It is ALWAYS a good idea to take a car you are interested in buying to a local mechanic for inspection. Here at Columbia Autoworks, we get the used car sob story almost every day. This particular customer spent close to $5,000 for the car, and bought her self a money pit.
It is common practice among dealers to sell aesthetically pleasing cars with a whole host of problems. As a dealer, the way you profit is buy getting the cars sold with as little expense as possible. Head gasket problem? They won’t fix it. They’ll dump in more coolant and let you discover the problem later down the road. Brake problems? Forget about replacing the rotors. They’ll put the cheapest $10 dollar pads on the car and sail it away.
This particular car had been diagnosed with a leaking head gasket. To add to the already expensive problem, the car had a pending check engine code (previously erased), leaky radiator, bad brakes and rotors, and leaking brake lines. We snapped a picture of the head gasket leak from the bottom of the car:
This car was also way behind on basic maintenance. The timing belt, idlers, pulleys, and water pump needed to be replaced as well. Its a good thing the customer had a budget to fix the car. Without it, this car maybe would have last another 3 months tops!
Radiator is out, and the heads are on its way out.
Heads are out! Now its time to bring it to the machine shop to get it milled and checked for leaks. Machining the heads gives us a flatter surface and insures a proper install of the head gaskets.
Our heads are back from the shop! New as the day they came off the lot! Now onto the timing belt assembly.
Water pump, pulleys and idler installed. Fresh intake manifold gasket! Cams at top dead center 🙂
This car is finished! Sorry we didn’t take pictures of the rest of the service. There were literally too many pictures to post!