One of the most common signs is a milky-gray ring around your oil cap. When coolant enters the engine oil through a crack in the head or through a blown gasket, it evaporates and leaves a milky ring around the oil cap.
Another easy way to tell is to check your oil dipstick. Change your oil and pull out the dipstick. Make sure that you take note of how far up the dipstick the oil is. Top off your cooling system and fill your cooling reservoir to the top. Screw radiator cap back on and start engine. Run engine for about 20-30 mins. Or until it reaches normal operating temperature. Allow engine to cool (engine must cool completely to get accurate oil reading). Check oil dipstick again. If the oil has a watery appearance and has risen noticeably up the dipstick, the you probably have a blown head gasket or a warped head.
A third hint is to look for a dripping, sweet-smelling liquid coming out of your tailpipe. Any of the above symptoms could be the result of a blown head gasket.
The easiest way to tell is with a compression meter. This replaces the spark plug and lets you know what compression each cylinder is running at. If your compression is abnormally low, then you have a blown head gasket or a warped head.
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 AT 8:14 PM