By November 22, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Blown Head Gasket?

head gasket repairHi Austin. My car overheated and I let it cool, filled with water & babied to shop (5 miles) Had water pump replaced.

Mechanic called & reported blown head gasket, blowing white smoke after he replaced pump ($250) (was not blowing smoke when I drove it to him) Couldn’t afford another $700 for head gasket replace so I drove home

He said I didn’t have to carry extra water with me because new water pump & i wouldn’t loose water (7 miles)  I drove home and water disappeared from radiator & car started overheating, didn’t want to stay running at a stop lite. will the K&W work for me?  Thank you in advance for your help  I appreciate you.



Hello there Vicki
Yes the sealer should work for a blown head gasket in this vehicle, but use it as per my instructions not that on the can.  Before you do though, I am not really convinced you have a head gasket issue just yet. Something seems odd about this to me.  I would really like you to get a second opinion first, but I don’t want you to drive the vehicle…or at least not too far, and definitely do not let it over heat again.

So you might want to do this.

1. Park in a dry spot so you can see if any water drips from the engine
2. Fill the radiator with water
3. Start the engine and let the vehicle idle for about 2 minutes
4. With engine running turn on the heater full blast
5. Turn off engine, let cool a few minutes and recheck the water level in the radiator and top off as needed.
6. Start engine and let idle with hood up, watch temp gauge and look and listen for the electric cooling fan motor to come on at the radiator. It should come on as engine temp rises.
7. Look under the vehicle for any water leaks

Do you have any white smoke coming out the tailpipe? Is the engine overheating? Is there water dripping from the engine on the ground?

If you answered no to the above, take the vehicle for a short trip around the block. Does it overheat, white smoke out tailpipe, run ok?  Take some water with you just encase, and shut engine off if temp gauge goes out of normal range.

The electric radiator cooling fan at the radiator should be on if the engine is overheating.

If you see water from the engine on the ground, you most likely have an external coolant leak like a radiator hose, heater hose etc.  If you can not see the source of the leak, get another mechanic to do a cooling system pressure test for you.

Now, if you see white smoke out the tailpipe, engine runs bad and misses during this test then yes you might have a head gasket issue and should use the sealer.  Hopefully this mechanic jumped to conclusions and you do not.

Here is my head gasket sealer video again

Keep me posted.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Head Gasket Repair

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."
  • Greg Paarman

    First of all I kindly thank you for taking the time & effort to help others with what you are doing here. I have no doubt it has helped many out with a back to the wall problem. I like installing a Prestone or Peak cooling system back flush system first (cost around $5-6 dollars and is installed in the heater inlet hose) so I can clean the cooling system out extensively. I think the flush works far best with the car running. Once the water is well past crystal clear (perhaps 10 15 minutes runtime & ideally with thermostat removed) shut off the water off, let the car cool down I add a cooling system cleaner like Prestone or anything of quality. I then if able let it stay in there and try and put some miles on the car or let it run for a half hour and cool many times over. I then back flush things yet again and cool down. This is when I typically add a head gasket sealant. Right now I am sitting in front of 2 bottles of head gasket repair… Blue Devil and K&W. After the flush I went to the auto parts store to get a repair sealant (planned on Blue Devil) and saw the K&W. What the heck, I came home with both. I decided to figure out which one to use once I got home and could read up some more. My question is given this thermostat is already pulled and out you would still recommend re-installing it prior to using the K&W? From your replies to others I see you appear to be pretty stead fast on that? My thoughts are this… if your wanting the thermostat in during that 500 miles that is probably because your wanting the vehicle to achieve the higher temperatures that having the thermostat in place gives you? Probably that extra temperature related pressure to help drive it as deep (thru &thru) into the defect as possible? If you feel having the thermostat out during the 500 mile period may have a increased chance of a less than desirable result or compromise things I would certainly re-install the new thermostat I purchased first. Any insight here so we all can understand the repair better is much appreciated. I think you did a excellent job to begin with by the way. The ONLY reason I asked this is because my thermostat was already out when I came across your website or I would not have asked. Hmmm, also wonder if anyone has done any research in adding some kind of etching liquid like vinegar or ??? to the cooling system? Doing something like this and flushing it prior to application may prove to help the stick, hold and setup value of this repair? Perhaps research into this by someone out there has some merit for a really rugged long haul repair. If this were to ever be done I know of a good non-foaming toilet bowl cleaner I would use. Just figure out at what point it begins to etch and not go much past that mixture ratio of cleaner / water. I have had good luck in etching things like alloy wheels and such after cleaning them / sanding them prior to their painting. Makes the paint stick really good and for the long haul where it normally would not want to stick aggressively. Food for thought and the best repairs possible. Thanks once again for trying to help others with your postings, it is highly appreciated!!! Greg P.