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Head gasket problem

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jun 2012, 08:18 am
CVS CVS is offline
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Default Head gasket problem

I recently had to have the timing belt replaced on my 2003 PT Cruiser (Turbo) with 93K in miles. The day after the return from the mechanic it appeared that the fan or turbo was running very fast and loud. This went on for a few weeks until the car overheated during a long highway run. Returned to mechanic who said the head gasket was blown. I didn't notice any fluid/oil coming from engine during the overheating episode. While I've had good experiences with this mechanic in the past, it seems a little coincidental that the head gasket became problematic upon the return of the car from the timing belt replacement. My questions are:

Could the head gasket problem been caused during the timing belt replacement?

If not, should it have been detected before its return to me? The mechanic ran "pressure tests".

The head gasket replacement is costing me $1,400+, is this a fair price?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

CVS
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 10:46 am
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

well seems to be a lot going on
ok so first when they do a timing belt id have to say probaly no way to know if the head gasket is about to go
Im confused as to the turbo running faster it only runs as fas as the RPM's of the car are going

The preasure test was to probaly make sure there were no bent valvues and was done after the TB was fixed so at that time the head gfasket was good

$1400 seems high to me what did the TB cost its kind of the exact same deal with the added cost of having the head milled and a gasket set new antifreez I guess $1400 isnt that bad its just not a steal of a deal

ID check yout fan to make sure its working I knwo you said on a long highway run so maybe its not fan related but how about a clogged radiator???

do you use synthic oil??? if not that can kill a turbo

some one with turbo smarts will be along im sure
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by CVS View Post
Could the head gasket problem been caused during the timing belt replacement?

If not, should it have been detected before its return to me? The mechanic ran "pressure tests".

The head gasket replacement is costing me $1,400+, is this a fair price?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

CVS
Not likely Timing belt caused head gasket...
Water pump should also have been replaced with timing belt, and that means some coolant was lost/replaced, and possibility of an air bubble, which could cause overheating.
Pressure test is usually of cooling system, no likely to find head gasket.
$1,400 is not a bargain. Roughly same labor (a LOT) as Timing belt, minus water pump/timing belt cost, but adding cost of head gasket.
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 12:27 pm
CVS CVS is offline
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

Much thanks for the posted replies to date.

The water pump was replaced with the timing belt. Since I have absolutely no mechanical skills/knowledge, I had no idea if replacing the timing belt/water pump had anything to do with the head gasket. It just seemed odd that the gasket problem occurred right after we got the car back from the new timing belt installation.

I realize that the cost for the head gasket is high. My mechanic has that rep, but has been used by the family for decades and the quality of the work has always been good (as far as I could tell).

CVS
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

you know some times you get what you pay for and a good mec is some times worth the price
the timing belt is a HUGE pain so to get it done and done right is worth a lot

IF you have ever got the car hot that is about the biggest issue with the head gaskets
turbos run a lot hotter than a non turbo anyway so who knows 93K isnt a lot of miles on a well maintaned car but its still a lot of start ups and run time
the head work is probaly over $250 and the other parts are probaly close to that as well so the baor is what eats ya
good luck
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 02:17 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

Sounds like he didn't bleed the system?
It works fine, then suddenly work is done and headgasket is bad.

There's a bleeder (looks like a brake bleeder) a few inches down from radiator cap, on driver's side of 'water neck' (aka connector) 10mm wrench size, open, bleed out air, top up cooling system.

(Bleeder top center)

(Bleeder, lower left center)
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 02:50 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

well for what its worth I agree bleeding is a big deal
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 07:19 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruserdad1976 View Post
well seems to be a lot going on
ok so first when they do a timing belt id have to say probaly no way to know if the head gasket is about to go
Im confused as to the turbo running faster it only runs as fas as the RPM's of the car are going

The preasure test was to probaly make sure there were no bent valvues and was done after the TB was fixed so at that time the head gfasket was good

$1400 seems high to me what did the TB cost its kind of the exact same deal with the added cost of having the head milled and a gasket set new antifreez I guess $1400 isnt that bad its just not a steal of a deal

ID check yout fan to make sure its working I knwo you said on a long highway run so maybe its not fan related but how about a clogged radiator???

do you use synthic oil??? if not that can kill a turbo

some one with turbo smarts will be along im sure
Just so ya know. When my wife's car 04 turbo lite was built, the synthetic oil community had not yet paid Chrysler it's marketing fees. So my owners manual says do not use synthetic oil or additives. Only use mopar bla bla bla. Witch was not a synthetic oil.
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Old 19 Jun 2012, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

Busted i hear ya and there are so many pros and cons on which oil what weight what kind I dont have a turbo so all i know is what i hear and read ( well i do ahve a duramax chevy trubo and it getts synthic all 12 quarts of it)

on my pt i change the oil every month so some months its synthic some its a blend some its just stright Castrol GTX
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Old 21 Jun 2012, 07:03 pm
CVS CVS is offline
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Default Re: Head gasket problem

The saga continues!

Things are going from bad to worse! Mechanic called said radiator is plugged and had to be replaced along with fan due to a burnt out bearing. I'm assuming the fan bearing failed trying to cool the engine after the head gasket failed. When I asked what "plugged" the radiator he said contaminants in the system. I checked my receipt from the timing belt and noted that the cooling system was flushed at that time. Does this make sense that the radiator would become "plugged" after being flushed during the timing belt change. Could this be the "bubble" in the system that one of you mentioned in an earlier post?

Cost is up to $3,600 and I'm beginning to think I'm getting screwed and it might be time to change mechanics.

Thanks so much for your replies as I'm completely lost in this area.

CVS
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