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Head Gasket or Combustion Leak Test Procedure (Gasoline Engines Only)

 

Block test kit, to check for leaking head gaskets or combustion gases in the radiato cooling systemOne method is to use a block tester, also known as a combustion leak tester, to determine if you have exhaust gases in your cooling system. A combustion test kit can be found at your local NAPA, auto parts store. The part number is 700-1006. The price for this part is less than $50.00. Exhaust gases in your cooling system can suggest a head gasket leak, a cracked block, or a warped head, etc. A leaking head gasket can create excessive heat and pressures exceeding the ability of the radiatorís cooling capacity, and should be repaired immediately to avoid additional costly repairs. Head gasket leaks are generally secondary to another problem, such as a clogged or leaking radiator. Make sure you identify and repair or replace the original problem or the vehicle may overheat and cause the head gasket to fail again.

To do the test, add the blue detector fluid to the (block-tester) plastic container according to the directions, and place it onto the radiator filler neck. The squeeze bulb is placed on top of the reservoir and squeezed repeatedly (Some block testers, have a tube that connects to a vacuum line instead of a squeeze bulb). Squeezing the bulb will draw air from the radiator through the test fluid. Block tester fluid is normally blue. Exhaust gases in the cooling system will change the color of the fluid to yellow, indicating a combustion leak. If the fluid remains blue, exhaust gases were not present during the test. The vehicle should be started and at operating temperature before performing the test. Vehicles with head gasket leaks may overheat, and purge hot water and steam out of the radiator. Perform this test, at your own risk, and do not do the test, unless you are experienced and are wearing clothing and equipment to protect you from burns, or injury. For an overheating specialist in your area that is familiar with this procedure go to http://www.narsa.com.

Sometimes, engines with a head gasket leak show steam, water or white smoke exiting the exhaust pipe. Other symptoms include coolant in the oil, or oil in the radiator coolant.

Use our ONLINE CATALOG to purchase, inquire about pricing, availability, and shipping information for automotive, and truck radiators.

 

Other Cooling System Articles:
Radiator Diagnosis, Repair and Replacement Tips
Cavitation, SCA's, and the Proper Maintenance of Diesel Engine Cooling Systems
Common Radiator Failures
Coolant and Radiator Service 
Cooling the Big Rigs 
Coping with Summer Heat-Cooling System Checks
Does Your Radiator Pass Inspection
Flushing Your Radiator And Cooling System
Head Gasket or Combustion Leak Test Procedure (Gasoline Engines Only)
Heavy-Duty Workhorses, Cooling the HD Heatwave
Overheating Causes and Cures 
Preventative Cooling System Maintenance Program
Preventing Cylinder Head Gasket, and Cooling System Failures
Preventing Overheating
Why is my Car Overheating

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