1997 Ford Explorer repair opinion

Tiny
KCAR97
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 71,000 MILES
Hello. I am looking for an opinion of the following: I recently took my car (the above listed) to a local shop for a leak. (I have never done business with these people before, but this national chain franchise --rhymes with "Saamco" -- has been at that location for 3 years now, are AAA-approved, and have no BBB complaints against them).

It turned out that the car was leaking coolant, badly. $2200, and 1 new cylinder head gasket, and 1 repaired (along with a new water pump, and transmission flush for good measure), it is still leaking, although to a much lesser degree. I brought the car back in and after they inspected it, told me that this time it had something to do with the timing cover gasket. They think that since the engine pressure was re-calibrated (due to the head gasket repair), that the gasket couldn't take the pressure, and cracked. This would cost about $790 to fix, they said. However, the manager told me that at this point, the leak was pretty insiginificant and that I could probably ride with it like that for a few years before it got to be a problem. (He also told me that if I decided to get it fixed, he would knock a couple hundred bucks off of the bill).

What are your thoughts after hearing this?

I wish I could make a donation, but after repairs and Christmas, I'm kinda strapped!

Thanks so much for your help!

Also, for what it's worth: even though I bought the car new, they think the engine was remanufactured because it was painted grey? Is there anything I can do about this? What proof would I have?

Thanks again so much!
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Friday, January 11th, 2008 AT 8:42 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
As far as the coolant leaks go, don't let the repairs go, you could be asking for another head gasket repair if you do! It is possible that it was missed at the initial inspection due to the major leak at the head. If you have owned the car since new I doubt it's a reman engine! Leaks only get progressivly worse, if you decide to go on a trip, will you feel comfortable knowing you have a leak?
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Friday, January 11th, 2008 AT 9:11 AM
Tiny
KCAR97
  • MEMBER
(Please bare with me if I'm not replying in the proper place.I'm still new to this site).

Unfortunately, I cannot afford the repair right now. Do the charge and estimate sound about right?

Thanks again for your help!
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Friday, January 11th, 2008 AT 11:41 AM
Tiny
FLEXY5
  • MEMBER
You stated it was a V6. Is it a 3.0 or a 4.0? If it is a 4.0 the front cover would have had to come off in order to remove the head, making this a repeat repair. If it is a 3.0, the water pump uses bolts that go all the way through the front cover and into the face of the engine block. I have never seen a 3.0 that did not leak after the water pump was replaced. What ends up happening is that when the water pump is removed the front cover warps out slightly away from the engine block because of uneven torque coming from the unloosened bolts. When this happens the gasket behind the front cover tears. It never seals back up. The bad part about this is that it may also leak into the oil pan. If this happens, you will ruin the engine (this happened to my own personal vehicle). If you need any help with anything else let me know.
Dave
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Friday, January 11th, 2008 AT 6:01 PM

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