View Full Version : Head Gasket on a '96 Escort?
04-12-2009, 04:26 PM
About how much would this run me? It's a 4-cylinder station wagon, and it's the first cylinder that needs it.
I have no idea what that means, but that's what the guy said. He's asking $400 for the car, and that's the only thing wrong with it besides a dent on the back fender. Is that a good deal?
04-12-2009, 04:34 PM
Hmm, dodgy one this - buying a car with a head gasket blown is risky.
Replacing it is a fairly straightforward task if you're comfortable with pulling apart engines...BUT...the damage done might be more.
There's a very good chance something caused it to overheat (clogged radiator, low coolant, coolant leak etc.) and blow the gasket. The heat might have done other bad things like warp the head, damage bearings through detonation and burn pistons. If coolant has gotten into the oil and sat there for a while, it may also have corroded the bottom end bearings.
A warped head needs to be either skimmed or replaced, in which case you're better off buying a working car as it's not cheap. Bottom end bearing damage is also expensive to repair, as is the engine damage which may have been caused by overheating. And of course the original cause of the overheating needs to be fixed which may be simply low coolant...or a faulty fan, stuck thermostat etc.
However, it's also possible that it has just blown out of chance and the engine is otherwise well maintained, which has happened to me. You're either buying a money pit or an otherwise good, repairable car...it's a big risk.
04-12-2009, 04:43 PM
That sounds like a pretty big risk. If it was something else that caused it to overhead, would a mechanic be able to tell? I wonder if the guy will let me take it to a mechanic to get an estimate before I buy it.
04-12-2009, 04:50 PM
I would recommend getting it checked through properly by a mechanic or some MOT specialist.
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