528I Blown Head Gasket

  • 1952 BMW 528
About 1/2 mile from home, car temp went up into the red zone and we smelled a foul odor. Upon arriving home, opened hood and found the car had overheated and there appeared to be oil in the coolant. Coolant was rather sludgy. There is no water in the oil and after the dealership checked it out they said all valves operated just fine, everything checked out and they said it was probably "just" a blown head gasket. They quoted $5,000 and said if it ended up needing a new valve, it would run $8,000. Car is a 2000, only has 32K miles on it. It has been babied and garaged a lot with most miles being driven on weekends. Of course, warranty expired. We're going to have the car towed to a different location for another quote but we're at a loss to know if $5,000 is overpriced or if that is really what it costs. Also, if everything else checks out ok on the car should we really be confident that it is "only" a blown head gasket?
Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 AT 11:59 PM

1 Reply

Hi there,

Don't know about yopur quote as i'm in Aus but it does sound a bit stiff. As for only a blown head gasket, it might not be as simple as that. BMW's along with just about every other canr on the road has an alloy cyl head. When over heated these heads are known to bend and crack. Now this is not as bad as it sounds as it is a comon problem and easly fixed. When the head is removed they should do a vacuum test on the combustion chambers, this will give an indication to the condition of the falve seats, and if extra work is required. Normaly a wet & dry compression test is a good indication as to the condition of the valves. A small anountv of oil in added to the cyl and a compression test done, if the compression rises a ring problem is indicated if there is little or no differance in reading a valve is at fault. This test is not sutable when a head gasket is suspected.

Good luck.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Friday, August 3rd, 2007 AT 12:24 AM

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