Blown head gaskets can happen for lots of reasons, some that you can avoid, and some that there is just nothing you can do about. Unless you’ve got a huge leak and your car is just billowing white smoke while it’s running, a blown head gasket can be difficult to diagnose. Before we start talking about why you’re having a problem, learn more about the symptoms of a blown head gasket to make sure that is actually what you’ve got going on.

To learn more about what causes a blown head gasket, and blown head gasket repair, join me in the garage where I’ll talk you through it!

Causes of a Blown Head Gasket

  • Normal driving
  • Overheating
  • Excessive cylinder pressure

Normal Driving

In some cases, driving your car like a responsible human being is enough for your head gasket to blow. The head gasket in your vehicle has a ridiculously hard job keeping all the coolant and combustion gases in your engine where they are supposed to be and it does it over and over and over again. Sometimes, enough is enough and your head gasket will blow simply due to high mileage or old age. Similarly, some vehicles are more prone to head gasket failure due to a poor design by the manufacturer, or the type of head gasket that was used. Try doing some research on the vehicle you own to see if it is known for head gasket failures.


Overheating is the number one killer of head gaskets, especially in engines that have aluminum cylinder heads as most modern engines have today.  The aluminum head will expand quickly as engine temperature increases over the normal range which can put stress on the head gasket or cause permanent deformation of the head. Either of these situations will allow coolant to leak past the head gasket into the combustion chamber and exhaust gases to leak out of the combustion chamber into the cooling jacket.

Excessive Cylinder Pressure

The head gasket in your car is designed to withstand the extremely high pressures of combustion every day. However, if that pressure gets much higher than normal, it can cause damage to the head gasket. The two most common causes of excessive cylinder pressure are knocking or preignition, or over-boost conditions from a turbocharger or supercharger. Knocking is when the air/fuel mixture in your engine explodes before the piston is at the top of its stroke. This causes the high combustion pressure to be further pressurized by the compression stroke which can blow your head gasket. Keeping your combustion chamber free of carbon build up by using BlueDevil Fuel System Cleaner can help prevent knocking. Making sure your turbocharger and supercharger are working properly will also help keep cylinder pressures where they should be and keep your head gasket safe.

If you find that you’ve already got a blown head gasket, take your car to a mechanic for the proper diagnosis and repair estimates.  If the repair cost doesn’t make sense for you or your vehicle, consider using BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer to repair your blown head gasket and keep your car on the road!

Let’s head back to the garage for more information on the causes of a blown head gasket and what to do about it!

You can also find BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:

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Do you have other questions about your car, like “Why Do My Engine Belts Squeak?” or “Does Fuel Injector Cleaner Work?” Feel free to browse my other blogs and videos for even more info!