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Old 03-29-2008, 06:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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m52 head cracked

Hey, new here and I have a question.

my daughter blew the head gasket on her 98 528i, (bigger job than I have the time or talent to complete) so I take it to a mechanic, he tells me it is the head gasket and replaces the head gasket, at the same time he replaces the cooling system (radiator, water pump, thermostat and housing, hoses and belts) $2,800...feel my pain. We get the car back and the next day it over heats and starts thowing a engine code that says cyl 3 misfiring...I have it flatbedded to his shop, 3/4 gallon low on "water"...we fill it and he tries to get it to over heat it won't...duh, he drives it for 13 miles around town and still won't over heat. I get in it and drive it for about 50 miles and it over heats...let it cool down and it is 1/2 gallon low on "water" and still missing on cyl 3. he now is saying that the head must be cracked he wants to take it off and have it pressure tested and it is going to cost me $800 for a replacment head if it is craked but he will do the labor free. He said he put a straight edge to the head when he had it off and it was fine...

1) shouldn't he have had the head machined when he had it off
2) I am now almost $3,000 into this on my credit card...$4000 total for this repair seems a bit much

I guess my question is do I tell him to take a hike and take the car somewhere else, or does a cracked head sound resonable and not finding it when the head was off understandable?
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grego528i View Post
Hey, new here and I have a question.

my daughter blew the head gasket on her 98 528i, (bigger job than I have the time or talent to complete) so I take it to a mechanic, he tells me it is the head gasket and replaces the head gasket, at the same time he replaces the cooling system (radiator, water pump, thermostat and housing, hoses and belts) $2,800...feel my pain. We get the car back and the next day it over heats and starts thowing a engine code that says cyl 3 misfiring...I have it flatbedded to his shop, 3/4 gallon low on "water"...we fill it and he tries to get it to over heat it won't...duh, he drives it for 13 miles around town and still won't over heat. I get in it and drive it for about 50 miles and it over heats...let it cool down and it is 1/2 gallon low on "water" and still missing on cyl 3. he now is saying that the head must be cracked he wants to take it off and have it pressure tested and it is going to cost me $800 for a replacment head if it is craked but he will do the labor free. He said he put a straight edge to the head when he had it off and it was fine...

1) shouldn't he have had the head machined when he had it off
2) I am now almost $3,000 into this on my credit card...$4000 total for this repair seems a bit much

I guess my question is do I tell him to take a hike and take the car somewhere else, or does a cracked head sound resonable and not finding it when the head was off understandable?
Sorry to hear that happened man. It sounds like from your story that he probably did not bleed the cooling system properly when he changed it out, therefore causing a big air bubble to be in the cooling system and being low on water and overheating. If I were you I would hold him to pay for the replacement parts for the second time. If he does not want to do that I would make a big stink about it and you probably need to find a more reputable shop. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It depends

Hi, wow unhappy story. My condolances, cause it is not going to get any happier I am afraid.
The answer depends on what u mean by "blew the head gasket"
How did you know? Most important how hot was the motor for how long?
If it was known it overheated then yes, shoulf never attempted the quick fix.
also, how many miles on the motor? if it has as many as expected for it MY, then forget it. Unless you pressured him to 'try" it to save money.

I would probably have taken the one reliable path and thrown that engine away. A valve job is really the only reliable way to fix yours and then you are putting an expensive rebuilt head on a what, 130K mile bottom end,? and spending 2-3K, more if head was no good.
At this point Either give up on the car and sell it for salvage and go shopping, or find a used engine locally and swap. Give you a factory asembled engine with 50-70 k fewer miles than you had and no worries re diagnosis or machine shop reliability etc, etc. way way less room for error.
I could go on but I'll spare you.
I would ask for some labor back, maybe half labor and go with plan A or B.
Good luck
tom
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No pressure on the mechanic. He told me it had a blown head gasket, I told him it was to big of a job for me, what would it cost? He quoted around 2 grand I said do it...it came back with a new cooling system, head gasket and $2,800 bill

I have to do something soon...emmisions is due in July and it will not pass. I cannot decide which way to go....the car drives soooo nice. 1) Thinking of droping a used engine in it... biggest job this DIYer will have ever done or 2) sellling it as a mechanic special and letting someone else drop an engine in it.
It would be a shame to part this car out

Thanks for the advice
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think u ever mentioned the miles.
WHOA, I JUST REREAD YOUR POST. HE OFFERRED TO DO LABOR FOR FREE
Sorry, that does change things. Now you can try to R&R the head again, have the head machined,pay for that and maybe a salvaged head. Hmmm
Or ask him to split the labor of R&R an engine which one of you finds. Someone on e46fanatics has a engine for sale with only 29k miles, he wants... I don't remember, maybe high teens? the fellow who sold me his trans said it took a year to give the engine(with 79k mi) away for around $900, plus $400ship. I like that the best; buy used 60-90k engine, if possible LOCAL (they cost 400-500 to ship, unless you go fetch it) and do some other things like engine mounts and trans mounts and shifter bushings, that are hard to do otherwise and get the most for your money. might try to get some est from other folks re labor to R&R so u know how much to agree to. It will take a good deal of research to know what to change/mod if engine diff at all, ask if they can throw in ecu with motor?plus most will send things like starter,injection, and some other spares or sell em.
all this presupposes u really really like this car and it has had lots of maintanance to be worth this amke certain it doesn't need a clutch,seat recovering,new springs and shocks etc. be realistic.
otherwise

Yes I agree, make it a "machanics special" and u won't feel like you had your dog put to sleeep! get a few thousand(ask the mech for some back,like $500 of your labor, or $500 toward your next car!
then go shopping
whatever good luck
tom

Last edited by toml; 05-14-2008 at 10:19 PM.
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