How To Start a Car with a Blown Head Gasket? Simple Steps

Learning how to start a car with a blown head gasket is very important since it aids in sealing the cylinder head to the engine block and is a crucial part of the engine of your automobile. Numerous issues, including overheating, coolant loss, white smoke, and others, might result from a burst head gasket.

Start a Car with a Blown Head Gasket

You might be asking how to start your automobile with a blown head gasket if you’re having such problems. With our automobile team, we’ll give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to start a car with a blown gasket in this post.

How To Start Your Car With a Blown Head Gasket

To start your car with a blown head gasket, check for signs of a blown head gasket, perform a coolant pressure test, check for mixed coolant and oil, perform a cylinder compression test, use a high-quality gasket sealer, and finally keep an eye on the coolant level.

1. Check for Telltale Signs of a Blown Head Gasket

Numerous problems, including overheating, coolant loss, and the emission of white smoke, can be brought on by a burst head gasket. These symptoms often indicate that the head gasket needs to be changed or repaired because it has failed. Engine overheating is one of the most typical signs of a burst head gasket.

This happens when the engine block and cylinder head are not properly sealed by the head gasket, which causes the coolant to leak. The engine starts to overheat as the coolant level declines, seriously harming the engine parts. The appearance of white smoke coming from the car’s exhaust is another indicator of a burst head gasket.

When coolant escapes into the engine cylinders and combines with the engine oil, this occurs. The end product is a tailpipe that emits white smoke. Additionally, a coolant leak is a glaring sign that the head gasket has failed. If the coolant leak is not addressed, the engine might overheat and suffer damage. Additionally, if you notice that the coolant and oil are blending, you likely have a burst head gasket.

2. Perform a Coolant Pressure Test

A coolant pressure test can assist identify whether the cooling system has a leak or if a head gasket has ruptured. The cooling system is pressurized during the test to look for leaks and see if the pressure is stable. You’ll need a pressure tester kit that fits the radiator’s neck to carry out the coolant pressure test.

Before removing the radiator cap, first, let the engine cool fully. After that, secure the pressure tester to the radiator’s neck and pressurize it to the appropriate level. The system should be pressured before looking for leaks. Look for any obvious leaks in the heater core, hoses, and radiator.

Allow the system to maintain pressure for at least 15 to 20 minutes if there are no obvious leaks. It’s a good sign that the cooling system is holding up and that the head gasket might not have blown if the pressure remains constant.

Perform a Coolant Pressure Test

However, if the pressure falls, it’s a sign that the cooling system leaks and you should search for the leak’s source. If the pressure rapidly lowers, an engine block fracture or blown head gasket is likely to be the cause.

3. Check for Mixed Coolant and Oil

The mixture of coolant and motor oil is a blatant sign that a head gasket failed and can be caused by burst head gaskets. If this mixture is not removed right away, serious engine damage may result. Open the hood and search for the engine oil dipstick to check for mixed coolant and oil. A milky material on the dipstick is a certain sign that coolant and engine oil have combined.

On the other hand, if you examine the coolant reservoir and discover a dark, oily residue, it means that the coolant and engine oil have mixed. When the head gasket breaks, allowing coolant to flow into the engine oil passageways, coolant and oil are mixed.

The result is a dark, greasy material in the coolant reservoir or a milky substance on the engine oil dipstick. Before attempting to start the automobile, you must fix the problem if you detect mixed coolant and oil.

Failure to do so might seriously harm the engine, necessitating expensive head gasket repairs. In this situation, it is advised to take the vehicle to a trusted and qualified technician who can evaluate the damage and provide recommendations for the necessary repairs.

4. Perform a Cylinder Compression Test

You may assess the state of the engine and spot any possible problems that could be brought on by the blown head gasket by running a cylinder compression test. During a cylinder compression test, the pressure within each cylinder is measured using a compression gauge.

Cylinder Compression of Engine

A compression gauge may be bought from an auto parts store or borrowed from a friend who is knowledgeable about automotive maintenance. Remove the spark plug from one cylinder and insert the compression gauge into the spark plug hole to conduct the test. After that, start the engine and note the gauge’s pressure reading.

To record the pressure reading for each cylinder, repeat this method for each one. All of the readings need to be comparatively constant. An issue brought on by the blown gasket may be present if you detect large changes in the pressure measurements.

A burst head gasket frequently results in a loss of compression, which can reduce engine power and make it harder to start the automobile. You can spot this problem and ascertain the amount of engine damage with the use of a cylinder compression test.

5. Use High-Quality Gasket Sealer

The engine’s performance may be improved and any leaks in the head gasket can be temporarily sealed with the aid of a head gasket sealer, enabling you to start and briefly operate the vehicle. It’s crucial to pick a high-quality gasket sealer that is made especially for head gaskets while making your choice.

High Quality Gasket Sealer

Find a sealer that can produce a strong, long-lasting seal and is made to endure high heat and pressure. It’s crucial to properly clean the engine and get rid of any possible dirt or debris before applying the sealant. Additionally, ensure sure the head gasket is sound and unblemished by any cracks or other damage.

After the engine has been thoroughly cleaned and the head gasket has been inspected for damage, you may apply the head gasket sealer in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. The sealer may then be applied directly to the head gasket or added to the coolant system to be pumped throughout the whole engine.

Start the engine and let it run for a short while after applying the sealant to give it time to dry and form a solid seal. Watch the engine closely during this period for any indications of gasket leakage or other problems. It’s crucial to understand that while gasket sealer can be an efficient temporary remedy for a blown head gasket, it is not a long-term solution.

6. Keep an Eye on the Coolant Level

The engine’s coolant level is a crucial sign of the health of the engine and can reveal information about whether the head gasket is still leaking. It’s crucial to routinely check the coolant level after the engine has been started and the head gasket sealer has been applied to make sure it stays within the specified range.

A leak in the head gasket sealers or anywhere else in the engine might be present if the coolant level starts to drop. To maintain the engine operating smoothly, it’s crucial to top off the coolant level as necessary. Additionally, it’s crucial to examine the coolant’s color and consistency to make sure that neither oil nor other fluids have gotten into it, since this might point to a more serious engine problem.

To make sure that the engine is not overheating, it’s a good idea to check the coolant level in addition to the temperature gauge or warning light. The engine can suffer major harm from overheating engine, which may also be a symptom of more serious issues with the head gasket or other parts.

7. Drive the Car for a While and Check Again

It’s crucial to test drive the vehicle after the gasket sealer has been applied and the coolant level has been checked to see how it runs and if any problems develop. It’s crucial to pay great attention to the engine’s performance throughout the test drive, particularly any unexpected noises or vibrations.

Test Drive the Vehicle

In order to make sure that the engine is not overheating, it’s also crucial to keep an eye on the temperature gauge or warning light. If the engine overheats or if any other problems appear, it might be an indication that the head gasket is still leaking or that the engine has additional problems.

It’s crucial to check the coolant level once more and examine the engine for any indications of leaks or other problems after the test drive. It might be essential to repeat the process of applying the gasket sealer and checking the coolant level if the coolant level has fallen or if there are leakage indications until the problem has been fixed.

It’s critical to examine other parts of the engine, such as the spark plugs and engine oil, in addition to looking for any indications of leaks, to make sure they are in good condition. Before continuing to drive the automobile, any damage to or problems with these parts should be fixed.

Can a Blown Head Gasket Cause Issues with a Car’s Firing Order?

A blown head gasket can indeed cause issues with a car’s firing order. When the head gasket fails, coolant leaks into the combustion chamber and interferes with the spark plug’s ability to ignite the fuel mixture properly. This can lead to misfires, engine overheating, and a decrease in overall performance. Ensuring the correct firing order, such as what is 351w firing ordering, is crucial for the smooth operation of the engine.

Can Turning on the Heat in a Car Cause Further Damage to a Blown Head Gasket?

Turning on the heat in a car does not cause further damage to a blown head gasket. However, it is important to address the underlying issue promptly. To do so, follow these simple steps to turn on car heat: start the engine, switch the climate control to heat, set the temperature to maximum, and adjust the fan speed as desired.


We trust that this article on starting a car with a blown head gasket has given you the knowledge you need to start your car in this situation.

In summary, we’ve explored several important points, including:

  • A blown head gasket can seriously harm an engine, necessitating expensive repairs.
  • Overheating, white smoke coming from the exhaust, mixing coolant and oil, and poor engine compression are all indicators of a burst head gasket.
  • Test the coolant pressure and the cylinder compression to identify a blown or cracked head gasket.
  • Using a top-notch gasket sealer might offer a temporary solution if a blown head gasket is identified.
  • Following the application of the gasket sealer, it’s critical to keep an eye on the coolant level and look for any indications of lingering problems.

Remember to carefully follow the instructions because a blown head gasket may be a serious issue that can cause a number of problems with your automobile.

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