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Unread 01-21-2014, 09:34 AM   #1
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Default Is my Mechanic Right? Do I have Blown Head Gasket?

Hi,

My 2009 Lancer ES 2.0L has been running fine (79,000 miles).

A few weeks ago it didn't start during a snowy day. It would crank but not turn over. I couldn't get the hood open (I think frozen cable, but IDK). It sat in the street for about a week before I realized that someone had stolen the intake scoop from under my hood.

I towed it to the mechanic and he said that I have a blown head gasket. He wants to charge $1500 to take it out, send it out to be repaired and then re install. Then we have to figure out what caused it which will be additional $$.

I'm wondering if you think he's right. Of course, I realize that you can't diagnose online, but any help would be appreciated.

I didn't have any problems prior to it not turning over. It's been starting fine, and there were no signs that I noticed of it overheating.

I'm not sure if the intake scoop was stolen before or after the car failed to start. Or if it even matters.

I don't want to repair the head gasket only to find out my engine is shot or something. Would my mechanic have been able to notice if the engine had been hydrolocked?

Any input would be great.

It's not the battery. I bought the battery less than a year ago, and I took it back to the auto store and they tested it and recharged it (not fully, about 40 mins). It still had a lot of charge.

I happened to check the dipstick and I believe the oil looked normal, but I didn't really inspect the color, so IDK if it was milky. I was just making sure I had enough oil.

The mechanic told me over the phone that he tested it and there was no combustion (I believe those were his words). That's how he knew the head gasket was out.

Does it seem plausible that my car could have been running fine when I parked, and then not start in the morning? I would think I would've noticed the head gasket issue while driving and then it would just not start.

Thanks.

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Unread 01-21-2014, 11:31 AM   #2
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A missing intake would not cause a car to fail to start. That's really as much as I know for this, but this sounds strange to say the least. How did he come to the conclusion that you have a blown head gasket?

You can always take it to another mechanic for a second opinion.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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I would definitely take it to another shop, something doesnt sound right. How did he verify the head gasket was blown?
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Unread 01-21-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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Always always ALWAYS get a second opinion. ALWAYS.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 05:27 PM   #5
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He said something about checking the compression. I'm not sure exactly what he did. I'll ask him when I speak with him.

I think I'm just gonna have it towed to another mechanic then.

Thanks for the help. Still open to other opinions.

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Unread 01-21-2014, 08:24 PM   #6
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Combustion =/= compression...

Bad compression is quite likely to be a bad head gasket, but would be unrelated to an intake tube missing.

That said, a missing intake scoop would definitely hinder starting and could very easily prevent the engine from starting at all. It's a massive vacuum leak.

Verify the compression.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 10:13 AM   #7
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Ok thanks for the help.

I'm strongly considering having it towed to a 2nd mechanic, but I'd hate to have to tow it back. And after meeting with him, i felt more comfortable trusting him.

He did in fact say compression, not combustion.

He said he'll do the labor for $600 if I get:

All gaskets
Cylinder bolts
Oil/filter
Thermostat
Cylinder head/rebuild


I'm trying to calculate the costs of each, but I'm not sure what specific gaskets are going to be replaced.

As for cylinder head, it's coming up as well over $1000 to buy so thy wouldn't really make much sense.

Rebuilding I can't really get estimates as they say try need to see it first.

Last edited by ravic; 01-26-2014 at 10:15 AM.

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Unread 01-27-2014, 01:45 AM   #8
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That may be more than you paid for the car after parts.
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He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
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Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 01-27-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
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The head work is the killer for the price. GEtting a head machined isn't cheap. It varies but you really get what you pay for.
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