San Jose European Auto Repair Review Ratings250 Reviews

The head gasket can be found in-between the engine block and cylinder head. Located within the engine, it is used to cover the cylinder to inhibit oil or engine leaks. Built to handle high and low-pressure levels, the head gasket can also endure heavy exposure to different temperatures. By sealing away the combustible gases, the head gasket inhibits unnecessary and damaging coolants from entering the engine.

When the head gasket malfunctions in any vehicle, the risk of engine damage increases. This may create engine and oil leaks that can impact the efficiency of a car. The Mini Cooper is a compact vehicle that is known for its superior handling and reliability. However, as a European vehicle, it still requires specialized attention in order to perform at a high standard.


Many times, the symptoms of car trouble overlap one another, making it quite difficult to narrow down the source of the problem. When it comes to a blown gasket, the most common signs are:

  • Coolant and radiator leakage
  • Funny smelling exhaust and radiator odors
  • Green-colored spark plugs
  • Overheating engine

You may also notice cloudy smoke trailing behind your car. A mechanical specialist can determine the specific gasket location based upon the color of the emission. In addition, driving may become staggered with strange noises coming from the engine. When it comes to the health of your Mini Cooper, it is important to get any seemingly minor problem diagnosed in order to avoid costly repairs and excessive damage.


One of the first signs of a malfunction with the head gasket is a white, cloud-like gas emitting from the back of the vehicle. It has quite a pungent smell that may be apparent after driving. If you ever encounter black smoke, likely the engine is misfiring. This requires immediate attention so as to avoid further damage.

Many moisture-related factors contribute to a blown gasket. When the coolant oil has small bubbles in the gasket, you are likely experiencing a gasket failure. You may also find that the oil in your car takes on a “chocolate milk”-like texture and color due to water leaking and mixing with the oil. To diagnose these symptoms, a service technician will check the compression and exhaust gases to ensure they are operating normally.

A healthy system of lubrication will help to prevent gasket stress. In addition, when the engine begins to overheat, this may be a minor symptom of a blown gasket. This is your vehicle’s way of telling you that there may be issues in the combustion chamber. Issues such as this can be damaging to your vehicle and the safety of those around you. Not to mention, it is emitting harmful gases into the atmosphere. This excessive heating occurs under the hood and can result in the stalling of your car.

Although adding a coolant may seem like the obvious solution, it may cause further damage if not done properly. Following overheating, if your engine consistently misfires, you may have gasket trouble that needs to be addressed. Oil leaks that occur outside of the car are another sign of engine and coolant issues. When the coolant levels drop without a physical sign, the head gasket is likely directly affected. Depleted levels are often a clear indication of a blown head gasket problem.


Though you will understandably want to get your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible, it is recommended to not drive your vehicle if you suspect this issue. Erosions and leaks within the vehicle may create cracking, which will mean a full replacement will be necessary. In addition, coolants and other combustible gases may leak out, causing the possibility of a dangerous interaction. If at all possible, have your car towed to a mechanic to avoid these issues.


Mini Cooper specialists have expert knowledge when it comes to the performance standards for your vehicle. Because of their need for specialized attention and unique parts, it is imperative that you let a mechanical professional perform a diagnosis of your car.

Our specialists at Fast Lane European of San Jose California are trained to provide quality care for your European vehicle. If you suspect a head gasket issue in your MINI, contact our office to set up an appointment today so we can get you taken care of and back on the road.