Tips to Fix Head Gasket Failure in Your MINI
Posted on August 3, 2019 by europewpadmin
There’s no dispute that MINIs have been fan favorites for decades and generations, and with the combination of their iconic design and modern innovations it’s not hard to see why. Compact, yet spacious, and designed for the practicalities of modern life, MINIs are hard-working little vehicles. With the right care, they are unlikely to let you down.
Alternatively, with shoddy maintenance standards, parts can begin to fail, and issues can start to occur. In this article, we will take a closer look at head gasket failure in your MINI and discuss tips to diagnose and fix the problem.
What is a head gasket?
The head gasket is an integral part of your MINI’s engine and is located compressed between the engine block and the cylinder head. Cylinder heads are responsible for opening and closing valves that both allow air and fuel in to the cylinders and the engine as well as allowing the exhaust fumes to escape from the engine system. The head gaskets are integral parts of this process, as they seal the engine, allowing for internal combustion. Gaskets also prevent the coolant and engine oil from mixing together as they circulate the engine system.
Head gaskets themselves are cheap parts to buy. However, installing, repairing, or replacing faulty gaskets is not. This is because the job is very labor intensive. It requires knowledge, skill, and a delicate hand to access and replace this part, and therefore is a job that should be solely reserved for professionals.
Symptoms of Gasket Head Failure
There are a variety of symptoms that you should be aware of regarding gasket head failure. Being able to respond to these quickly will help ensure the health of your engine and that of your MINI on the whole.
A blown head gasket will cause your MINI to overheat, since a seal around the engine is no longer maintained. This will mean that hot exhaust fumes or coolant will leak into the cylinders, causing the engine to become too hot and overheat. If your MINI is overheating, it is important you seek repairs as soon as possible. A vehicle that regularly overheats can suffer serious damage such as a warped cylinder head or a damaged catalytic convertor.
2. Reduction in Power
If your MINI’s gasket head has failed, you will also likely notice a reduction in power. This is due to a loss of compression in the engine. This means your MINI is unable to give you that extra “oomph” when driving. You are also likely to notice that your engine runs rougher, particularly when idling.
3. Contaminated Oil
If you notice a milky sludge on your oil filter cap when checking your oil levels, it is likely you have a head gasket issue. As previously mentioned, the head gasket is responsible for preventing coolant and engine oil from mixing. If it has failed, you’re likely to discover your oil has become contaminated.
4. Blue Exhaust Fumes
If you notice your MINI’s exhaust fumes have a blue tinge to them, that is a clear indication that engine oil is leaking and is being burned up in the combustion process. This is usually due to damage or a leak in the head gasket, as oil is able to seep through the cylinders and into the engine.
5. External Leaks
A failed head gasket can result in external leaks from your MINI. These leaks can be from many different systems in your car, but if the head gasket is to blame, you will likely notice droplets of engine oil or coolant on the ground below your car. Coolant is usually a bright color such as green, yellow, or pink. It feels slimy and typically has a sweet smell. Engine oil is typically amber or brown and is very slick to the touch.
When it comes to seeking repairs for a faulty head gasket, it really is better to seek professional help than try to DIY a fix. The head gasket is complicated to access. Since it is integral to the healthy running of your engine, it shouldn’t be meddled with without the correct knowledge of how to repair and maintain it.
If you live in or around Glendale, CA, Entirely Exotic Motors will help. We are specialists in European Auto Repair. Our team is available six days a week for your convenience. We offer competitive prices for parts and labor and will become your trusted mechanics for all your MINI’s needs.