Ever wondered what signs your Subaru might be giving off to signal a blown head gasket? There are so many ways you can spot a head gasket that has been damaged in your car’s engine. Although these signs might be similar to those you experience when your car has other problems, knowing what these signs are can still be useful because you will be able to tell when something goes wrong with your vehicle. Let’s look at some common signals of a blown head gasket in a Subaru.

How You Can Catch Blown Head Gasket Problem

Temperature Gauge

Your Subaru has a temperature gauge that tells you the mood of your car, whether it’s feeling warm, cold, or extremely hot. When this little needle starts to dance into the red zone or flutters like a leaf in the wind, it’s not trying to entertain you; it’s a sign that your car needs help.

The head gasket is supposed to be the peacekeeper between the engine block and cylinder head by keeping engine coolant and oil from turning into uninvited guests in each other’s spaces. But when it becomes damaged, your engine’s internal climate goes haywire, leading to overheating. It’s like your engine is running a fever because its cooling system can’t keep up. So, when your dashboard lights up with a thermal SOS, don’t just sit there—act fast to cool things down before your engine breaks down.

Milky Oil

Another way to catch a blown head gasket is by popping the hood and taking on the role of the lead detective with your dipstick or oil cap. What you’re looking for here is an oil that knows its day job and decides to stick to it —being slick and amber. If you notice anything different from the normal engine oil color or observe the oil turning milky or frothy, then the head gasket may have given way.

This plot twist happens when coolant, which usually minds its own business cooling the engine, decides to mingle with the oil thanks to a leak in the head gasket. This unwanted mixer party in your engine spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E, as it messes with the oil’s main job of keeping everything running smoothly. Instead, it leads to friction, overheating, and engine damage.

Strange Noises

When your car starts hissing like a snake or making strange gurgling noises like a water fountain, it means something has gone wrong somewhere. The head gasket in your Subaru keeps engine coolant and combustion gasses from going into places they shouldn’t. When it slacks in this duty, chaos ensues: coolant gatecrashes the engine, causing it to overheat, and you hear those telltale sounds—hissing (that’s the sound of steam escaping under pressure), bubbling (your coolant’s boiling over), and gurgling (coolant and air are throwing a rave in your cooling system).

Exhaust Smoke

Glancing at your Subaru’s exhaust only to see a smoke show worthy of a rock concert’s grand finale? That’s not your car trying to communicate with the spirits or electing a new automotive pope. Thick white smoke billowing out is a distress flare, indicating your car’s internal issues. This smoky signal usually means your coolant has decided to throw a pool party in the combustion chamber—uninvited.

Coolant Leaks

Playing detective with your Subaru can often lead you to the ground beneath it. Coolant leaks are like breadcrumbs leading you back to the heart of the problem: a potentially blown head gasket. Keep an eye out for puddles of coolant under your car after it’s been parked. Catching these signs early can save you from the headache and heartache of costly repairs.

Come To Bruce Cox Imports For Your Subaru Repairs

Over here at Bruce Cox Imports in the heart of Bellingham, WA, we’ve been tuning, tinkering, and nursing Subarus back to health for more than 20 years. Subaru Head Gasket Check It’s not just a job for us; it’s a passion. Our team of mechanics isn’t just skilled—they’re well-trained and specialize in all things Subaru. We also have an equipped garage with all the tools to handle whatever your car throws our way.

But our Subaru expertise isn’t just for the Bellingham locals. We spread it to our neighbors in Ferndale, Lynden, and beyond. Think of us as your go-to pit stop, where every mechanic knows your car’s name (and probably your pet’s name, too). If you have a feeling that something’s up with your head gasket or it is due for a check-up to keep your ride running smoother than a fresh jar of peanut butter, don’t wait for the check engine light to throw a party on your dashboard. Give us a call to book an appointment and let’s keep your Subaru adventure-ready.

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