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Have the shop or mechanic that did the pressure test complete it by running the engine with the pressure gauge on the radiator. If the pressure spikes right away you have a failed head gasket and will need to replace it before running the engine again.
I am sorry you are having this trouble but failed head gaskets on this engine are not uncommon.
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I had it done at Firestone. would they have done this? I hate too pay them again to do the same test over.Or, do do think I should call them and ask if they checked it?
You should not have to pay again, the test should be to pump up the system and look for external leaks and then when none are found start the engine and watch for a sharp rise in pressure which would indicate the pistons are pumping pressure through the head gasket into the cooling system.
They should run the rest of the test for free as it is simple to do.
As long as there is no external leak then the coolant has to be going somewhere and through the head gasket is the only place left.
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I heard of a product called steel seal,which I've read is sodium silicate but II think it may be special order only, I've also heard of a product called blue devil. What are your thoughts?
I have never seen a sealer that was smart enough to seal a headgasket without sealing the radiator and heater core at the same time. If it is powerful enough to seal against the pressure of the combustion chamber it will damage the rest of the system or it will not work at all. For $60 a pop they sell quite a bit and can afford to advertise but I have never heard of anyone who had success with it.
Sorry but if the gasket is leaking you need to have the head removed, the surface planed and the valves cut and it reassembled.
I just talked to the guy at the shop and he said they only check coolant on pressure test. I would have to get a block test for freeze ring, thermostat and head gasket to be checked. for more $$$. I'm aware that the gasket itself is relatively inexpensive, but the engine comes apart and therefore labor is involved. Any rough figures?
They obviously do not understand how to do a pressure check of the cooling system and need to go back to school for retraining. The pressure check after verifying the integrity of the system is part of the test so you know who not to go to in the future unless you need tires!
The cost to do a headgasket on this is 8.8 hours labor, $150 for the machine shop and $38 for the gasket set.
About $750 - $1000 depending on what the shops labor rate is.
Again I am sorry you have this trouble with your car but please let me know how I can help
Thank you you have been very helpful. Just one last thought... Since the shop said it was the heater hose. If I were to pay them the 400 to do this and that wasn't the issue. Are they liable if it turned out to be something else?
cant lock there is a problem with the site right now I will reply when I can
The Firestone obviously does not know what they are doing so I suggest you find a certified independent shop to complete the pressure test. It should not be more than 1/2 hour labor to install the gauge and start the engine to see if it spikes pressure.
I don't think you want Firestone to do any more work unless it involves tires.
If you need the name of a shop please post your zipcode and I will see who I can find.
The shop linked here is a few miles away but is a real pro
Another fine shop a little closer is linked below
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Glad to help and please let me know if you have further questions