1997 Pontiac Sunfire



January, 22, 2009 AT 4:34 PM

Engine Cooling problem
1997 Pontiac Sunfire 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 140300 miles

I have a pontiac sunfire 97. My car was over heating one day and so I was thinking I should buy coolant. A guy from jiffy lube(i know dumb idea) helped me and said to go by some 5year dex cool coolant. But little did I know I had had some cheaper stuff already in my tank. So I put the 5 year stuff in but the guy also told me to buy a thermostate. So I asked if a friend could put it in for me. Sure enough my car started over heating again, took it down to my friend but before he started putting in the thermostat, we opened up my coolant tank and found some build up, it was gross and it was everywhere. My friend told me it was already in my lines and probably needed to be flushed out but before he did this he checked to see if I had breached a head gasket with something that seemed to look like a syring. Sure enough it was breached. My question is if my head gasket is breached would I have to put a whole new engine in?

2 Answers



January, 22, 2009 AT 9:08 PM

No. Changing a head gasket on your engine ( a 4 cylinder) is realy not a big deal. But, the head must be checked for straightness and machined if necessary. It also should be rebuilt with 140000 miles on it. Sometimes it is better and cheaper to just purchase a new or freshly rebuilt head and just swap them because of the down time that will be incurred with checking and machining and rebuilding. Also, with 140000 miles on the engine, the timing belt should be replaced - the time to do this is when the head job is done. Keep us informed
If you purchase the parts on your own this will also save you money -- there are many gasket kits that have everything you need to replace a head.



January, 6, 2013 AT 4:18 PM

I just realized that you guys replied to my question, thank you! I had no idea. But what ended up happening, I went the SUPER cheap route and only replaced the head gasket and had my coolant system flushed of all the gunk that had built up, lesson learned don't mix orange coolant with green coolant. I didn't have enough money to have to head checked, so I thought I would just wing it and see if the head gasket replacement would be enough. Once the head gasket was replaced with a new one, it was still over heating, come to find out, there was also a kinked line that went over the top of my engine, once this 3rd problem was fixed the car ran fine for about a year until the water pump went out.

Side note, I was told by a mechanic that the head gasket was breached, that's where I got that term because he was trying to scam me. I also had the timing chain replaced, just to be safe, it didn't necessarily need it at the time but might as well, right?

Again, thank you for the reply!

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