BMWs require proper a care and routine maintenance to help prevent any issues from arising as the vehicle ages. Even if you are able to keep up with the required maintenance schedule, an important part to always keep in mind is the head gasket because it plays a key part in keeping your BMW running as intended. The head gasket is an expensive part to replace if it were to be damaged because it can be tricky to get to. Below is information about the head gasket and how to ensure that it remains properly maintained.
The head gasket is a piece of rubber that is in between the engine block and the cylinder head. The engine block is where the pistons, cylinder bores, rods, and crankshaft are located. The pistons are housed in the cylinder bores and are connected to the rods. In turn, the rods are connected to the crankshaft, which move the pistons up and down give the BMW power to run.
The cylinder head is connected to the engine. Inside the cylinder head are the valves where air and fuel flow through. This is also where the head gasket is. Although the head gasket seems like a simple part, in order to reach it there are many parts that need to be moved around.
Having a head gasket that has failed is very bad news for you and your BMW. It is important to try to catch this issue before the head gasket completely fails. This is easier said than done, so below are a few signs that will alert you to the fact that the head gasket has failed.
1. Oil Contamination
Without the head gasket functioning properly, the coolant can mix with the oil. This will create a milky sludge that will form around the oil filter cap or the dipstick. This is the most common indication that there is an issue with the head gasket, but it is also good to be aware that this the sludge may not always point to an issue with the head gasket. Either way, if you notice this in your BMW, then you need to take it in to have the engine taken apart so the source of the contamination can be found and properly addressed.
The head gasket prevents the mixing of the hot gases and coolant liquid from mixing. So if the head gasket has failed, the engine is going to overheat due to the hot exhaust gases leaking into the coolant system. The opposite can also happen, where the coolant leaks into the cylinders, producing steam. Either one of these instances will cause your BMW to overheat.
3. White or Blue Smoke
When the coolant leaks past the gasket and into the cylinders and becomes a part of the combustion process, you will notice that there is white smoking billowing out of the exhaust. Blue smoke coming from the exhaust is less common, but it does occur if oil is leaking into the cylinders.
In order to try to prevent the head gasket from failing, one thing that you can do is keep your BMW up to date when it comes to doing maintenance of the cooling system. Overheating is not just a sign that the head gasket has failed, but it is also a reason why the head gasket can fail in the first place. Taking preventative measures by maintaining the cooling system will help to keep the engine cool so the head gasket will not melt or corrode.
Taking your BMW to Ultimate Bimmer Service to have one of our trained technicians take a look at your cooling system is the way to go when trying to keep the head gasket from failing. Conveniently accessible from the Carrolton and Dallas, TX areas, you are able to have your BMW inspected and diagnosed for any issues that may be present regarding the cooling system or the gasket head itself. The parts of the cooling system are always going to be easier and more affordable to replace and maintain, so this will be the first step that our technicians will take to ensure you can be safely back on the road.