3 Steps to Keep Cool and Avoid a Blown Head Gasket
Blowing a head gasket is a common mechanical emergency, but it’s not worth losing your own head over. Blown head gaskets are easy to prevent with regular check-ups. It’s all about keeping cool under pressure. And, that’s sound advice for both the car and its driver.
What does a Head Gasket do?
The head gasket seals in the combustion chamber of your engine block to prevent exhaust from escaping and oil or coolant from making its way in.. But, because combustion gasses run so much hotter than oil or coolant, the temperature fluxes can cause that seal to degrade over time. Even faster, when the coolant is low.
When was your last coolant check-up?
Coolant is the TRUE LIFEBLOOD of your engine. It helps the engine maintain proper temperature to avoid overheating. Low coolant levels or neglected coolant is the most common cause of a blown head gasket. Many drivers only think to do engine coolant check-ups twice per year—before winter and summer. Your coolant should be checked each time you open the hood, not just seasonally. Coolant levels have little do with outside temperature, and everything to do with your engine’s internal temperatures.
First: Check your coolant levels.
Pop the hood and check the coolant levels in your radiator and overflow tank. If the line is at “full,” you’re good to go. If not, make sure to top it off with PEAK Long-Life 50/50. Now, If the coolant level is low in your radiator tank but full in your overflow tank, that might signify an even more troubling diagnosis. In that case, we recommend a professional check-up of your vehicle.
Second: Test the condition of your coolant.
Engine systems are designed for a 50/50 mixture of water and glycol. If that mixture is off, it’ll raise the temperature, and your coolant will start boiling off. When the coolant level gets too low, pockets form in the coolant system which can reduce its own effectiveness to cool and properly control operating temperatures of your vehicle. As that happens, the head gasket begins to degrade and then, well, you know what happens next.
Third: Top off or flush as needed.
If your coolant reservoir is low, top it off with PEAK Long-Life 50/50. This is a great option for all automobiles and light-duty trucks.