Symptoms of Blown Cylinder Head Gasket VS Cracked Block


The two main parts of any engine are its cylinder head and engine block. The block contains the pistons and cylinders, while the cylinder head contains the rocker arms and valves. In between the block and cylinder head is the cylinder head gasket. This gasket serves as a seal for all the cylinders inside the block. The seal prevents coolant from leaking out of the cylinders and it also prevents oil from leaking into the cylinders and mixing with the coolant. Most importantly, if there is ever a problem with the engine block or the cylinder head, the gasket will allow the mechanic to separate these two big pieces of the engine so that they can be individually repaired.

3 Symptoms of a Blown Cylinder Head Gasket 

A cylinder head gasket is bound to blow out after a while. This could cause the motor oil, fuel, and/or coolant to mix with each other in the internal combustion chamber. Since the head gasket is meant to prevent the mixture of these fluids, a blown head gasket could cause this to happen and it would not be good for your engine at all.

Below are the top 3 symptoms you can expect from a blown cylinder head gasket:

  1. Antifreeze & Oil Mixture – A blown cylinder head gasket can cause oil to mix with the antifreeze fluid. The same can happen with a cracked engine block as well.
  2. Engine Overheating – If the coolant is leaked into the oil, then it won’t be able to do its job properly of cooling down the engine’s components. This will cause the engine to overheat.
  3. Poor Engine Performance – Once you have an overheated engine, it’s performance will diminish greatly. The biggest issue will be slow acceleration and engine stalling.

Read also: Transaxle Rebuild and Replacement Cost

5 Symptoms of a Crack Cylinder Block

The engine block is what houses and protects the cylinders of your engine. The case of the engine block is lubricated to prevent any overheating of the cylinders or components inside of it. The top of the engine block is where the cylinder heads are located. It closes the cylinders from the topside and allows the combustion chamber to be formed. It is very rare for the engine block to ever get cracked, but it has happened before. Once it does, the engine will begin to have all kinds of problems and show some very bad symptoms. After all, if the engine block can no longer protect the internal components from excessive heat and cold, then the entire engine is doomed.

Below are the top 5 symptoms you can expect from a cracked engine block.

  1. Oil & Antifreeze Mixture – Engine oil and antifreeze fluid can mix together if there is a serious crack in the engine block. The antifreeze fluid will be able to find its way through the crack and then circulate with the oil. This will spell major trouble for the engine.
  2. Engine Smoke – A huge symptom of a cracked block is smoke coming out of the engine. If you let this go for too long, it will lead to other engine problems.
  3. Seeing a Crack in the Block – If you truly need to confirm that you have a crack in the engine block, then just perform a visual inspection of the block to see if it has a crack in it. Of course, you can hire a mechanic to do this for you if you’re not sure of what you’re looking at.
  4. Engine Overheating – The casing of the engine block helps keep the engine’s components cool and lubricated. If there is a crack in the block, the engine won’t stay so cool anymore. This will cause overheating to take place.
  5. Reduced Engine Compression – The internal combustion process allows engine compression to take place. Since the combustion takes place in the engine block, any crack that forms on the block will result in reduced compression. Once that happens, the performance of the engine will diminish.

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