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Overheated- may be head gasket- help!

 
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Old 13 Nov 2012, 07:57 pm
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Unhappy Overheated- may be head gasket- help!

I have a 2001 Limited Red PT Crusier that I have had since 2002. It has 165780 miles on it. It has been well maintained- oil change about every 3000 miles, tire rotated, hoses and belts changed, etc. Only major thing - had to have AC system entirely replaced several years ago. I drive this car everywhere and love, love love it. I have a trusted shop and mechanic that works on this car. The mechanic(s) always check for any problems or things that may need replacing- ie timing belt, shocks,etc. Water pump and timing belt changed several years ago.

Yesterday stuck in traffic I heard my engine burp or hiccup and then the overheat warning chime came on. I immediately turned on the heater and fan on high and the needle started going back down. When I could I pulled into a parking lot and turned it off. After about 15 minutes I was able to drive home - with the heater still on. Today I took it to the shop for a regular oil change / tire rotation and of course why the heck did it overheat.

My coolant was almost gone. After checking their records and seeing that my water pump was already changed and my fan changed out last year - they pulled the car back in and checked the back of the engine with mirrors. The mechanic saw some signs of corrosion. He thinks that my head gasket is leaking- that would explain no drips or residue in the driveway as it burns off. I was told that it could continue to leak and keep a check on the coolant level and/ or the head gasket could blow out totally. I love this car and really do not want to trade/ buy a new one.

Recommendations are - have head gasket replaced- $2000 - my shop doesn't do that major work. My hubby suggested for that money to buy a new engine. The outside is fine - normal paint chips for the wear and tear. Have new tires,shocks,etc.

Any other suggestions????
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Old 13 Nov 2012, 08:46 pm
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Default Re: Overheated- may be head gasket- help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nccrusier View Post
I have a 2001 Limited Red PT Crusier that I have had since 2002. It has 165780 miles on it. It has been well maintained- oil change about every 3000 miles, tire rotated, hoses and belts changed, etc. Only major thing - had to have AC system entirely replaced several years ago. I drive this car everywhere and love, love love it. I have a trusted shop and mechanic that works on this car. The mechanic(s) always check for any problems or things that may need replacing- ie timing belt, shocks,etc. Water pump and timing belt changed several years ago.

Yesterday stuck in traffic I heard my engine burp or hiccup and then the overheat warning chime came on. I immediately turned on the heater and fan on high and the needle started going back down. When I could I pulled into a parking lot and turned it off. After about 15 minutes I was able to drive home - with the heater still on. Today I took it to the shop for a regular oil change / tire rotation and of course why the heck did it overheat.

My coolant was almost gone. After checking their records and seeing that my water pump was already changed and my fan changed out last year - they pulled the car back in and checked the back of the engine with mirrors. The mechanic saw some signs of corrosion. He thinks that my head gasket is leaking- that would explain no drips or residue in the driveway as it burns off. I was told that it could continue to leak and keep a check on the coolant level and/ or the head gasket could blow out totally. I love this car and really do not want to trade/ buy a new one.

Recommendations are - have head gasket replaced- $2000 - my shop doesn't do that major work. My hubby suggested for that money to buy a new engine. The outside is fine - normal paint chips for the wear and tear. Have new tires,shocks,etc.

Any other suggestions????
Thermostat housing famous for cracking and leaking whitish streaks. Caps fail and blow over into res. And out the overflow. Seaping around the hoses. Fan and radiator can't be ruled out based on the fact the have been replace. These still have to be checked. I would need more than a mirror look by a mechanic that doesn't do this type of work to agree to to this. 2K , well a good used engine would be cheaper.
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Old 13 Nov 2012, 08:57 pm
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Default Re: Overheated- may be head gasket- help!

I agree with everything Busted just said. That much water being gone whereas you take good care of the car, you should have seen some signs of smoke out the back. Not saying it can't be the head gasket but there are other things to check for. Is it running rough, If you fill it up with coolant and bleed the excess air out of the system, does it overheat when you driving along or when you come to a stop? Again, as was said above, look all over for signs of coolant coming out of the thermostat/radiator cap area.
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Old 13 Nov 2012, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Overheated- may be head gasket- help!

You need to do a cooling system pressure test to check for leaks and go from there.
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Old 14 Nov 2012, 01:30 am
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Default Re: Overheated- may be head gasket- help!

Hi again,

My car runs fine, no drips, spots, etc on driveway-driveway is concrete so easy to see any spots, drips, etc. No smoke coming out of tail pipe, checked engine compartment-looks good-little dirty . In fact this evening the heater worked real good. Car has always been dependable and has never left me stranded anywhere.

When my water pump started to go bad was the only other time it overheated. Yesterday was the first time the car has done this since. I didn't mean to imply that the mechanic is incomptent. -the shop is a smaller shop-it isn't cost effective to do a job that will take a lot of shop time and tie up a bay. They recommended a shop that I have done business with before when I had a diesel Rabbit ( boy, I wish I still had that car).

I am thinking a test for leaks is next. While my hubby can do some minor things to our cars-he is not a gear head and leaves tinkering to more qualified people. Now if you want a road built-he would be the one you would want.. ( civil engineer). Thanks for the suggestions.

What about the suggestion to just keep an eye on the coolant level?

Last edited by nccrusier; 14 Nov 2012 at 01:33 am.
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Old 14 Nov 2012, 08:38 am
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Default Re: Overheated- may be head gasket- help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nccrusier View Post
Hi again,

My car runs fine, no drips, spots, etc on driveway-driveway is concrete so easy to see any spots, drips, etc. No smoke coming out of tail pipe, checked engine compartment-looks good-little dirty . In fact this evening the heater worked real good. Car has always been dependable and has never left me stranded anywhere.

When my water pump started to go bad was the only other time it overheated. Yesterday was the first time the car has done this since. I didn't mean to imply that the mechanic is incomptent. -the shop is a smaller shop-it isn't cost effective to do a job that will take a lot of shop time and tie up a bay. They recommended a shop that I have done business with before when I had a diesel Rabbit ( boy, I wish I still had that car).

I am thinking a test for leaks is next. While my hubby can do some minor things to our cars-he is not a gear head and leaves tinkering to more qualified people. Now if you want a road built-he would be the one you would want.. ( civil engineer). Thanks for the suggestions.

What about the suggestion to just keep an eye on the coolant level?
The test is a good idea but you need to do a visual on the the items given to you earlier. The second thing was to top everything off and keep a check of how much you are loosing by watching the level on the overflow tank in the back. Check it while its cold or hot but chose one or the other to be easier to judge.
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__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________Performance, Body and Service, OEM

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