There is no doubt that the 6.0 Powerstroke is a popular and quite decent engine to have in your vehicle. But it has its issues, and there is no going round about it. One of the most common issues you may have with this engine is with the head gasket failure.
Here, I will take you through all the 6.0 Powerstroke blown head gasket symptoms. Knowing about these signs will surely help you avert severe damage to your engine. Without wasting much time, let’s get started.
6.0 Powerstroke blown head gasket symptoms
Before I go ahead with the symptoms, I have to say; these aren’t the only signs. Also, these can be signs of other problems with your engine as well. But most of the time, you will see these signs because of a blown-out head gasket.
Blue exhaust smokes
When you see blue smoke coming out of your car exhaust, there is a high chance that your head gasket is having problems. This happens because oil leaks into cylinders and burns there. Also, there are some kinds of white paste on the oil that you should be able to see once you inspect a little closer.
This is a clear sign of a blown head gasket, and you should opt for repair as soon as you see these signs.
White exhaust smokes
Another color of smoke that should be an alarming sign of a blown head gasket is white smoke. When you see white smoke exerting from the exhaust, this means there is a problem with the coolant leaking. A breach in the head gasket can cause this issue, so it’s a clear sign of that problem.
If you don’t take care of this matter quickly, you may face a bigger breach or hole in the gasket. This will lead to much greater problems for your engine, and you should prevent that from happening. So, whenever you notice white smoke coming out of the exhaust, get it fixed quickly.
Engine overheats often
When the head gasket blows out, you will probably face a coolant leak. This happens in the cylinder. The leaking coolant will run out sooner than you think, which leads your engine to overheat. You may already know the consequences of having an overheating engine. It not only performs worse, but it can also be pretty risky as well.
There are lots of reasons for your engine to overheat aside from this one. So, it’s quite difficult to say right away whether you should fix your head gasket or not. The best thing to do here is diagnosed your car engine and see through the problem.
Related: How Hot Does a Car Engine Get
Lack of performance
After owning your car for a long time, you already know how it should perform. So, whenever you face issues with the performance, you can easily tell the difference. Now, because of a blown head gasket, your engine will go through a huge decline in performance.
Issues like losing power, running roughly and losing efficiency is a clear sign of poor performance. There are many reasons for this to happen due to a blown head gasket as they will result in coolant leaking, which leads to dysfunctional behavior in your engine.
It’s not the only reason your engine performs poorly, but it surely is one of them. So, when you notice a change in the performance, you should immediately look to repair the engine.
These are the most common symptoms of a blown head gasket. But it is a bit vague in some cases to determine that your head gasket is the problem. That’s why you should diagnose the engine to find the actual issue. Let’s check out how you can do it.
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Diagnose blown head gaskets on 6.0 Powerstroke?
On the 6.0 Powerstroke engine, you can run several tests to see if the head gasket is the problem or not. Running these tests will give you clear results of a blown head gasket which you can later on fix quite easily.
Here are the tests you can run-
The power balance test You can run this test whenever
Whenever you see poor performance from your engine or you have doubts about coolant his test, this will tell you if there are any leaking parts in your engine. However, you don’t get this option in every scan tool out there. Only the high-end ones and the manufacturer IDS ones have this test option.
Coolant system test
Here, you test the pressure gauge of the coolant system. When you run the specific test on the coolant system, you can find out if it’s leaking or not. You have to compare the normal pressure to the result you find from the test.
EGR cooler bubble test
This is another effective test you can run to find out if the head gasket is blown or not. Now, this is a pretty simple test to do, and you can do it yourself too. So, this is a great way to determine the problems with the head gasket at home.
Running these tests should get the job done in finding out the problem for sure. Some of them you can do yourself, and for some, you will have to go to the mechanic anyways.
Why you should avoid driving with a blown head gasket
Can you drive with a blown head gasket? The answer is yes, you can. But should you drive with a blown head gasket? No, not at all. Here’s why-
When a head gasket is blown, the coolant most likely starts leaking. This means sooner or later, your engine will start overheating if you keep driving your car. Now, when you do that, it leads to further damage to your car engine, leading to replacing the whole engine overall. Or you end up having to repair parts that can be very much expensive.
Altogether, a blown head gasket has an impact on lots of different parts of your car engine. So, if you choose to keep it that way, you will be risking all those parts as well. This is why you should avoid driving with a blown head gasket.
To sum up, now that you know all the 6.0 Powerstroke blown head gasket symptoms, you should be able to avoid further damage to the engine. Whenever you see any of those symptoms, quickly diagnose your engine and get the problem fixed. Remember, if you don’t fix the issue, it will lead to something bigger, which will cause many problems and cost you a lot of money.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.