By October 15, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Blown Head Gasket Troubleshooting

My Name is Shirley and I have a problem with my engine. My car has been overheating terribly and has been leaking antifreeze. The thermostat gauge is way over the H indicating the car is extremely hot. There is no mixing of the oil and water.

I was told that it was not a problem with my radiator. I took
the car to a radiator shop and the engine and the radiator was flushed.
The top hose was getting hot as the car ran but the lower hose was cold.

I was told that there was something clogging up the engine. I took the
car to one shop and was told the car had a blown head gasket. However,
these was no milky like smoke coming from the tail pipe. I took it to
another shop and was told that it was not a blown gasket that it was a
clogged heater core that needed to be replaced and the car needed a new hose assembly and a thermostat.

However, when I had those repairs made, I drove about 3 miles and the car was still overheating and smoking and the thermostat gauge was still at the H mark indicating overheating. A male friend took the car back to the shop and told the mechanic that the car still had the same problem it was brought in for. The mechanic then put on a new water pump and that seemed to rectify the problem.

What is a heating core and does this get clogged or simply goes out?? I was charged $680.00 for this job. Could this have actually been a blown
head gasket? PLEASE RESPOND.

Howdy there Shirley,

Thanks for your email. I hope you had a chance to look around my site and read some of my articles related to engine overheating. The first thing I do in a situation like this is get a cooling system pressure test to determine if there is a leak and where it is located. This cheap and simple test would have found your leaking water pump within a few seconds and any mechanic can do this test for you while you wait.

A clogged heater core will NOT cause the engine to overheat. The heater core produces the heat for your heater inside the vehicle. The heater core can leak coolant which will then cause the engine to overheat, but a dirty or clogged heater core will NOT cause the engine to overheat. In fact you can take the heater hoses and clamp them off with a pair of pliers and no over heating will happen.

So, the mechanic who sold you the heater core…..should have done a cooling system pressure test FIRST and should have explained the heater core function better to you, or he should have known better! Your heater core COULD have been dirty and you would not have had a nice hot heater this winter, but that was not your complaint.

Here is more about the heater core

Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • Anonymous

    salutations from across the world. detailed article I will return for more.