The problem with telling if your head gasket is blown is that you can’t see if its leaking or not because it is so far inside of the engine. The best way to figure it out is to look of obvious symptoms like white and blue exhaust smoke, excessive steam erupting from the tailpipe or a popping sound. If that doesn’t help, you can use a Combustion test kit.
Top symptoms of blown gasket
Engine - You might notice a lack of engine power which is caused by low compression. A sharp drop in compression on one or two cylinders, with no drop in the others is a good sign of a blown gasket. As a result the engine will start overheat. You can also try turning heat. Sometimes this will produce rubber odor.
Oil - Water in oil or oil in water is a definite sign of a blown gasket. This will cause to thin out and no longer protect the engine components.
Smoke - White or blue smoke is a result of oil getting into the combustion cylinders. If the coolant gets into the combustion cylinders you will notice a lot of white smoke coming out of the exhaust. Too much coolant in the the combustion cylinders can cause the car to lock. Therefore you will also notice that a lot of coolant is missing.
Bubbles - See if the radiator has bubbles of air. That could be also a sign of a problem with gasket.
Easy To Use Test Kit
Still can’t tell if you have a blown gasket? Not a problem. I know a great test kit that can help you with that. It is called “Combustion Leak Tester”. This kit is very easy to use and you will get results fast. It costs only $55 on Amazon.
This kit is very easy to use and you will get results fast. Here is a video that gives detailed step-by-step instructions on how to use it.
Step 1: Open the hood of the car and take out a cap from the radiator. Take a turkey baster and suck some of the coolant out so there is more space inside. We are getting some of the coolant out because we don’t want it to get into the tester and give us false result.
Step 2: Place a bottom of the tester in the radiator and pour some of the test fluid up to the line in it. Next, put the second part of the tube on top and pure more liquid up to the second line. Put the top of the tester on top and start the engine.
Step 3: Squeeze the top of the tester to get the air into the both tubes. If there is a combustion air inside of the radiator, the blue liquid will turn yellow. That means your gasket is blown.
Don’t get upset, you can buy a great and inexpensive sealer to fix the leak.