Engine Mechanical problem
1995 Toyota Corolla 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 151000 miles
Thank you taking my question. My car loses about 1 quart of oil every 1.5 months. It is not blowing any blue smoke out the tailpipe or showing any signs it's dripping from the tali pipe. I just had a new radiator installed and noticed that the coolant is still brown like it was with the old radiator. I thought this was due to the old radiator and thought it would have cleared up when I had it replaced. Could it be sediment left over from the old rotted radiator? If not can I perform a visual check somewhere to see if the Head Gasket is leaking? Also if it is the Head Gasket about how much would it take to replace? I saw a price on this site that told someone $1,400 for a new one. How can this be when I found a Head Gasket for $50.00. My mechanic charges $50.00 an hour for labor so that would come to 27 hours for a $1,400 head gasket job. I know it doesn't take that long so how many hours are involved in a head gasket replacement would be the better question?
Before you spend anything, have a compression test performed to see if headgasket is bad.
Headgaskets will generally fail because of an engine that has severely overheated, or a headbolt is broken.
The $1400 figure is generally for work at dealer or high end garage, where they charge $90-125 an hour for labor, so if your mechanic charges $50 and does good work, by all means use him.
On a car that is 14 years old I would also change the valve stem seals while head is off, and inspect guides.
If headgasket is bad, be prepared, the head may be warped and unuseable, so it may need to be replaced. Hopefulley not, but it is possible.
With regard to sediment, you should always drain block and flush entire system before installing new radiator.