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Blown Head Gasket Causes

If you are looking for information on blown head gasket causes, this article will be a useful read. Read to find out all about what causes a blown head gasket.
You can never get an idea about the complexity of a car's internal mechanism, until you actually open the hood and have a look into the heart of your automobile. The most important car part is of course the engine, which generates the motive power that drives the car ahead. There are several car parts that come into play, to make its functioning possible. One such part is the head gasket, which is an important part of the engine assembly. The aim of this article is to acquaint you with the prime blown head gasket causes.

What is a Blown Head Gasket?

To know what is a blown head gasket, let me explain what is this car part and what is its function in the overall scheme of things. The head gasket's function is that of a seal between the engine head and the engine block. It is built to ensure that the engine cylinder remains entirely sealed from external interference. It also prevents the entry of oil and coolant into the engine cylinder. It is built in such a way, that it can withstand the heat and stress developed due to engine functioning. A blown head gasket situation is created when the gasket develops a structural failure, leading to leaks of coolant and oil into the engine cylinder.

Blown Head Gasket Symptoms

One of the prime symptoms of engine head gasket breakdown is chronic engine overheating. Other manifested blown head gasket symptoms include a significant drop in coolant level, due to leakage of coolant and oil in the engine cylinder. You may notice white smoke emanating from the exhaust and frothy layer in engine oil, due to coolant mixing.

Causes of a Blown Head Gasket

After that brief overview of blown head gasket symptoms, let us have a look at the prime causes of a blown head gasket. There are more than one reasons that may cause a head gasket failure, ranging from inherent structural problems to engine problems. Let us have a look at the main blown head gasket causes, which may help you in undertaking blown head gasket repair.

Engine Overheating
The prime nemesis of a head gasket is heat, caused by engine overheating. The heating leads to expansion of the blown head gasket, resulting in a breakdown. So engine overheating needs to be checked to avoid a situation where you have a blown head gasket on your hands.

Pre-ignition & Detonation
Another prime blown head gasket cause is improper combustion of the engine fuel, resulting into pre-ignition and detonation of fuel, which generates a high amount of pressure and heat in the cylinder, which may cause the engine head gasket to blow away.

Inherent Design Problems
An inherent problem in designing of certain head gaskets may lead to a failure under heat and stress. These kinds of manufacturing problems are rare, but they do occur in some car models.

Improper Installation
Lastly, one of the prime blown head gasket causes is the improper installation of the gasket during manufacturing, resulting into a blow up under pressure.

So these were some of the prime blown head gasket causes that you should know about. If you can recognize the blown head gasket symptoms in advance, you can save your engine from substantial damage, which may occur otherwise. It is important that you deal with engine overheating, pre-ignition and other such engine problems to prevent a head gasket failure. There is pretty much nothing you can do if the blown head gasket results from a structural problem that arises from the manufacturer's error. In that case, you will have to go for a replacement as soon as possible. Eternal vigilance and regular car maintenance are the only things that can save you from major car repair problems, in the long run.
By Omkar Phatak
Last Updated: 9/19/2011
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