Reader Question I just had the upper and lower intake gaskets replaced, water pump and thermostat replaced…cost me around $900. I had no problem getting this work done. The car has 150,000 miles, so I did not mind having it done.
The problem is after having the car for 2 days, I noticed a slight click (not very obvious, but not present before repairs). After driving maybe 50 miles, the car cuts off while driving. I check oil and it looks dirty.
Car will crank but after about a minute cuts off. I had it towed back to same repair shop. They now tell me that I have a blown motor, and they cannot explain why (said it was in lower half of motor and called it unfortunate timing).
Something seems fishy. What could be the explanation? They agreed to reimburse me the $900. Now I am stuck with a car with a blown motor. They did tell me that they did not add or change the oil during the initial repair. It just seems that they MIGHT have done something (or not done something) that caused my problem.
My questions are –
1. What is the procedure for doing the initial gasket replacements? How can I be certain that they did the repair correctly?
2. What could be the explanation of the problem?
If they did something wrong, my guess is that the burden of proof will lie with me (and I do not know anything about cars).
Can you help?
Yes, this sounds VERY fishy. You did not mention anything about a “Red” oil light coming on the dash, smoke out the tailpipe, engine running hot temperature wise, smoke under the hood, loud banging noises under the hood, etc. etc. everything I would suspect to hear and see if the engine was “blown”.
The intake gaskets really are not that big of job depending on what kind of vehicle this is. I would not expect this repair to produce a major engine problem like they say you have now.
It is VERY nice of them to reimburse you the $900, but I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you TOW the vehicle to a dealership or any reputable mechanic for a second opinion. If indeed you do need a motor, you can tow it back to them for the $900 credit. I would spend the money for the tow, and the second opinion…your e-mail just does not convince me that the engine is toast.
I would also not call the repair shop and tell them you are having it towed out…just show up with a tow truck and take it, don’t give them a chance to do anything to the engine…just in case.
I could go on and on here, but I really think a second opinion is the way to go here, and since I cannot see or test the engine myself, you need to find someone who can. Feel free to e-mail me with more info and I will try to help as much as I can.
Do not start or drive this vehicle!!!