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Old 05-07-2015, 01:01 PM   #1
rdog
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Unhappy HELP: Small Head Gasket Leak, what to do...

Hi All,

Car: 2004 330CI / 125K miles.

Recently my water pump blew out and the car began to over heat but NEVER reached the red mark. A mechanic fixed the pump and two days later my car over heated again this time reaching the red zone for a second before i turned the vehicle off. Had the car towed to a different mechanic and was told that my fan clutch is dead, hence the car is over heating. He also informed me that i have a very small leak in my head gasket by "Sniffing" the coolant for hydrocarbons.

He quoted me 3k to fix the head gasket and fan clutch. If you were in my shoes what would you do? Any advice, insight would be appreciated

Very unhappy as I love this car but think It may be time to sell...
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:11 PM   #2
JasonLI25t
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is your coolant level dropping? i would want a more certain diagnosis of a failed headgasket. get the fan working right (do the electric conversion, IMO), re-bleed the system and see if the problem persists.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:40 PM   #3
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I would do a compression test to see how bad it may be. Need real specifics for the problem.


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Old 05-07-2015, 01:48 PM   #4
rdog
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question 1: No coolant leak
question 2: Yes, i am replacing the fan clutch and then doing a pressure test as a back up.

But, lets say the pressure test does indicate a leak in the head gasket, is the repair really around 3k ? or are there alternative solutions ?


And thanks again for your advice.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:53 PM   #5
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You could get a new engine instead of fixing it, but I would do a Leak-down and a Compression test before anything else.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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No point in doing a leakdown/compression test if there are hydrocarbons present in the coolant. Gases are getting in and its not through teleportation. I'd suggest finding a used engine replacement or getting a new car. GL.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:04 PM   #7
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"If" you get to the point where you think you'll have to drop $3K to fix this issue, I'd first spend ~$20 dollars on a can of modern engine sealant. You have nothing to loose.

I kept a brand new $12K dollar race motor together for over 2 years when it developed a crack somewhere in it, so sometimes you can get lucky with this type of band-aid fix.



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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:08 PM   #8
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So what im hearing is that if i do in fact have a blown head gasket i am SOL... I guess that makes my car worthless...
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:10 PM   #9
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So what im hearing is that if i do in fact have a blown head gasket i am SOL... I guess that makes my car worthless...
Pretty much. $3k for a replacement is still cheaper than getting a new car and having this boat anchor to sell.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:31 PM   #10
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So what im hearing is that if i do in fact have a blown head gasket i am SOL... I guess that makes my car worthless...

Your statement might be true to a point, this is what I'm referring to if you get to the end of your $ rope.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mo...mZUaAgDY8P8HAQ


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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
Your statement might be true to a point, this is what I'm referring to if you get to the end of your $ rope.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mo...mZUaAgDY8P8HAQ


Rob43
I'd be careful about trying this stuff. It's made to plug up fine/small passages and you don't want this stuff gunking up your radiator or heater core. Then you'll install your new engine and just overheat it again. I personally wouldn't play with this if I were the OP.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:41 PM   #12
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I'd be careful about trying this stuff. It's made to plug up fine/small passages and you don't want this stuff gunking up your radiator or heater core. Then you'll install your new engine and just overheat it again. I personally wouldn't play with this if I were the OP.
Like stated, sometimes it works & sometimes it doesn't, so depending on ones state of current desperation.....

Based on my one time use & successful outcome, I'd personally try it before dropping roughly $3K. Certainly,......there are no guarantees though.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:03 PM   #13
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You need to know the extent of the leak if there is one. Dont pay attention to the haters here. You need to know before you make any decision based on a sniff test. I could probably sniff mine and find something.

You can fix it yourself, have it fixed or pop in a used motor.


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Old 05-07-2015, 06:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdog View Post
question 1: No coolant leak
question 2: Yes, i am replacing the fan clutch and then doing a pressure test as a back up.

But, lets say the pressure test does indicate a leak in the head gasket, is the repair really around 3k ? or are there alternative solutions ?

And thanks again for your advice.
You should also check your auxilliary fan (in front of the radiator). Even if your fan clutch is toast it should have prevented an overheat.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdog View Post
Hi All,

Car: 2004 330CI / 125K miles.

Recently my water pump blew out and the car began to over heat but NEVER reached the red mark. A mechanic fixed the pump and two days later my car over heated again this time reaching the red zone for a second before i turned the vehicle off. Had the car towed to a different mechanic and was told that my fan clutch is dead, hence the car is over heating. He also informed me that i have a very small leak in my head gasket by "Sniffing" the coolant for hydrocarbons.

He quoted me 3k to fix the head gasket and fan clutch. If you were in my shoes what would you do? Any advice, insight would be appreciated

Very unhappy as I love this car but think It may be time to sell...
You might be getting too far ahead. For starters, unless you saw him perform said test, I would get a second opinion.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:01 PM   #16
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Look for Blue Devil sealent and follow the directions. If your not going to install a new engine, this may make the fix and keep you going for a year or two. Depends on what your going to do with the car also. The stuff is high dollar , for snake oil in a bottle, but I've seen this stuff do it's job,,it's not snake oil
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:15 PM   #17
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That engine sealant does NASTY stuff to your water jackets. Ask me how I know...
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:50 PM   #18
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For 3k, you could buy another engine from a pick and pull , with less miles on it and have the engine installed. Had a burnt valve in mine , little over a year ago. The head would have to come off. Same kind of charge. Dropped an engine in with 52k miles on her and didn't look back. With that said, with a small leak like your talking about, try Bar Leaks , or look around for a good stop leak product and try it. If it works for you, your out 50 bucks and can still drive the car. If it doesn't work well,,you can drop back and punt
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:58 PM   #19
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No point in doing a leakdown/compression test if there are hydrocarbons present in the coolant. Gases are getting in and its not through teleportation. I'd suggest finding a used engine replacement or getting a new car. GL.
Right! Hydrocarbons in the coolant is a very good indication.

MAke sure your fan is ok - coolant bled properly then Run your car and watch the coolant expand from the leaking gases into it - You'll see the hoses swell up before they or the et blows.

$3k would be just a tad high for me but perhaps this mechanic is meticulous. It's not absurd. Options are to replace with an engine swap.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:03 PM   #20
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My daughters old a4 is on it's last legs - it will need about $2k in suspension parts. The body is rusting. The car won;t last another year without major $$$ - she intends to get rid of it at the end of summer.

She has a head gasket leak causing over heating. I fixed it with a head gasket cure that messes the heat exchanger and pretty much screws up everything in the car but it will let her drive it till september when she scraps it as it seals the head gasket with silicone sediment.

Not recommending this - just providing all options.

Last edited by BMW-North; 05-08-2015 at 09:03 PM.
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