T Nation

Ghetto Mobile!

Its now official: I have a ghetto mobile!

My car overheated on the turnpike on the way to work this morning, after I had spent $610 last Thursday to have the water pump replaced .

Thank goodness for the gallon bottle of windshield wiper fluid I had in the trunk that I put in the leaking radiator, and thank goodness I managed to get it back to my mechanic without being towed.

The verdict: a blown head gasket, which is quite expensive to repair. So I’ll have to junk my car since its a 95 Dodge and worth jack. Good news is I can drive it for another few months, but with a large supply of antifreeze and water in the trunk, to fill up the radiator when it overflows due to the gasket.

So every day or every other day, I’ll be topping off the radiator fluid so it doesn’t overheat…

If that’s not ghetto…

As long as it gets me to June 30th, when I go on vacation, I’ll be happy…

Is it a neon?

Ask if Chrysler has a special warranty for the head gasket. Mine blew 2 years ago and they didn’t tell me about it.

I did some research on the internet and found out if you asked for the special warranty it they would fix it for $ 100 total.

When I called the dealership and told them I wanted the work done under this program they said OK.

Its an Intrepid. They paid to fix an old car?? What year is your car?

BTW, mine is 3rd hand, so when I called to complain about the tranny they laughed at me. That hurt my feelings…

Its my fault- I got EXACTLY what I deserve for not checking up on the Intrepid’s mechanical tendencies in COnsumer Reports!!

AAArrrghh…what a price to pay!

Overheated engine + need for a new head gasket = Cracked head or manifold.

My suggestion, if you have a problem of overheating and your gonna junk it… splice a switch into the cooling fan and by pass the themostat and run the switch to the inside of the car.

That way you can manually turn the fan on. Just don’t leave the car idioling.

If your looking at a new hed gasket, chances are your looking at a new block or new head etc.

jaystyles

Thanks for the advice Jaystyles. I’m not sure what you mean here:

splice a switch into the cooling fan and by pass the themostat and run the switch to the inside of the car.

That way you can manually turn the fan on. Just don’t leave the car idioling.

–You mean if I rig it this way I’ll be able to turn the fan on whenever I want to?

What does this do for the car? Help cool it more? And doesn’t the fan turn on anyway, by itself?

Anyway, I’m going to drive it around, hopefully w/out any more incidents, til July. At the end of the summer, I’ll prob buy a Honda from a friend in the biz.

[quote]Sonny S wrote:
–You mean if I rig it this way I’ll be able to turn the fan on whenever I want to?

What does this do for the car? Help cool it more? And doesn’t the fan turn on anyway, by itself?
[/quote]

Yes, I have fried an engine in the past and the thermostat fried as well, so it tended to overheat all the time. So I by-passed the thermostat and was manuallly able to turn the fan on. Eventually it stopped working because the heads were cracked and the antifreeze would enter the cyclinders.

jaystyles

I’ve been told to check out a product to put in the radiator system that could plug th eleak.

I’ll check it out this week, see what happens

[quote]Sonny S wrote:
Its an Intrepid. They paid to fix an old car?? What year is your car?

BTW, mine is 3rd hand, so when I called to complain about the tranny they laughed at me. That hurt my feelings…

Its my fault- I got EXACTLY what I deserve for not checking up on the Intrepid’s mechanical tendencies in COnsumer Reports!!

AAArrrghh…what a price to pay![/quote]

Mine is a 95 Neon. They had a problem with the headgaskets in the early model years. It was about 5 years out of warranty and they fixed it for only $ 100 total. Car still runs great. I am glad I hung on to it as a commuter vehicle with gas prices the way they are.

[quote]Sonny S wrote:
Its an Intrepid. They paid to fix an old car?? What year is your car?

BTW, mine is 3rd hand, so when I called to complain about the tranny they laughed at me. That hurt my feelings…

Its my fault- I got EXACTLY what I deserve for not checking up on the Intrepid’s mechanical tendencies in COnsumer Reports!!

AAArrrghh…what a price to pay![/quote]

A head gasket is simple to replace. I did it on my Talon when I bought it a couple months ago. Read up on it on some Intrepid forums. Costs nothing if you do it yourself.

THanks SicTorn, when I go to the garage and argue for my money back, I’ll talk to the mechanic and get exactly all the facts concerning the car so I can then go on some forums.

FYI, what he told me was that it involved going deep into the engine and was not worth it for my car. He also said never ever buy American, even new :wink:

Re: fixing it myself, I don’t think so! I’m a city boy, I can’t fix sh#t.
I’m looking forward to painting the condo I’m buying in June, it will be a nightmare, that’s for sure!

All it typically requires is pulling the head and replacing the gasket. Two hours work tops. Course I haven’t done much work on Intrepids.

Mine needs a new head now that I stripped a coil in pulling the spark plugs. Had to tap it and replace the coil but it hardly threaded so that plug sits about a 1/4 inch higher than the others. Tuner cars always need work though…

Head gaskets, to do correctly, are very difficult to replace. Especailly if you overheated it. First you need to ascertain what condition your head/block is in. As mentioned before you need to figure out if your block/head is warped/cracked. If its warped you need to take it to a machine shop to get it straightened out and shaved. This is a good idea if you plan on driving the car for any length of time (ie years). Also, a valve job wouldn’t be a bad idea on a high mileage car at this time. But thats not really your concern.

If you blow a head and just get a new one slapped on. Whether you do it yourself or someone else does or even the dealership. I would expect it to start leaking again in a few years.

My advice to you. Check your radiator and make sure to watch your oil every few weeks. If it gets water/antifreeze in it, it’ll get gummy and you’re fucked. If you see spots of oil in your radiator. Who cares… Top it off and it could make it. I’d give it a couple thousand miles tops though. Be easy on it.

Thanks Garrett. Yes, its not going to be used for more than 2500-3000 miles. I’m going away for the whole summer and when I come back, in September I’ll buy another car.

I’ll get the oil changed this wee, and keep an eye on the fluid when leaving in the morning and coming home in the pm.

I meant NO MORE than 2500-3000 miles, i.e. enough to get me to June 30th which is when I leave for vacation.

When you do the head, you need to skim it (as long as its not alli), replace the bolts, maybe the valves and springs and then place back on.

to do properly, especially if you like your car, is a pain.