How To Test A Blown Head Gasket (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 4.0L Jeep Cherokee And Wrangler)

This tutorial will explain the 4 most common ways to test for a blown head gasket on the 1993-2001 4.0L Jeep Cherokee.

So, if you suspect that you've got a blown head gasket on your hands, this is the tutorial that'll help you confirm it.

En Español You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar El Empaque De Cabeza (1993-2001 4.0L Jeep Cherokee) (at: autotecnico-online.com).

APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:

  1. 4.0L Jeep Cherokee: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.
  2. 4.0L Jeep Wrangler: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.

Symptoms Of A Blown Head Gasket

A head gasket problem usually causes one of two types of problems:

  1. A no-start (the engine cranks but does not start).
  2. Engine starts but overheats (after it starts) for no apparent reason.

Here's a list of the basic symptoms you're going to see when the head gasket fails in your 4.0L Jeep Cherokee (Wrangler).

  1. Your Jeep vehicle is overheating for no apparent reason. All engine cooling system components (like fan motor, water pump, etc.) are working fine.
  2. White smoke is coming out of the tail-pipe and it smells like anti-freeze being cooked.
  3. Your Jeep vehicle's engine won't start.
  4. The engine oil is thick and a tan to an off-white color.

TEST 1: Engine Oil The Color Of ‘Coffee With Too Much Creamer'

Engine Oil The Color Of Coffee With Too Much Creamer. How To Test A Blown Head Gasket (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 4.0L Jeep Cherokee And Wrangler)

The first test that we're gonna' do is to see if the engine oil is mixed with coolant.

This simply involves checking the color of the oil sticking to the engine oil dipstick.

Let's get started:

  1. 1

    Open the hood.

  2. 2

    Pull out the engine oil dipstick.

  3. 3

    Check the color of the oil sticking to the engine oil dipstick.

  4. 4

    You'll see one of two results:

    1.) The engine oil looks like coffee with too much creamer.

    2.) The engine oil is its usual normal color.

Alright, let's analyze your test result:

CASE 1: The engine oil has the color of coffee with too much creamer. This is bad news and it confirms that the head gasket is blown on your Jeep Cherokee (Wrangler)

CASE 2: The color of the engine oil is normal. This is the correct and expected test result.

The next test is to see if the engine's compression pressures are escaping into the engine's cooling system (radiator). For this test go to: TEST 2: Coolant Shooting Out From Open Radiator.

Jeep Vehicles:

  • Cherokee 4.0L
    • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
  • Wrangler 4.0L
    • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001