Prior to the current major problem, this car has been a good one, very dependable, always started, smooth idle, plenty of pep, 30mpg city. Some of the following I'm recalling from memory on when certain things happened.
In May 06 sudden symptoms appeared: very rough idle with steamy exhaust. The car had been consuming coolant for some time, so the local independent mechanic diagnosis of head gasket seemed in line. The HG repair was done together with oil&filter change, coolant, spark plugs and thermostat. Mechanic reported radiator will soon need replacement. Car ran ok, but differently, for a couple weeks; then suddenly no start when hot. Mechanic diagnosed weak coil and replaced it. This temporarily fixed the no-start problem, but it reappeared in several weeks. At this point the car was not running correctly, no acceleration in 1st and 2nd gears. Seemed like the timing was off. But the timing checked out ok. The no-start when hot problem reappeared. The diagnostic codes pointed to the coolant sensor, just below the distributor, and if disconnected, the car would start when hot. This sensor was replaced, but did not solve the problem.
Mechanic1 suggested that another mechanic friend, good with foreign cars, look at it. Mechanic2 cleaned the idle control valve screen(I believe he said), and the car again started when hot. But the lagging acceration was unchanged, and with time again no start when hot. I noticed the gas mileage had dropped 10mpg to 20mpg. After some time had passed, I took the car to Mechanic2 myself. He changed the coolant sensor, the idle control valve motor and finally the ECU, all of which had no effect whatsoever, and then he gave up, saying there was nothing else to check.
Could the head gasket repair have been done incorrectly? Maybe bad parts? I am at a loss and hate to give up, after spending so much time and money on this car.
Wed 25Oct2006 07:38:09PM ET
have the same problem?
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 AT 6:38 PM