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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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Well

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

I've driven that model and my Mazda MPV had that engine (but not that transmission), the 24V Duratec.

So its no secret that Taurus transmissions weren't the best, but the reliability went up in the later model years.

The engine has enough power to move that around fine, big improvement over the Lumina there. I did have some issues with the wires, with point on plugs they weren't cheap to replace, either. Other than that it was pretty solid.

Of course you want to take a good close look. See if they will let you have a mechanic check it out for you - it may cost a $100 but could save you big bucks.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Well

So is that a recommend or not recommended?

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It's a good price

by NickNielsen In reply to Reponse To Answer

2006 was the last model year for the original Taurus, and the SEL with the 24V was the luxury performance package. The user ratings I can find for that year and model are almost all four-star or higher. You may sacrifice some in fuel economy if you have a heavy foot.

You could do much worse.

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Coming from a Lumina....

by Slayer_ In reply to It's a good price

Whats worse than a Lumina... A Toyota yaris maybe?

Anyways, it for some reason stopped leaking for the ride home, and it refused to start leaking again right till the very end.
After we finished voting, I got back in the car (This time, with my father, who is a mechanic) and raced it around Selkirk once, a couple quick jumps to 140kph and back down, a couple high rev shifts, nothing, was running fine.
Got back to the house, I backed itt into place, and my father says to me, I am a bit too far over to the right and am on the grass, so I pull forward to re-adjust, and as I hit the brakes to shift back to reverse, a puff of steam flowed out from under the hood and it started leaking again. Like a child holding its pee. it just couldn't hold on any longer.

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So, it's a disappearing, reappearing leak?

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Coming from a Lumina....

I don't know squat about mechanics but in another device I'd look at the o-rings or washers or whatever... anything that makes seals tight. If a wall is ruptured it usually stays ruptured, but seal can be on-and-off tight if the washer is decaying.
Of course it could be a pressure fluctuation thing too, but whatever could be causing that?

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Reponse To Answer

by JamesRL In reply to Well

I'd say recommended Sinister....

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So I put a deposit on the Taurus.

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

We got to see it before they cleaned it up, and it was fairly clean already. Non smoker, almost no rust at all (tiny bit on the bottom of the door). The owner lives in Thompson, so it is primarily highway driven.
Engine sound and ran perfect, transmission seemed perfect and smooth, no delays between gears.
Has full service records (haven't look at it yet) and has all the original documents, manuals, etc.
I managed to talk him down to 5,500, then after they add their fees its back up to 5900, and after taxes it was about 6,600.

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Anyone want to buy that Lumina off me?

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

Comes with both summer and winter tires and rims for both. Minimal rust, drives true, engine still has plenty of horse power, its a 17 second car. http://trevorsarchives.selfip.net/funpics/dragphotos/HPIM0180.jpg (bullet holes since been removed)

1000 bucks anyone?

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No thanks

by JamesRL In reply to Anyone want to buy that L ...

When my MPV went in, I got scrap value $200. It was still running, but I knew that the tranny woudln't last a month.

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Ditto the Sentra's transmission,

by CharlieSpencer In reply to No thanks

Although I donated it and got $450 tax credit. It didn't do me any good; I still didn't have enough deductions to make it worth itemizing and not take the standard deductible. Still, donating it lets me convince myself that someone bought it at auction for spare parts, and that the faithful steed didn't go to the dog food and glue factories.

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