I have a Saturn 2003 Vue with 78,000 miles on it. I was told that the head gasket is leaking antifreeze and needs repaired for about $2500. Is it worth getting repaired since it's probably only worth $3,500-$4,000 for trade in? If I get it fixed how long will it last, do dealers give any warranties on the work, and are there other items that may need replaced or damaged while replacing the head gaasket? If I keep adding coolant when it's low, is it safe to drive and for how long? Day? Months? Should I be looking for a new or new SUV? A dealer would be doing the repairs. Thanks for any help you can offer. Jack Pittsburgh, PA
Thank you for your help so far. Here's some additional information you wanted.
The $2500 repair estimate also includes replacing the serpentine belt, which apparently should be changed at 60,000 miles -it wasn't. Does this seem reasonable to do at this time and is the cost reasonable?
According to the tech the leak is only external right now not internal. It seams to leaking at the back of the manifold. The tech also indicated that we should/will be getting coolant on the floor inside the passenger compartment. Does this make a difference on how long we can safely drive the vehicle?
We just had a front wheel bearing and a rear wheel bearing repaired for about $925 plus tax. That's another reason we are looking to see if it's worth putting more money into it or to take the $1000 loss and look for something else? Look forward for you help and answer.
The $2500 does include the installation of a new timing belt with the new head gasket.
We do not have any coolant on the floorboards at this time. Acording to my wife who ususually drives the Vue, some misting does occur on the windshield when it's first turned on. She thought this was due to the differences in temerature from the outside to inside of the vehicle. Also to get rid of the mist she would turn on the AC or open the windows.
Hope this helps you out.--Jack
I apologize for not respnding sooner to you, but I don't check my email very often. As per your recommendation I will get the coolant system pressure test at another GM dealer and see what they have to say. After that I may have additional questions. Thank you so much for your help I greatly appreciate.
I went to another shop and had a pressure tesst done on the cooling system. They add dye and confirmed that the head gasket was leaking. I did find out that in the original shops quote of $2500, it included new headgasket, new water pump and timing belt. Does this make the $2500 price more reasonable. Also, while repairing the head gasket are there any other parts that might be needed or commonly damaged while trying to do the repair that would increase the cost?