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My car just ruined its head gasket, is it worth trying to repair?

By Slayer_ ·
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So I come to a stop on the highway after setting off this morning, and smoke starts coming out of my hood on the left hand side. I stick in in neutral and rev the engine, more smoke comes out. CRAP.... So I drive it to work anyways, about a 15 KM trip.
Pop the hood, and check and sure enough, the rad overflow is bone dry, I unscrew the rad, and its about half full (Hard to tell with a flashlight). Everything was full when I left (I check every day)

So chances are, the head gasket is gone.

The car is a 96 Chev Lumina car with the 3.1 engine, 180,000km on the engine. Its worth (when working) about 100 dollars for the charity receipt I'd get for donating it to a scrap yard. But its worth about 4k to the insurance company (I tried my hardest but no one would rear-end me on the way here).
A car of equal crap would cost about 4-5k dollars, and could have the exact same problem. A good car would be closer to 7-10k.

So, should I try and get this thing repaired? Or scrap it, take the financial hit and get another car?

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Scrap it.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to My car just ruined its he ...

You don't say how many miles are on it. You don't know what else cracked, warped, or blew when the gasket went. It's even possible the blown gasket was the result of something else going wrong. If you fix it, you'll spend the rest of the time you own it wondering what's going to go next.

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Ooops, 180k KM on the engine

by Slayer_ In reply to Scrap it.

So not much.
I suspect the gasket has been ruined for awhile, it has had a very slow leak, about a half a litre of anti freeze every 600km. But the oil looks perfect still (last I checked a week ago) so its not dumping enough in to wash the pistons. Well now it probably is.
But I could probably by a second car the same, and swap engines if needed, not sure what the labour costs would be then.

What is the costs of a head gasket change? (assuming that was all that went wrong with it)

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As Palmetto said...

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to My car just ruined its he ...

You could have other issues...such as a warped/cracked head....it's 15 years old....time for things to start going wrong....I think I'd be looking to update it.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to As Palmetto said...

It just hurts to spend money.... I don't have much to spend to begin with...

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That didn't hurt me as much

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Reponse To Answer

as parting with the faithful '94 Sentra (263,000 miles) back in December, especially its 33+ mpg (14 kpl).

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Worse yet, it has a full tank of gas!!!

by Slayer_ In reply to My car just ruined its he ...
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Reponse To Answer

by PurpleSkys In reply to Worse yet, it has a full ...

cyphon it out? store it in a couple gas cans maybe?

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Its got one of those anti ssyphon things

by Slayer_ In reply to Reponse To Answer

Basically, it has a wire screen in the hose half way down... Is it possible to drain a fuel tank?

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Pump it Out

by TheChas In reply to Its got one of those anti ...

All you need to do is disconnect the fuel line near the engine, attach a hose, and with the help of an assistant run the fuel pump and fill gas cans until the tank is empty.

Keep in mind that the in-tank pump runs at a pretty good flow rate and pressure.

Unless you need to bypass a safety switch, all the assistant needs to do is turn the key to the On position but not start.

Chas

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This is what i was thinking as well

by Slayer_ In reply to Pump it Out
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