Head Gasket: What Is It And Why Does It Fail

What Is A Head Gasket?

The internal combustion process is sealed by the head gasket, located between the cylinder head at the top of the engine and the block, preventing coolant and oil from mixing. It’s the most strained gasket in the engine because, unlike any other, it seals oil, coolant, and compression from the cylinders all at the same time.

What Does A Head Gasket Do?

The engine of your automobile is separated into two parts: a) the cylinder block, which contains the pistons and cylinders, and b) the cylinder head, which includes the valves, spark plugs, and camshaft(s). The head gasket sits between these two significant engine elements.
The head gasket is one of the most critical gaskets in your engine since it seals the cylinders’ firing pressure and prevents coolant and engine oil from leaking into the cylinders and also to the outside. The head gasket must endure the stresses caused by the two surfaces expanding, contracting, warping, and rubbing while also sealing in-cylinder pressure, coolant, and engine oil flowing via casting ports. The head gasket includes steel rings known as fire rings to produce a firm seal around the top of the cylinder. When the cylinder head is tightened into the engine block, they are crushed to create a seal capable of dealing with the high temperatures and pressures involved.

Symptoms Of Blown Head Gasket

  • Oil or Coolant Leaking

If you find coolant or oil leaking on or around your engine head and block, it might be a sign that your head gasket has failed.

  • Overheating

If a head gasket blows even slightly, the engine may not be able to cool down itself to safe driving levels. Overheating can harm various engine components, so switch off your vehicle right away until you figure out what’s wrong.

  • Water Vapor

If your head gasket fails, coolant may leak into the engine. You may notice white smoke or water vapor escaping from your exhaust pipe if this occurs.

  • Milky Oil

If you see brown or milky hues in your oil, you may have a blown gasket—the underside of your car’s oil reservoir cover will almost certainly become splattered with the milky oil. This occurs when the coolant touches the oil and contaminates it.

  • Bubbling Inside Radiator

If you find bubbling inside the radiator or coolant reservoir, it means your system has air in it, which might be due to a leaky or broken head gasket.


Adopting the manufacturer’s suggested service plan is the best method to keep essential components like the head gasket in good condition.
Motor City Auto Service has the expertise and understanding to replace your blown head gasket. We will ensure that the new repair is done correctly, restoring the seal between the block and cylinder head and securing your engine. Call us at (586) 755-8945 or make an appointment today!