Replace Head gasket on '97 camry

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Old 26 Nov 2005, 09:16 am   #1 (permalink)
Leor Amikam
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Default Replace Head gasket on '97 camry

My 97 Camry (4 cyl.) is leaking old form the head gasket. Car has ~100K
miles on it. My mechanic
gave me a quote of $1,400 to repair this. He says it is a lot of labor, but
the part is cheap.
This seems like a lot to charge. Is anyone familiar with this repair and
know what
the average cost would be? It's leaking a small amount of oil on my garage
floor. Of course, I don't know
what is leaking when it is being driven. I really don't want to spend the
money right now. Can I just top-off the oil
once a week, and not get it fixed now?

Also, we have had a LOT of problems with this car with parts failing much
earlier than expected. For example,
the seals on the power steering went bad as ~80K miles. My mechanic, whom
I take the car to regularly, noted
that it is not normal to see such an extensive repair history on Camry's, as
they normally have a very good
record. I am looking to write a letter to Toyota. I'm sure that won't get
very far, but it will feel good to vent!


Thanks,


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Old 26 Nov 2005, 09:21 am   #2 (permalink)
Hachiroku
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Default Re: Replace Head gasket on '97 camry

On Sat, 26 Nov 2005 10:16:17 -0500, Leor Amikam wrote:

> My 97 Camry (4 cyl.) is leaking old form the head gasket. Car has ~100K
> miles on it. My mechanic
> gave me a quote of $1,400 to repair this. He says it is a lot of labor, but
> the part is cheap.
> This seems like a lot to charge. Is anyone familiar with this repair and
> know what
> the average cost would be? It's leaking a small amount of oil on my garage
> floor. Of course, I don't know
> what is leaking when it is being driven. I really don't want to spend the
> money right now. Can I just top-off the oil
> once a week, and not get it fixed now?


If you're leaking oil from the Head gasket, than you're looking at a much
more serious problem, ie water is getting in the oil, and vice versa.

Look at the dipstick. Is it a bit milky? If it is then water is getting
past the gasket into the crankcase. This is not a Good Thing. You're
looking at blowing the engine, sooner or later.

If you plan on keeping the car for any amount of time, then do it now
before the engine gets damaged. If you don't care and will just go out and
buy another one, then run it till it drops. Just have your Triple-A paid
up!!!

It is very labor intensive. Depending on the design, he may be able to
disassemble the engine right in the car, if not, he has to pull the engine
and then break it down to replace the gasket.

Hey, at least the guy was honest enough to tell you the parts are cheap!!!
Let's hope his mechanical abilities are as good as his integrity!



>
> Also, we have had a LOT of problems with this car with parts failing much
> earlier than expected. For example,
> the seals on the power steering went bad as ~80K miles. My mechanic, whom
> I take the car to regularly, noted
> that it is not normal to see such an extensive repair history on Camry's, as
> they normally have a very good
> record. I am looking to write a letter to Toyota. I'm sure that won't get
> very far, but it will feel good to vent!
>
>
> Thanks,


--
I've spent a great deal of money on Whiskey, Women and Fast Cars

The rest I've squandered.

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Old 26 Nov 2005, 09:49 am   #3 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: Replace Head gasket on '97 camry

Your car is 9 years old with 100k miles and you are going to write to Toyota
and complain? Ya need to try a Chrysler or a Ford for comparison. I can
remember not many years ago a car with 50k miles on it had a foot in the
junkyard - Toyota changed all that --- now we demand 150+K miles with no
repairs. Do you follow all the recommended maintenance in the owners
manual -- and have it done at a qualified shop? Head gasket? Sounds more
like a valve cover gasket leaking (or oil pump seal). A head gasket would
show as low compression/poor performance, lots of white smoke out the tail
pipe all the time, or antifreese mixed in with the oil. If it is actually
the head gasket - $ depends what he is going to do to fix it - shave the
head/block, replace valve stems, recondition valves, replace timing belt ---
or just slap on a new head gasket? My recommendation - have compression and
leak down test done, steam clean the engine to see where oil is truely
leaking from.

"Leor Amikam" <amikaml@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:58qdnX8mZsyp4RXenZ2dnUVZ_sidnZ2d@comcast.com. ..
> My 97 Camry (4 cyl.) is leaking old form the head gasket. Car has ~100K
> miles on it. My mechanic
> gave me a quote of $1,400 to repair this. He says it is a lot of labor,
> but
> the part is cheap.
> This seems like a lot to charge. Is anyone familiar with this repair and
> know what
> the average cost would be? It's leaking a small amount of oil on my
> garage
> floor. Of course, I don't know
> what is leaking when it is being driven. I really don't want to spend the
> money right now. Can I just top-off the oil
> once a week, and not get it fixed now?
>
> Also, we have had a LOT of problems with this car with parts failing much
> earlier than expected. For example,
> the seals on the power steering went bad as ~80K miles. My mechanic,
> whom
> I take the car to regularly, noted
> that it is not normal to see such an extensive repair history on Camry's,
> as
> they normally have a very good
> record. I am looking to write a letter to Toyota. I'm sure that won't
> get
> very far, but it will feel good to vent!
>
>
> Thanks,
>
>



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Old 27 Nov 2005, 09:10 am   #4 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: Replace Head gasket on '97 camry

OIl leak and head gasket condition are probably not related.
Re: power steering - was the fluid ever changed?
Re: head gasket - how often was the coolant changed, and was it Toyota
red with distilled water, or generic green with tap water?
Was there ever any problem with the water pump or over heating or
radiator leakage?
How often was the oil changed?

It is unusual for a head gasket on the 4 cylinder to go bad at 100k.

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Old 28 Nov 2005, 09:57 pm   #5 (permalink)
Rob
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Default Re: Replace Head gasket on '97 camry

My power steering leaked also, got it replaced and now I change the
fluid a few times a year with a syringe. Back to the head gasket..get a
second opinion on this just incase its a leaky valve cover and your
mechanic just wants a big screen TV for Xmas.

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Old 29 Nov 2005, 10:46 am   #6 (permalink)
badgolferman
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Default Re: Replace Head gasket on '97 camry

Wolfgang, 11/26/2005, 10:49:49 AM, <Ru%hf.6226$QW2.4188@dukeread08>
wrote:

> I can remember not many years ago a car with 50k miles on it had a
> foot in the junkyard - Toyota changed all that --- now we demand
> 150+K miles with no repairs.


The Law of Unintended Consequences?
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