In Reply to: 90-535i with cracked head -- what to do? posted by DJDolan on December 20, 1999 at 17:22:16:
: After months of overheating problems, two months ago a mechanic replaced a head gasket which had a hairline crack in it. The cracked gasket allowed coolant into cylinder six and air into the coolant -- which became an air block stopping the coolant flow. That repair cost $1,000. Now, I took the car to a second shop - complaining that the idle was rough -- and they point out that I have a cracked head -- in the area by cyclinder six where the bolt is. They suggest replacing the head -- at $975 for a remanufactured head (no exchange since my head can't be exchanged). There'd be another $1,000. worth of labor an parts such as bolts, etc. The car has 112,000 miles on it and otherwise is in very good condition. Should I spend the $2,000. to repair it, or are there other major problems which are likely to begin to turn up? What will happen if I continue to drive it with the cracked head? All bummed out in KY. Your advice please?
DJ, i think you took the time to ask the board for alternatives knowing that we generally like to save money on our repairs/maintenance. We as a group like working on our cars, even if it causes marital strife, for the sole purpose of learning something new and saving at least $5 Am I wrong?
I agree with Pierre that you should DEFINITELY have the engine thoroughly checked before dropping $2K repairing it, but i disagree with his recommendation to spend $5K on a new engine. there are plenty of sources to get a precision rebuilt engine cheaper. A friend of mine replaced the engine in his 3 series for about 1/3 of what the stealer wanted. If i remember the url, try www.bavengine.com (or search Bavarian Engine Exchange) i think he paid about $2800 and got their performance upgrade option. The 535i engines run about $2900-3000 and include free shipping, no core charge and a 2 yr unlim miles warranty. If you're a CCA member, they usually run ads in the Roundel, many others in there too.
I'm not saying your car isn't worth spending another $5K, but you need to sit down and do the math--rest assured you WILL have to repair other items on a 10 yr old car, and the $2K estimate could easily creap up higher once they start ripping hoses, engine mounts, replacing fluids, etc. Best of luck and keep us posted how the engine test turns out.
ron 89 525i