Auto Systems and Repair: Head Gasket
Symptoms of Wear or Failure
- Check Engine Light may illuminate
- Engine runs roughly when first started
- Engine overheating
- White, sweet smelling smoke from exhaust
- Coolant or oil leak
Related Repair Advice
- Head gasket failures are often due to an overheated engine, but can also be caused by high mileage and/or age
- If the head gasket(s) is replaced, the cylinder head(s) will need to be inspected and machined. Additional repairs may be needed after the inspection, which can add several hundred dollars to the repair.
- To prevent an expensive, recurring problem, the integrity of the entire cooling system should be inspected and tested when a head gasket is replaced. Due to the damaging effects of coolant entering the combustion chamber, oxygen sensor and/or catalytic converter replacement may be prudent or even necessary. This is especially true if head gasket failure was severe or prolonged.