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

By Slayer_ ·
Tags: Off Topic
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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Im about 45km from where its going to come to rest

by Slayer_ In reply to Oil looks good?

I have packed some jugs of water for the trip.

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If you can

by JamesRL In reply to Im about 45km from where ...

Make it to a Crappy Tire (Canadian Tire for our non-Canuck friends), they have the premixed coolant with water and coolant that you can pour straight in.

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I think water should be fine

by Slayer_ In reply to If you can

And more environmentally friendly
It's above 0C now, should be no threat of freezing.

The drive to work was pretty funny, some really long lights left me in a cloud of steam with people staring at me.

A cop wouldn't pull me over for that would they? If they saw me producing such a large amount of steam at a light?

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by JamesRL In reply to I think water should be f ...

From a safety perspective, they'd want to be sure it was just steam.

Twice I've driven down the highway and seen something coming from the engine bay, and in both cases, a closer inspection (driving beside them) showed the occasional flame. I called **1 in both cases, and signalled the driver to pull over.

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Called up some mechianics with the problem, its grim

by Slayer_ In reply to Oil looks good?

The best estimate I heard was $2500 for the repair, and one even said, find a river that's about to flood and park it there.
So I gotta replace it.

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How does this look?

by Slayer_ In reply to My car just ruined its he ...
Its got decent reviews, and its within my price range. Anyone got info on these?

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155,000 Km = 96,000 miles

by CharlieSpencer In reply to How does this look?

for those of us still on the English system, and about $6300 US. My parents have had pretty good luck with a couple of Tauruses (Taurusi?). I'd at least give it a test drive.

Can you get Carfax reports on that side of the border? It's an auto history report. If not, get a garage to inspect it first, and ask the owner to knock the cost of that service off the final price. (This applies to any auto purchase from an individual, and even some dealers if you don't have previous experience with them.)

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by NickNielsen In reply to 155,000 Km = 96,000 miles
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I got someone going to check it out

by Slayer_ In reply to 155,000 Km = 96,000 miles

My father is going to go check the car out for me tomorrow. I am stuck in meetings all day and can't go, so I am borrowing my fathers car.

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Yes we have Carfax

by JamesRL In reply to 155,000 Km = 96,000 miles

As well as a Canadian equivalent.

I used Carfax once on a private deal that was too cheap to be true.

Turned out it was a US vehicle that had been written off from flood damage, and brought into Canada, where they had swapped out the speedo at a wreckers yard. It drove ok, but I wasn't going to take a chance.

I would recommend both - the carfax will verify accident history, mileage, the number of owners etc. But it won't tell you if the car has been routinely maintained, has leaks, etc.

Many dealers here will offer carfax or the eqivalent free, I just bought a used van and got it included.

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