How to Tell if You've Blown Your Diesel Head Gasket
Head gasket failure is a serious problem that requires immediate repair. For diesel owners, recognizing the signs of a blown head gasket is especially important because the problem is more common in diesel engines than in gasoline ones. Here’s how to tell if you’ve blown your diesel head gasket:
Check if Your Engine Overheats
If your engine overheats, this doesn’t necessarily mean your diesel head gasket is blown. If you don’t immediately cool down the engine, however, the head gasket will soon fail. Thus, you should always cool an overheated engine as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of head gasket failure. You can do this by:
- Turning the heater on high to move as much heat as possible from the engine to the cabin
- Immediately pulling over on the side of the road
- Turning off the vehicle and opening the hood to allow heat to escape from the engine compartment
Once this is done, you should have your vehicle towed to a knowledgeable diesel repair center. At J&S Diesel, our technicians can both diagnose the initial problem that caused the overheating and check the head gasket. Hopefully the head gasket is still intact, but we can replace it with a new one if the current one did fail. Because excess heat is one of the main causes of a blown head gasket, you should have the gasket checked anytime your diesel engine overheats.
Know the Signs of Coolant Leaks
While an overheated engine can cause a blown diesel head gasket, the most common sign of such a problem is a coolant leak. A coolant leak due to a failed diesel head gasket might manifest itself in a few different ways. For example, you might notice:
- Reduced power and fuel economy as the engine runs inefficiently
- White smoke in the exhaust and/or sweet-smelling exhaust as coolant is burned off
- Milky white froth around the oil cap or dipstick as coolant bubbles up from the engine
- A single, unusually clean, spark plug, due to coolant leaking into that its one
- An unusual smell when turning on the heat, due to coolant odors entering the cabin
While these are all potential signs of a blown diesel head gasket, this isn’t the only issue that could cause the noted symptoms. Ultimately, you should have your vehicle checked by a diesel technician if you notice any of these issues.
Have J&S Diesel Check Your Diesel Head Gasket
If you notice any of these signs, visit J&S Diesel to have one of our technicians diagnose your vehicle's exact issue. They can make sure your diesel head gasket is fully intact, replace it if it’s not and repair any other problems your vehicle might be having. Contact us at 702-736-8526 to schedule maintenance today.