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Old 21 Aug 2009, 12:16 am
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Default replacing a head gasket on a 93 honda civic si?

Hey I bought a 93 honda civic si for about $1000 a few months ago and the reason the price was so low is because it has 149,000 miles on it but thats no problem, I love hondas and the condition this car was in I think he should have sold it for more but the main reason the guy sold it so low is because he said the head gasket was going and he didnt want to fix it because he just bought a new car and just wanted to junk this one. I put it out my mind after purchasing it and thought it wasnt that important, so finally the head gasket blew all the way and now I need a new one, How much should I pay for it and to get it done? I have had 3 different estimate and none of them are in the same neighborhood. I am starting to think i am being ripped off. one estimate was 1700, the other was 1500 and another was like 900. I need a proper estimate within the right area before I get scammed by a rip off mechanic. Thanks in advance.
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Old 21 Aug 2009, 12:31 am
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you need to understand what the estimate includes. Lower estimates are usually for the basic repair--just pulling the head and replacing the gasket. To do that, they will re-use the coolant and drive belts. They won't get too involved in checking the deck (top of the engine block) or the head to see if the is any warpage. It won't include sending the head out for magnafluxing or for a 'valve job' while the head is off. You will get prices between $750 and $900 for that level of repair.

you're top level probable includes sending the head out to get checked, doing a valve job, checking the block, replacing the coolant and flushing the system, changing the timing belt and tensioner and possibly maintenance services. That is probably your $1700 quote.

you need to compare apples-to-apples so understand your needs first then ask for estimates based on your needs. for example, if you just changed the timing belt you can re-use it. if the timing belt and other belts were last changed at 90,000 or if you don't know when they were changed then its something you want to do. same for the coolant; if its new there is not reason not to re-use it. if its rusty and old then ask to change it. Only you can make the call.

almost every mechanic is going to want to cover their butt and recommend a valve job or at least to send the head out to be checked. if the car didn't overheat or just did so briefly you're probably okay with not sending it out. if you drove it for a while overheating after the gasket blew then pay to send it out.

same with the engine performance; no reason to do a valve job if the car was getting good mileage and not burning oil. if it was burning oil, have the valve seals replaced.

good luck
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