1996 Mitsubishi Mirage 154000 miles
Mine’s not so much a repair question (since I have no plans to do any repairs myself), but more of a general question:
When I bought my 96 Mitsu Mirage a few months ago, the owner explained that it had a minor oil leak (1/2 quart between oil changes), that her mechanic attributed to age, and didn’t think it was worth searching for and repairing. I only paid $600 for it, and assuming “you get what you pay for, " I figured a minor oil leak was no big deal.
Not long after I bought it, the oil leak worsened, to a quart a week, sometimes more, depending on how much I drove it, and how fast I drove. When I took it to a mechanic acquaintance of mine for an oil change, he took one look under the hood and automatically declared that I need a new head-gasket. I look under the hood and have no idea what I’m seeing, so I trusted him.
But, just this week, my car wouldn’t start. I had it towed to a different mechanic, who said the problem was that it needed a new distributor. Now after reading a couple different forums and things, it looks like you can actually leak oil from the distributor.
I know this was a long explanation, but my question is this: Is it possible I was never leaking from my head-gasket at all? That the leak was always from the distributor, and it just got worse and worse until it stopped working? And maybe “blew" oil onto the head-gasket, making it appear as if it was leaking oil? Are the two parts even close to eachother?
I feel as though I get taken advantage of a lot by mechanics, since I have no clue what they’re saying. So before I talk to my mechanic about it, I’d like to know if it’s even possible! And I’m worried if I even present this theory to my mechanic acquaintance who’s offering to fix my head gasket, some other gasket, and two belts (for the same price I paid for my car), that he’ll toss the theory to the side at the prospect of losing money by not doing the repairs.
How do I check where the oil is actually coming from? I don’t want to get wrapped up in some major engine repairs if they’re unnecessary.
I know this is lengthy… I hope someone can help!
Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 AT 10:37 AM