Never ignore signs of a possible blown head gasket problem with your 5.7 Hemi engine. The 5.7L V8 engine’s head gasket primarily functions as a seal between the cylinder head and engine block.
Problems with the head gasket are expensive and potentially cause more faults. Besides, you don’t want your Chrysler Hemi engine to break down and ruin your day.
This article discusses how to identify 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptoms, probable causes, and preventive measures.
What is the function of the 5.7 Hemi head gasket?
The 5.7 Hemi head gasket is a sealed covering between the Chrysler’s V8 engine block and the cylinder’s head. It primarily prevents the leakage of coolant and oil into the combustion chambers.
Otherwise, overheating occurs, and there is a significant loss in power or compression drop in your 5.7L Hemi engine. The head gaskets are also manufactured from high-performance materials that help withstand pressure and seal the cylinders.
They keep the engine running smoothly and prevent the possible leakage of air, exhaust gases, and fuel vapor. Now that you understand its working principle, let’s check out the signs of a blown 5.7 Hemi head gasket.
5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptoms
Check out for the following symptoms when your 5.7 Hemi head gasket gets blown. Note that “blown” does not mean the gasket exploded or broke. We use it to explain when the head gasket sealing efficiency is compromised and prone to leakages.
1. External leaks
Immediately contact your technician or mechanic when you notice leaked coolant and oil. These external leakages are 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptoms that signify the seal covering on the engine cylinders is loose.
Leaked fluids cause low coolant levels, which affects the cooling system and eventually crashes the engine. Low oil levels also wear out engine parts since there is insufficient oil for lubrication.
Other external leaks involve hot exhaust mixing with the leaking coolant and oil fluids, causing overheating, smoke, or fire. Externally leaked fluids can also enter the combustion chambers and alter internal combustion.
2. White smoke from the exhaust’s tailpipe
Experienced drivers will agree it’s normal to see white-foggy smoke sometimes exiting the exhaust pipes in winter. But it becomes a problem when the smoke doesn’t clear up after a few minutes. That is a likely 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptom.
It simply indicates the presence of fluid (coolant or oil) from the 5.7L head gasket in the combustion chamber. The coolant or antifreeze partly burns and leaves by-products that visibly cause a persisting white smoke outside.
However, the smoke might be completely bluish in some cases. That would be a blown head gasket that allowed oil into the cylinders. But it doesn’t give a sweet-scented smoke-like burning coolant.
Firstly, understand that overheating in your 5.7L Chrysler V8 does not confirm a blown head gasket issue. Overheating could occur due to many other problems, like a malfunctioning fan, a clogged radiator, or a coolant leak.
Coolant leaks into the Hemi engine cylinders cause a coolant-oil mix that reduces functionality. The coolant fluid does not effectively cool the 5.7L V8, which results in overheating. The contaminated oil will also fail to lubricate engine parts properly.
Hot exhaust gas can also penetrate the cooling system and overheat the engine. Even when none occurs, overheating caused by another faulty part can blow the Hemi head gasket.
Therefore, we advise immediate repair when you notice excess heat build-up in engine parts. Overlooking overheating signs only leads to more expensive faults like damage to the catalytic converter.
4. White milky residue inside the engine oil
By now, you already know that a blown head gasket causes coolant and oil leakages into the cylinders or combustion chamber. But there are times when it leaks into the oiling system instead. What then happens?
The result is a white milky residue inside the engine oil. The oil appears contaminated and discolors from its conventional greasy state. Hence, frequently checking your engine oil reservoir is a simple and effective practice.
Always check your dipstick and oil filler cap too. Early identification of possible 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptoms can prevent some common engine issues.
5. Bubbles in the coolant reservoir
Asides from coolant leakages into the oil reservoir, a blown head gasket can also cause oil to leak into the coolant. The effect is similar – a milky mixture that proves contamination.
The milky oil color happens in the coolant reservoir and the radiator, which is why we recommend frequent checks. However, we’ve heard cases where air bubbles appear in the radiator or cooling system.
The probable cause? – leaked exhaust gases passing through the coolant. It’s an essential 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptom that causes the coolant fluid to bubble even when it’s cold.
A secondary confirmation is performing a chemical test on the radiator or coolant reservoir for the presence of hot exhaust gases.
6. Drop in engine’s performance
Do you feel your 5.7L Chrylser’s V8 is sluggish and underperforming? Are there accompanying hiss-like sounds from the engine compartment?
If yes, that could be another 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptom. That sound you hear is probably from the head gasket.
When hot exhaust gases, coolant, and fuel leak from the combustion chamber via the head gasket, it causes a lower compression ratio. The engine struggles to maintain high pressure between the cylinders, resulting in slower acceleration, power loss, and rough idling.
Ignoring any early signs of a blown head gasket further causes engine misfires. The 5.7 Hemi stalls while driving and poses an eventual engine breakdown.
7. Dirty spark plugs
We agree that dirty spark plugs are one of the most uncertain 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptoms. But every possible indicator of an automotive fault must be promptly checked, right?
Regularly check your spark plugs for white deposits. Do you see some whitish marks? It could be caused by leaked coolant that burnt during internal combustion.
Or is it black deposits you see? Those could be from leftover engine oil that leaked into the engine cylinders and got burnt.
Either way, never overlook colored deposits or inexplicable spark plug dirt. Take your vehicle to an automotive mechanic for a quick routine engine check.
How to prevent a blown head gasket?
The best way to prevent a damaged head gasket is to act fast when you identify the slightest 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptom. Also, endeavor to follow the following practices:
Check for external leaks
Be on the constant lookout for drops in coolant level or leaking oil and antifreeze fluids. The presence of external leaks indicates a likely blown head gasket.
Regularly inspect the cooling system
Check that your 5.7L V8 cooling system is properly functioning. The coolant flow and oil flow should reach the necessary engine parts. Also, confirm that fluid stains are no leaks.
Remember to call your mechanic when you notice problems with parts like the radiator, cooling fans, thermostat, etc. A fault with the engine parts can cause overheating, which could blow the internal head gasket.
Maintain coolant and oil levels
Always ensure that oil and coolant are at the specified manufacturer’s level. Never drive without them. Don’t also ignore warning “check engine” lights.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can you drive with a blown head gasket?
No, it’s unsafe to keep driving with a blown head gasket. It causes more costly repairs when ignored. Coolant or oil leakages can also cause overheating, which could result in fire. Hence, we advise driving or towing to the nearest mechanic, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Can you fix a blown head gasket by yourself?
A completely blown head gasket replacement is not a regular do-it-yourself process. While you might check for obvious blown head gasket symptoms, leave the repair and replacement to trained experts. But avoid managing observed signs of a fault until it gets worse.
How much does it cost to replace a blown head gasket on 5.7 Hemi?
The cost of a blown head gasket replacement is usually dependent on labor costs and the complexity of the required repair. For example, a 5.7 Chrysler V8 has 2 head gaskets, and many mechanics would advise replacing both. Budget about $1000 to $4000 for a complete head gasket replacement.
What are the symptoms of a blown head gasket?
Overheating is a common symptom of a blown head gasket. Others include coolant and oil leaks, foggy white exhaust smoke, loss in engine power, discolored fluids and bubbles, and dirty spark plugs.
Early identification of any of the 5.7 Hemi blown head gasket symptoms is essential. Quickly report observed signs to a trained mechanic and avoid spending hundreds of dollars on damage to a $10 to $100 engine component.
Ignoring possible faults with your engine potentially causes more harm to the engine. Did you spot any listed signs of a faulty head gasket in your Chrysler engine? Take it for repair or replacement today!