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Head Gasket Leak??

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Old 21 May 2005, 11:59 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Long Island, New York, USA.
Posts: 21
Default Head Gasket Leak??

Hey all,
My parents recently bought a new 04 Limited Edition Cool Vanilla Cruiser in late February of this year. I performed the first oil change at 3,000 miles and noticed there was oil all on the underside of the car. My mother brought it to the dealer, they said they found nothing..later my dad had brought it back and they ended up putting dye in the oil and told my parents to drive the car for 300-500 miles and they would then put it under a fluoresent light. Low and behold, they now say that it is the head gasket and also possibly the cam shaft bolt that are leaking oil. The car has 3,700 miles on it and is brand new. Now the dealer said they would replace the head gasket on the engine, but I feel the car is brand new and this is something that should not have failed especially this early. I think the dealership should either replace the engine, or work something out to replace the car. This is my mother's car and she doesnt put all that mileage on, the car is just as it was the day they brought it home. What do you all think they should do. I really think they got a lemon or something as I have 31,000 miles on my 02 LE and have had no problems thus far. Is this something they should take to Chrysler? Sorry for the long post and thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 22 May 2005, 09:06 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
Posts: 20,501

As long as a LOT of oil wasn't being pumped out, I don't get your issue. If dealer fixes it, what the problem? Granted, shouldn't have failed, but the dealer seems on top of it. Sounds like original head gasket was defective - it happens.
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Old 22 May 2005, 10:02 am
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,755

..with QSD. It's a bummer that the gasket failed so quickly, but they seem to be fixing the problem for you. I had the same thing happen to a Pontiac many years ago but the dealer fixed it and it ran with no problems for almost 100,000 miles after that.
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Old 22 May 2005, 10:57 am
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: May 2003
Location: South Bend, IN.
Posts: 473

quote:Originally posted by cruisrman

I feel the car is brand new and this is something that should not have failed especially this early..
Think about it this way.....

The PT has over 40,000 parts assembled into a car in about 4 hours.
They were ALL manufactured by the lowest bidder.
They were assembled by machines made by the lowest bidder.
It's a wonder anything works!!!

You're lucky that only 1 item out of 40,000 is faulty.

By comparison.....
If a hospital birthed 40,000 new babies, and only 1 had a defect....... they would consider it a miracle from the hand of God.

Humans have a much lower quality control rating than an auto maker.
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Old 22 May 2005, 10:59 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Long Island, New York, USA.
Posts: 21

Well I guess I just am dissapointed that it has failed already. There is a good deal of oil being poured out enough that it leaves puddles undereath. This is just something I hope wont be a recurring problem in the future and thats why I was thinking we should try to take further action. Thanks for your opinions on this.

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Old 22 May 2005, 07:05 pm
Hooligan's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,023

As long as the dealer fixes it and it becomes a permanent part of warrenty repair record I wouldn't worry about it.

IF something simualr happens, there is a record of the repair and then you will have leverage. Possibly a warped head iscausing it, but that shoulc be checked when the head is remove,
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Old 23 May 2005, 09:11 am
GW GW is offline
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Grand Ledge, Michigan, USA.
Posts: 83

quote:Originally posted by doogie0949

I work on these things everyday and most of the time the oil leak is usually a front crankshaft seal- can't remember ever replacing a head gasket for an oil leak on any PT cruiser (they now use a MLS gasket on the head and it is very good at sealing). I'm not saying it's not a head gasket, but highly unlikely. I have also seen sloppy people spill oil down the valve cover during an oil change and not cleaning it all off. It then runs down the sides of the block and picks up the dirt on the way, making it look dirty. Hope this helps
Two things to consider here:
1. MX-5's point about all of the parts having to be assembled correctly. A couple of years ago a fellow brought his brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 back in to our local dealer for an engine problem. Leaky head gasket was the diagnosis. When the tech disassembled the top end of the engine he discovered that it had been built at the factory without any head gaskets at all!
2. Cruisrman states that he discovered the oil leak while doing the initial oil change at 3,000 miles. Not likely (but not impossible) that the oil was spilled ON the engine prior to his discovering it.
Also, the dye test should have shown an oil leak at the front crank seal if indead it was leaking there.
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Old 23 May 2005, 10:50 am
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: El Cajon, CA, USA.
Posts: 485

I recently talked to a tech friend of mine at a shop. He liked my car, but mentioned that the engine in the Stratus had some issues with oil leaks from the head gasket (near the master cylinder). He hadn't seen it on PTs, but told me to keep an eye on it. It sounds like this is affecting you. Provided that the tech that does the warranty work is competent, you should be fine. As others have said, the dealer is performing the proper service for the problem.

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