Express Car Care Tech Question:
My name is Landon. I bought a new minivan and it started smoking out of the tail pipe. My service center said my head gasket went out. What can I do to prevent this from happening again?
Express Car Care Answer:
The head gasket fits between the top of the engine and the cylinder head. Its job is to seal that connection and keep oil and coolant circulating in the right parts of the engine.
When it leaks, oil can get in the coolant and vice versa. Sometimes coolant or engine oil can get into the combustion chamber where it gets burned with the fuel, which is what makes all the smoke that Landon was talking about.
He said his van was new, so it’s likely that the head gasket failed because it was improperly installed, which is very rare. Sometimes they just burn through.
Engine overheating is a leading cause for blown head gaskets. Following the schedule for cooling system service is a great way for drivers to avoid overheating.
Replacing a head gasket is a fairly expensive repair at most auto service shops. It’s definitely worth investing in regular cooling system maintenance at Express Car Care to avoid that pricey repair job. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service adviser if it’s time for a cooling system service.