2003 Toyota Rav4



January, 16, 2009 AT 7:58 PM

Engine Mechanical problem
2003 Toyota Rav4 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive 120, 00 miles

So my head gasket cracked on my Rav4. I took it into shop. They quoted me a price (said it might be somewhat more depending upon what needed to be done with headgasket). Heft expense, but other than routine maintainence, have not had to spend a dime on the car until this point. I told them to go ahead. After several days of dawdling, telling me it was going to be done when it wasn't, I got a call saying it would cost me about $100.00 more than originally expected. OK, I can handle that. Tells me my car will be ready sometime tommorrow. Good! A couple hours later, I receive a call saying that they received the head back (they had to send it out) and that when mechanic started putting it back in, they discovered the threads which are required to bolt the head back into engine are stripped and that there was no way the mechanic could tell this until he actually started putting the head back in. So he recommends a used engine which will cost me in addition to the cost for repairing the head, taking it out, etc.
2 questions.
1.) Is it true the mechanic could not have know about the stripped threads before?
2.) Does putting a used engine in the car work out? How do you know if it's a decent engine?
3.) Should I pay for the head repair and labor, plus the labor and parts for a " new" used engine?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.

2 Answers



January, 16, 2009 AT 8:17 PM

Donate a few bucks for a pro to answer. I think that the mechanic should have discovered that the holes were stripped when he took the head off, HOW COULD HE NOT? The used engine depends. You want one out of a wrecked car with few miles, one owner, and no damage to engine from wreck. I.E. One that was rear ended. I do not know that I would trust that mechanic to get the engine. Stripped and he did not know? Blocks to not easily wrap and stripping comes from removal and install (more like install)



January, 16, 2009 AT 11:10 PM

Thanks for the donation.

Did the mechanic state if the head was damaged and needed to be rebuilt because of the blown head gasket? Otherwise, I see no reason why he/she would need to ship the head anywhere just to replace the gasket. If they did send it out to have it rebuilt, the threads MAY have been noticed but not likely. You really can't tell if the threads are stripped until you either remove or install a bolt into the threads. The mechanic probably realized it was stripped upon installing the bolts, which would indicate that it was probably their fault in the first place, otherwise they would have realized threads where stripped upon removing original bolts.

Used engines usually work well as long as you use the same vehicle. You can interchange engines from different makes (for example, chevy blazer will interchange with gmc jimmy). Also ensure the repair shop is certified and has a good reputation.

Honestly, I would ask questions as to why the mechanic did not notice the threads upon removal of bolts and ask how they got stripped between removal of bolts and installation of bolts if they deny doing it.

Hope this helps.
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