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Gary, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 1052
Experience:  Senior Technician
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I have a 2001Pontiac aztek and its overheating, thermostat

Customer Question

I have a 2001Pontiac aztek and its overheating, thermostat changed, there was a hole in a hose but its fixed. It's still overheating like dangerously. White smoke comes from tail pipe, when it over heats my car shuts down and I have to get a jump. The battery and check gauges light comes on then you hear a whining noise like a belt for a couple seconds then it stops and the heat pops on. I don't know what to do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hi Amanda,

White smoke from the tailpipe is not a good sign.

If the engine has previously overheated, then I would say at best you have a head gasket issue now.

At worst case, I say the engine could now be requiring an overhaul.

Piston rings lose their tension, and every oil seal will be deteriorating.

An inspection of your engine is now a must.

I hope this helps you.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Around how much to replace a head gasket
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hi Amanda,

Your engine is similar to some of ours.

V6 DOHC per bank (Quad cam)

First up, how many miles, good service history etc, needs to taken into account.

If it had say 300000 miles, I wouldn't even lift the hood, I would quote for an engine straight up.

It then needs to be proved if it has a head gasket issue.

Some simple testing and observation will reveal that.

If you are low miles under 120000, and good service history, and it is only one head gasket (since you have 2 being a V6), a very rough guess would be in the $2000-$3000 range.

A lot of dismantling needs to take place to do a job like this.

I would sooner replace the engine with a good second hand engine from a wrecker.

Some wreckers will do the job for you.

A whole engine swap could be around the same price or a little more dear, but in the end a better result happens.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** very sad at the moment, I think I will just get a new car 187,567 miles
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hi Amanda,

I am sorry for the bad news, and I feel your pain, been there many times myself.

It still may be worth your while to fix it, it then may give you a higher trade-in price.

I guess you'll need to do some sums now.

Once again, I am sorry for the bad news.

All the best to you.


Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hi Amanda,

I hope I was of some assistance to you.