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beginning in 12/06 with an engine overheating problem,engine was rebuilt (head gaskets,etc)since then it has had problems with leaking coolant, overheating in traffic,etc. Now am being told that the head gasket has blown and needs replacing along with an axle seal leak and water passage gasket replaced. Cost estimate is $2000-3000, mileage is 155,000; in 12/06 when problems began, mileage was 127000 cost was $6000(a long story!) transmission was replaced at 107,000. the car is in good shape and is paid for, should we fix it again, or donate it to a worthy cause and look for something else? thank you for your time and help in this matter. once aluminum engines overheat are they a lost cause?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Kathy, Sounds to me like the head gasket bolts were not re-torqued after initial replacement. In this case they can cause a gap between the gasket and head or block, which can put you in the same scenario you were in the first place. So, if I understand correctly you could be looking at approximately $9000 in repairs in a matter of 28k miles? If that is the case you may weigh your options being that the vehicle is paid for, and if you choose to purchase another vehicle new you may be looking at payments and full coverage insurance. It depends on what your budget permits. I would begin with the repair facility that replaced the head gasket in the first place, and ask why the head gasket bolts were not checked and re-torqued if needed. Aluminum engines can be machined if not severely warped in an overheating situation to be brought back into original manufacturers specs. AJ Pierce

Donna Burmeister, Service Manager at Classic Nissan The question is, why do the head gaskets keep blowing. Did they replace the water pump?? Was it done at a dealer? You've put a lot of money in the vehicle,ask yourself is it worth to you to continue to do so or cut your losses and move on.

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