The head gasket, deep inside the engine, is responsible for keeping the oil in the engine. Additionally, it keeps the coolant and air from getting into the oil. If coolant mixes with the oil, it is likely due to a leaky head gasket. If you don’t catch the coolant in the oil first, there are other ways you can tell that the head gasket is leaking.
Another sign that the head gasket has blown or is leaking is that the coolant levels are low. As long as the head gasket is undamaged, there should be no leakage of coolant. The levels should remain relatively constant between regular fluid changes.
Hydrolocking is the problem of the engine not turning over. It happens when the coolant gets into the engine’s cylinder. You will have to get the car towed to a Utah auto repair center to have it repaired. It will likely be a major repair, as a damaged head gasket means an engine rebuild or replacement, even if it is only a partial rebuild.
Coolant that leaks into the engine cylinders, when heated up enough, will burn, emitting white smoke. If you see white smoke, it is best to pull over and have the car towed to an auto shop.
Finally, the engine can overheat, due to the lack of coolant in the correct area. If there is no sign of leakage from the coolant container, but the levels are low, then the diagnosis is likely a blown head gasket.
Maintaining proper oil levels in your engine, especially with quality synthetic oil, is vital to protecting your head gasket from damage. Regular oil changes are equally as important, as sludge and dirt in the engine can also damage the head gasket over time.