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Is It Safe to Drive with a Leaking Head Gasket?

We get tech line calls all the time about head gaskets, and this is one of the most common questions we get. So let’s tackle it here head-on.

A leaking head gasket can quickly become a major problem for your vehicle – the earlier you catch it, the better. At the first sign of a blown head gasket, it’s important to get it repaired. While driving a short time with the start of a head gasket leak won’t damage your engine, you never know when your head gasket will fully fail and dump coolant into your combustion chambers or onto the ground. Once you get a head gasket leak, it’s a matter of time. The longer you drive with it damaged, the more you risk the damage being severe. Once you get to that point, you are unfortunately looking at a “hard repair” (physical hard-part fix by a qualified mechanic), which can run anywhere from $1500-$2500.

If you are driving at high speed when your head gasket decides to blow, it can cause your engine to overheat or seize. That is why it is important to recognize the signs of a leaking head gasket and make repairs as soon as you can.

What to Watch For

Some common signs of a leaking head gasket include:

  • Coolant puddles under your vehicle
  • Low coolant level in your reservoir
  • A strong, acrid smell when your engine is hot – some describe this as a “sweet” smell coming in through the car vents
  • White smoke coming from your exhaust

While a coolant leak onto the ground could be from a leaking radiator or hose, in some cases, a broken head gasket will allow coolant to escape from your engine. Once you’ve determined that your head gasket is leaking, it’s time to take action.

Act Fast

If you wait too long to repair a broken head gasket, you will need a head gasket replacement, which usually costs over a thousand dollars on a modern vehicle. A mechanic must remove the head of your engine and replace the blown gasket. This is NO FUN.

If you catch the early stages of a head gasket leak, you can use one of our mechanic-proven Bar’s Leaks head gasket repair products. We have spent over 70 years perfecting our products, and in most cases, a single application is enough to stop your head gasket leak for good. We are the innovators of the entire chemical head gasket repair category, so we know a thing or two.

Start by checking out everything we offer for leaking head gaskets. From there, use our store locator to find a retailer that carries our products near you.

Still tentative? No worries, we are here to help. Our team is available by phone or online message to answer your questions and help you choose the right product to fix your head gasket leak before it takes your vehicle off the road. If you prefer to hit us up on Facebook, no problem. Connect with us right here.

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