I have two part questions for you.
1. As you are not the original owner, was there any indication that the timing belt was ever replaced? You may want to remove the upper timing cover and check the condition of the timing belt. If you see many cracks on the timing belts, then I would suggest replacing the timing belt AND water pump at the same time. If the belt looks good (no crack, no missing tooth, no oil etc) and the water pump is not leaking, then don't.
2. You didn't mention this. As you were getting overheating, did you happen to check the coolant reservoir? How full is the bottle? Is the coolant boiling in the bottle? If it is boiling, try replacing the radiator cap.
You may want to consider performing a leak down test. Or at the very least compression test. The test is to pressurize your internal engine to see if there is any leak. Your head gasket may not be blown just yet, but it possible that it has internal leak that the engine is not capable of keeping the pressure.
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 1:45 AM