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ISO advice re 2002 with 95K mi, engine overheating; iso best solution

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Old 27 Jul 2014, 01:32 pm
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Default ISO advice re 2002 with 95K mi, engine overheating; iso best solution

Have 2002 Cruiser, automatic with 95K; bought it in 2012 from original owner who maintained it well, (all service records) commuting to work, had 72K miles when I purchased it.

Since then had xmission crap out, now overheating at 95K - even though timing chain changed at 90K.

Mechanic diagnosed bad thermostat 2 weeks ago, changed thermostat.

Less than 2 weeks later engine overheating, pressure building up dumping fluid in overflow.

Diagnosed as head gasket or cracked block.

Before dumping car seeking advice whether any other cause or cheaper solution than putting $1500 to $ 2000 into car at this stage of its life.

If decide not to put $$ in, whats best place to advertise it to get max $$ from a DIY or body shop

Located in DC metro area. Put it on Craigslist, best offer so far, $ 800.

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Old 27 Jul 2014, 02:58 pm
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,676
Default Re: ISO advice re 2002 with 95K mi, engine overheating; iso best solution

A blown head gasket is very common on a PT. If the thermostat was truly the culprit, the fix will likely just be a head job and a new gasket. But there's a chance the thermostat was a guess and real culprit was the radiator fan. Any fix should include a diagnostic of the fan as well.

If you cannot fix it yourself, or have a buddy or family member to do the work on the cheap for you, then the repair bill will likely almost equal the value of the car. And it is likely not worth it.

$800 is about market value for a 2002 high-mileage PT with a blown head gasket in my area. It's likely that you can take that money plus an amount less than the repair bill and go buy another similar PT in good running condition. However, now is the time to reconnect with that long lost cousin that is a mechanic.

Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 27 Jul 2014 at 03:01 pm.
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Old 27 Jul 2014, 05:10 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: ISO advice re 2002 with 95K mi, engine overheating; iso best solution

Since, apparently, the diagnosis of thermostat was bad, how was head gasket diagnosis arrived at? Was a test to detect exhaust gas in coolant done? Is oil murky? Coolant look like baby poo?

Agree w/Busted, have fan checked out, and get a second opinion on what's wrong.
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