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Discussion Starter #1
Got used car with 55k miles on it this summer. I was very happy with it and it drove fine. I got extended warranty for it, just in case.

Earlier this fall, the check engine light went on. I brought the car for service at the Beverly Hills dealership, and was told cylinder head, valve and guide need replacement, estimated at $1k for cylinder head inspection (asked by extended warranty insurance to prove head failure and to see what the causes are) and $4.5k for actual replacement. :eek: This is nearly the value of the car! Am I being gouged? Will my extended coverage insurance cover such costs, if they are indeed inflated? I drove the car 3k miles only.

I was in a small car accident a few weeks before check engine light went on. Windshield and lamp cover needed replacing, but besides that car seemed fine. I had no reason to suspect further damage, especially not this bad! The car was driving perfectly fine. Could extended warranty insurance try to avoid covering repairs due to this accident? Can I try to make an accident claim with regular insurance for this damage? I wrote the claim adjuster and am waiting to hear back from her.

Am very surprised and confused. What should I do? Thanks for the help.
 

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Whether the insurance will cover it is a question for THEM, not us!

If you search these forums, you will find that this type of failure, while not common, is not unheard of, either.

The collision won't have anything to do with it - unless it caused a coolant leak which then led to overheating. Was the radiator replaced? Did anyone check/inspect the cooling system for leaks after the collision?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

There was no inspection after the accident, since there was no damage claim on my part. The repairs I got done were below my deductible and the car seemed fine... It took about 2 weeks before the check engine light went on, so, at first, I didn't even link the two events.

What if the cylinders are indeed leaking? Whether that's due to the accident or to something else would be hard to tell, no?

I consulted today a mechanic that's not affiliated to any dealership and he is of the opinion that the estimated costs I was quoted are much too high, and to get the car out of there. I'll do that.
 

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I consulted today a mechanic that's not affiliated to any dealership and he is of the opinion that the estimated costs I was quoted are much too high, and to get the car out of there. I'll do that.
You can always try a used engine. But I guarantee you any new engine, from a crate, from a manufacturer will cost you thousands.
 

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You certainly can replace the cylinder head separately from the rest of the engine. The problem - aside from tracking down the parts - is the number of special tools, procedure, and labour involved.

Just a few threads down, is a thread written by someone who did it.
 

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One other thing ... for someone who knows a thing or two about engines, there is likely no need to replace the whole cylinder head - just the valve guides and re-cut the valve seats. A good automotive machine shop should be able to do it.
 

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Years ago I had a VW Golf diesel and the timing belt broke bending three lifters and cracking the head. The mechanic used was a real whiz with diesels and turbos, he found me a used head, replaced the broken valves and bend lifters and replaced the timing belt all for $1100 all in. The car ran like new afterward. I haven't owned a diesel for a while, and I miss using him because the work was always thorough, well done, and for a good price - he only works on diesels.

It's hard to find a good mechanic these days that does a good job for a fair price. But yes I would say that price is highly inflated.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much for your advice, people. Now I know that I should shop around.

The Yelp reviews for that service center also say that it is known for inflating prices a great deal, and even asking for repairs that aren't needed. Hmm!
 

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...my questions are, is the car running OK???...what is the code they are getting from the computer that merits the kind of work/$$ they are asking for???
...other inmates here had the check engine light (CEL) come on in their cars and were told the same thing you were told only to find out that it was easily fix by other methods....Jeffrios comes to mind...

Jetfuel...just saying
 

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I'd try a few tanks of fuel with "Seafoam" before ripping into the motor. It's worked for others..........................
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The car seems to be running perfectly fine, besides the 'check engine' light on the dashboard. No shaking, no dripping, no fumes. Nothing. That's why I'm really surprised to be handed an estimate for repairs that total up to nearly the value of my car (!)

I haven't been told the codes, though the mechanics I've consulted today have been telling me to ask for them (and so I will!). All the dealership mechanic has told me is that the cynlinder dripping and compression test yielded:

COMPRESSION TEST CYLINDER #1 150PSI #2 140PSI #3 155PSI
LEAK DOWN #1 9% #2 19% #3 8%

Now I'm hoping that the car will be good to go for a few more miles! On Monday, I'll go pick up the car and drive it from the dealership back to a mechanic who struck me as more reasonable, and who'll give my car a second look. It's about a 6 miles drive.

If it's just a matter of running this 'seafoam' engine cleaning product, that'd be very, very nice indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's a good tip, thanks. I'll be sure to talk to the mechanic about that.

There seems to be cylinder leaks, so that will need some repairs. Hopefully, the extended warranty will cover that, and, more importantly, hopefully, there won't be anything beyond leaking cylinders to fix...

Now I'm hoping I'll be able to drive the car back from the dealership. It was driving just fine going there... let's hope it'll make it back.
 

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I have seen way worse compression and leakdown. Do the Seafoam treatment. Avoid short-trip driving, and make sure you are using the correct engine oil. Nothing to lose by trying that.
 

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The differences between all three cylinders aren't too great which might mean something other than a problematic cyl#2.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
'avoid short-trip driving', in opposition to long trip driving? Or in opposition to driving at all? Thanks for explaining. I'll need to drive 5.5, 6 miles to get the car back home... I'm not sure I can bypass that. Will that be ok?

I'm not sure that I understand how the dealership mechanic has reached the conclusion that the cylinder heads etc need replacement, if all he got are the compression and leakdown indicators. Seems fishy?

Maybe he's got some other test result he hasn't given me. I did ask him to give me the specific codes he got.

Could somebody please explain what those test results seem to indicate? Thanks!
 

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...also...even tho that our fuels contain lots of additives and cleaners it wouldn't hurt to run some injectors cleaner with a top tier high octane gas...

Jetfuel....hoping for the best....
 
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