How long can you drive with a bad headgasket?



Answer
The primary response is: Stop driving the car and have the head gasket replaced. You are risking extensive engine damage and increased cost. One of the damaging leaks is internal: oil in the water, water in the oil. Even if you have an external leak, you risk running out of water or oil and causing engine failure. An external oil leak may cause an engine fire. So, unfortunately, I can not recommend you continue to drive the car. Without knowing more and just guessing at costs, you might pay $500 now or pay $3000 later for a complete engine replacement. The work can be extensive and I would recommend having it done by a mechanic qualified to do the job. When the gasket is replaced, the HEAD should be checked at a machine shop and repaired as necessary.
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