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February 7, 2022

Take Your Car to the Mechanic When You See These Tell-Tale Signs

Being told by their mechanic that they have a blown head gasket is the last thing any driver would want to hear. Not only will this cost a fortune, but fixing it can be a labor-intensive task, too.

Think of your head gasket as the bouncer at a club. Its main role is to stop any fluids from seeping into your engine block’s cylinders. It prevents coolant or engine oil from leaking and keeps your engine free of flammable liquids.

So, how will you know if you have a blown head gasket? What are the warning signs that tell you it’s time to take your car to a professional for a diagnosis? Veteran Car Donations shares five of the most common indicators.

  1. White or blue exhaust smoke

As you start your vehicle, check if any white or blue fumes come out of your exhaust. White smoke is emitted when antifreeze leaks past the gasket and into the cylinders, where it then turns to steam through combustion. Blue smoke, although less common, indicates that your engine is burning oil.

Both these gasket failures are major red flags. Be sure to have your car checked as soon as you notice thick, smoky exhaust fumes.

  1. Overheating

An overheated engine can be caused by several reasons, and a blown head gasket is one of them. Bubbles in your overflow tank mean that the cylinder has leaked into your cooling. When oil leaks into your coolant system, it makes it harder for your engine to cool off, eventually overheating your engine. 

Immediately after your engine temperature warning light turns on, stop driving and pull over. Driving with an overheated engine can quickly lead to total engine failure, and trust us, it will cost you significantly.

  1. Contaminated oil

Another telltale sign of a blown gasket is a milky sludge on the dipstick or under the oil filler cap. This happens when the coolant gets into the oil or vice versa.

Since contaminated engine oil will no longer protect your engine from heat or friction properly, you’ll need to have your gasket fixed as soon as possible. It requires at least an oil flush and oil filter replacement. In other cases, the bottom end of the engine needs to be disassembled to ensure that the bearings aren’t damaged and are free of contamination.

  1. Defective cylinders

Malfunctioning cylinders tell you that your head gasket has given up on you. If you see a breach between two cylinders on the same head, you need to have your head gasket repaired.

  1. External leaks

External leaks are serious issues that need to be addressed right away even though they’re the least dangerous result of a blown head gasket. A head gasket that fails to seal the oil or water passage from the engine’s external part can result in a coolant or oil leak.

If you allow the coolant level to drop too far, you’ll most likely encounter serious engine issues. Worse, leaking oil can get on the hot exhaust, causing acrid smoke, and perhaps even fire.


How to Minimize the Risk of a Blown Head Gasket

To lower your chances of having a head gasket failure, follow these steps:

  • Refill the reservoir before the coolant drops below a pH of 7.0.
  • Use ready-made water/coolant mixtures. Never add them separately.
  • Cut the engine by the time it overheats.
  • Inspect and fix any conditions of overheating. Don’t hesitate to call a technician.


You Can Turn Your Defective Car into a Life-Transforming Tool

If a blown head gasket is not the only cause of your car headaches, do consider whether having your defective auto parts repaired would just be a waste of your hard-earned money. If you think that your vehicle has become a money pit, hand it over to us at Veteran Car Donations. We’ll turn it into a powerful tool to improve the lives of the suffering veterans in your area while allowing you to enjoy a most satisfying and rewarding giving experience.

We’ll auction off your donated vehicle and use the proceeds to help fund the life improvement programs of our veteran-focused charity partners. These IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofits cater to disadvantaged and neglected veterans — those who are homeless, disabled, jobless, as well as physically or mentally ill.

Thanks to your donation, our charity partners will be able to provide more needy veterans with free quality health care, financial aid, housing assistance, employment opportunities, family support, educational scholarships, psychotherapy services, and many other benefits.

We won’t leave you empty-handed after making your donation. We’ll provide you with valuable rewards such as the free towing of your unwanted vehicle wherever you had it parked or stored anywhere in the country. Your gift will also entitle you to receive the maximum tax deduction in the next tax season.

However, the best reward you’ll get is not a material thing. It’s the priceless feeling of joy and satisfaction, knowing that your donation will be used to give our suffering veterans the decent and dignified life that they fully deserve.

You can donate almost any type of vehicle, such as an ancient car that has a couple of damaged parts or a truck that no longer runs properly. Trust us, we’re not picky!

To get an idea of our quick and easy donation process, check out our FAQs page. If you have any questions or concerns, call us anytime through our toll-free hotline at 877-594-5822 or message us here.


Make a Difference Today!

It’s time to give back to the brave men and women who once fought for us to ensure our freedoms and security. A simple car donation is all it takes to bring a huge smile to their faces. Call Veteran Car Donations at 877-594-5822 or fill out our secure online donation form now!

Veteran Car Donations operates in all 50 states.

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Or call (877) 594-5822!