Consequently, you end up with a milky-white solution that circulates through the engine and damages it. The oil is diluted by the coolant and cannot lubricate moving parts or protect moving parts.

Trinity Auto Care is located in Blaine, MN, and White Bear Lake, MN. Give us a ring today to schedule a service appointment for your automobile if you believe the head gasket is blown.

Photo by skhoward from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro

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