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Old 07-22-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
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Cost for blown head gasket?

I may need the head gasket on my 2002 Boxster S replaced. I know it's gonna be costly, but how costly do you think?

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Old 07-22-2011, 12:49 PM   #2
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Why do you think you have a blown head gasket...sometimes just re-torquing them solves a problem...if you have oil in the water or water in the oil you have a bigger problem.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Why do you think you have a blown head gasket...sometimes just re-torquing them solves a problem...if you have oil in the water or water in the oil you have a bigger problem.
See my earlier thread.
Is coolant supposed to be thick and gold?

The oil cooler did need to be fixed, and the leaky coolant reservoir needed to be replaced, but it's still leaking coolant. The mechanic is down to the head gasket as the cause, so I'm trying to anticipate cost.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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When mechanics start playing a high $ cost guessing game at the owner's expense, they will never admit that they simply guessed wrong. It will always come across as, well that other item needed to be fixed anyhow. That's exactly why I stopped taking my cars to mechanic shops 20 years ago. Ever since, the only time any of my cars have been to a shop was for a smog check.

Now, what is the likelihood of you having a blown head gasket, an internal leak in your oil cooler, and a bad coolant reservoir all at once?

Even with the head gasket idea, they are still guessing.

Drain the coolant and pressurize the cooling system. Keep the pressure under 15psi. Get a mechanic's stethoscope and listen through the oil filler neck. You should hear air hissing or oil bubbling if there is a head gasket leak. Try to narrow it down from there.

Bottom line, a head gasket repair will require and engine drop and partial teardown; very expensive guess work by any measure.

Last edited by seventythree; 07-22-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventythree
When mechanics start playing a high $ cost guessing game at the owner's expense, they will never admit that they simply guessed wrong. It will always come across as, well that other item needed to be fixed anyhow. That's exactly why I stopped taking my cars to mechanic shops 20 years ago. Ever since, the only time any of my cars have been to a shop was for a smog check.

Now, what is the likelihood of you having a blown head gasket, an internal leak in your oil cooler, and a bad coolant reservoir all at once?

Even with the head gasket idea, they are still guessing.

Drain the coolant and pressurize the cooling system. Keep the pressure under 15psi. Get a mechanics stethoscope and listen through the oil filler neck. You should here air hissing or oil bubbling if there is a head gasket leak. Try to narrow it down from there.

Bottom line, a head gasket repair will require and engine drop and partial teardown; very expensive guess work by any measure.
Thanks, I'll tell him to do just that.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventythree
When mechanics start playing a high $ cost guessing game at the owner's expense, they will never admit that they simply guessed wrong. It will always come across as, well that other item needed to be fixed anyhow. That's exactly why I stopped taking my cars to mechanic shops 20 years ago. Ever since, the only time any of my cars have been to a shop was for a smog check.

Now, what is the likelihood of you having a blown head gasket, an internal leak in your oil cooler, and a bad coolant reservoir all at once?

Even with the head gasket idea, they are still guessing.

Drain the coolant and pressurize the cooling system. Keep the pressure under 15psi. Get a mechanic's stethoscope and listen through the oil filler neck. You should here air hissing or oil bubbling if there is a head gasket leak. Try to narrow it down from there.

Bottom line, a head gasket repair will require and engine drop and partial teardown; very expensive guess work by any measure.
I spoke with my mechanic, who's a very honest and decent guy. I read him your suggestion and he agreed it's good advice. What he's doing however, is checking the combustion chamber. He'll pull the spark plugs and see which/if any are whiter or cleaner than the others, indicating water leaking in. He is not going to guess whether it's the head gasket without evidence.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:34 PM   #7
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When a head gasket blows, one of three thins can happen:
1) Coolant get into the oil, evident by milky looking oil
2) Oil gets into the cooling system, and you know exactlly what that would look like
3) Coolant gets into the combustion chamber, i.e., one or more cylinders. In this case, if a lot of coolant leaks in, you will have steam coming out of your exhaust like you won't believe. However, if just a little coolant gets into one of the cylinders, you will only notice gradual coolant loss. You will keep topping off the coolant tank, but it will continue to disappear.

In case #3 you can inspect the spark plugs to try and determine which cylider(s) the coolant is leaking into. However, from your previous thread, we know your failure mode, if in fact a head gasket problem, is #2.

I am posting this only to enhance your understanding of head gasket related problems in hopes that you can navigate your way through these dire straights more effectively. Otherwise, I know by now, you're caught between a rock and a hard place.

Best of luck

Last edited by seventythree; 07-22-2011 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:53 PM   #8
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from the initial presentation of low coolent levels and possiable over heating, I am going with a cracked head rather than a blown gasket.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:11 AM   #9
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Following up on the last post...have you replaced your water pump any time in the recent past?
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:17 AM   #10
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I think I might have the same problem. White smoke comes out of my exhaust. Alot of it. Not sure how much it's going to cost
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:29 AM   #11
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I think I might have the same problem. White smoke comes out of my exhaust. Alot of it. Not sure how much it's going to cost
Before panicking, read about AOS.
Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Air / Oil Separator Replacement - 986 / 987
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:04 AM   #12
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I had coolant in my oil - easy guess, head gasket

Nope, it wasn't.
Here's the source, a poorly milled head, courtesy of Porsche:



In any case, that's a new engine waiting to happen so I made the repair. Just short of $3k.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:52 PM   #13
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Like any big repair, be ready for several "while we're in there" costs. These can easily change a one-item $3K repair into a several-item $5K repair.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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The parts and labor estimator guide I have suggests that the gaskets are about $75 each side. It also suggest that the total labor hours for replacing the gasket for both banks is between 9 and 12 hours.

I believe this estimate assumes that the heads do not require any machining.

I don't have a great sense for how accurate these estimates are. Onlne prices for the gaskets range between $40 and $90. So maybe the estimator is in the ballpark if not a bit high.

So my guess is that the repair will cost about $1500 to $1800 depending on labor rates.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:33 PM   #15
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Like any big repair, be ready for several "while we're in there" costs. ....
A good point, I had my underdrive pulley put on at the same time.

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The parts and labor estimator guide I have suggests that the gaskets are about $75 each side. It also suggest that the total labor hours for replacing the gasket for both banks is between 9 and 12 hours. .....
My indie told me the book said 20 hours! Probably a dealer book.

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