There are 4 specific ways to test for a blown head gasket. So, if you suspect that your Chevy S10 (or GMC S15) has a blown head gasket... this tutorial will show you how to test for a blown head gasket (just like they do at the auto repair shop).
Two of these tests involve no tools what-so-ever , the third involves a compression tester (and thus a compression test), and the fourth a handy tool called a combustion leak tester (commonly known as a block tester).
Here are the main points of this article:
- Symptoms of BAD Engine Compression.
- TEST 1: Engine Oil Mixed With Coolant.
- TEST 2: Coolant Shooting Out of Radiator.
- TEST 3: Engine Compression Test.
- TEST 4: Using a Chemical Block Tester (Combustion Leak Tester).
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More GM 2.8L Tutorials
Puedes encontrar este tutorial en Español aquí: Cómo Probar un Empaque de Cabeza Quemado (2.8L V6 S10/S15) (en: autotecnico-online.com).
Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket
A blown head gasket is usually the result of severe engine over-heating.
There are several symptoms and if the head gasket is blown on your 2.8L V6 S10/S15, you'll definitely see at least one or two of them:
- Oil Mixed with coolant.
- White smoke coming out of the tail-pipe.
- Engine cranks, but does not start.
- No compression on two side by side cylinders.
TEST 1: Engine Oil Mixed With Coolant
The most common end result of a blown head gasket is coolant mixing with the engine oil.
So, the very first thing we'll check, to diagnose a blown head gasket, is the color of the motor oil on the engine dipstick.
These are the steps:
Open the hood of your Chevrolet S10 or GMC S15.
Pull out the engine oil dipstick.
Check the color of the oil sticking to the dipstick.
You'll see one of two things: The color of the oil will be a milky white color or the color of the oil will be its normal color.
Let's take a look at your test results:
CASE 1: The engine oil was a milky white color. This tells you that the coolant is mixing with the Oil and that you do have a blown head gasket on your hands.
CASE 2: The engine oil was its normal color. This doesn't confirm anything just yet. You'll need to go to the next test to make sure. Go to TEST 2: Coolant Shooting Out of Radiator.