Frequent engine overheating is one of the primary signs of a blown head gasket. Other symptoms that indicate a car's head gasket may have gone include white smoke from the exhaust pipe, leaking coolant and bubbles in the car's radiator or coolant overflow tank.
The head gasket seals coolant inside the engine. When it becomes damaged, coolant slowly starts to leak out, affecting the efficiency of the engine and possibly causing permanent damage if not repaired promptly. However, there are other issues, including a coolant leak in the engine block, that can cause many of the same problems as a blown head gasket. When a head gasket problem is suspected, it is best to take the vehicle to a professional mechanic for a complete diagnosis.