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Symptoms of a Bad Head Gasket in Your Volkswagen from Certified Mechanics in Kalamazoo

Author: Master Mechanics
by Master Mechanics
Posted: Dec 20, 2021

There are a few automotive brands around the world that are known for the reliability and quality of cars they produce starting from the entry-level models to top-end vehicles. One such automotive manufacturer is Volkswagen that is known for producing some iconic cars for the last few decades.

The popularity of Volkswagen can be gauged from the number of units that it sells around the globe every year. However, during the past few years, Volkswagen has been hit by a few controversies starting from emission reduction scandal to recalling of cars for fixing faulty parts.

However, despite these setbacks, Volkswagen continues to dominate the market and remain a favorite among millennials. One lesser-known problem in Volkswagen is the faulty head gasket. The head gasket is one of the most important parts that help in the smooth functioning of the engine.

The head gasket is located between the cylinder head and the engine block and helps in preventing the leakage of engine fluid into the cylinders. Moreover, the head gasket blocks off any conduits to the oil and water. Here in this article, we will discuss the symptoms of head gasket failure in VW.

Overheating engine

The condition of the head gasket directly affects the functioning of the engine in your car. Most of the time head gasket failure in VW is caused due to the overheating engine that might be caused due to a clogged radiator, coolant leak, or a faulty fan.

However, don’t be surprised when it is stated that the other way is also possible. That is a bad head gasket can cause your engine to overheat abnormally. Due to the faulty head gasket, the hot exhaust gases get inside the cooling system, or the coolant might leak & get burned off as steam which ultimately leads to overheating engine.

It is important not to drive your car with an overheated engine as this can cause additional damage like warping of the cylinder head, or the steam can also damage the catalytic converter.

Contaminated oil

A prominent sign of head gasket failure in your VW is when you observe contaminated engine oil in your car. If you come across a milky sludge buildup on the underside of the oil filler cap, then you can be sure that you have a blown head gasket in your Volkswagen.

The milky sludge is caused when the coolant gets in contact with the engine oil of your car. This is not at all a desirable situation as the mixing of the coolant with the engine oil will damage the bearings of the engine in your vehicle.

You need to take your VW to a certified repair shop for an engine oil flush along with this you also need to replace the oil filter and have the mechanic inspect the engine bearings to rule out any damages to them.

White smoke emission

The head gasket is responsible for ensuring the proper flow of coolant throughout the engine that runs next to the combustion chambers. If there is any problem with the head gasket and unfortunately the coolant leaks and gets inside the combustion chamber, then it gets burned up along with gasoline.

The burning of the coolant results in the emission of sweet white-colored smoke from the exhaust. Nevertheless, if you observe blue-colored smoke coming from the exhaust, then there is a leak from the oil passage into the cylinder.

Rough engine idle

As the head gasket is directly related to the engine any problem with the functioning of the head gasket is going to adversely affect the engine. The engine is responsible for maintaining the high-pressure level inside each cylinder for maximum power and optimum efficiency.

When the head gasket malfunctions, then the engine won’t be able to maintain the adequate pressure level and you are going to experience rough idle. In addition to experiencing rough idle in your car, you will notice that the performance of your Volkswagen also takes a hit.


The above-discussed factors are some of the leading signs that you are going to observe whenever the head gasket in your Volkswagen fails. The head gasket failure is not so common in Volkswagen and the best way to prevent the problem is by sticking to your manufacturer-recommended service schedule.

About the Author

If you are searching for a best car repair shop, then we at Master Mechanics Auto Repair located in Kilgore Rd Kalamazoo, Michigan provide full-service auto repair for European, Asian and domestic makes & models. All our technicians are ASE certified

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Author: Master Mechanics

Master Mechanics

Member since: Apr 12, 2020
Published articles: 9

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