So the bad news came back… blown head gaskets.  Upwards of $1,000 to fix.  I can’t afford to fix it, and I can’t afford a new one.  So somehow our 5 people have to get by on my little Mazda 3 for some indeterminate length of time.

That post where I was ranting about how a single income doesn’t cut it any more?  See, this is what I’m talking about.

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  1. Oh… Ouch!! That’s a touchy repair (especially since it can damage more components in the long run…)

  2. What vehicle is this? Are you mechanically inclined?

    A new head gasket should be relatively cheap (~$50), it might take you a while to put it in yourself, but it is totally doable. I have done it on a couple engines. Chances are you won’t need any specialized tools, other then a torque wrench.

    1. According to my mechanic, who has been very reasonable with me over the years, the expense stems from the make of the car (Subaru). Evidently the parts are more expensive.

      I’m open to alternate possibilities though.

      1. Head gasket

        Not matter the make, head-gaskets are not that expensive. It is just not an easy repair. Removing the head is time-cosuming due to all the components that need to be removed and put back.

        However, the problem with blown head gaskets is not often the gasket itself – it is more ‘what was the cause’?
        Most likely in a smaller engine it was caused by a cracked head – the area between the exhaust and intake valves can be very thin.

        If you do decide to fix this yourself, let me know. My family owns a Subaru dealership in MA and one of my brothers is the parts manager. I can probably get you some sort of discount.
        You also might be able to get some aftermarket part for this – something to look at.

        1. Re: Head gasket

          I looked over an account someone wrote of doing it themselves, and no, I’m not going to be doing it. If I had the time on my hands (the guy who wrote it was unemployed at the time), I might give it a shot; but I just don’t have the time to devote to it.

          1. Re: Head gasket

            I was going to say, that sounds like a hell of a job for anybody, much less someone who has to work for a living. On a vaguely similar account, I was crazy enough to swap the clutch in my old Nissan Maxima a couple years back, and it pretty much ate up my entire 1 week vacation I took at the time. The cost in specialized tools & parts ended up equalling what I’d spend having it done by a professional anyhow.

  3. hmmm . . . .

    Sounds to me like your friend voland is offering to do it for you!

    I used to have a head-gasket-blowing Civic, and I feel your pain (the second time it happened I had to scrap it and buy a new one, because I didn’t have the cash to fix it but could get a loan for a new car. God bless america.)

  4. My dads a mechanic. He works out of the house and you could work out some sort of payment thing. You know, a little here, a little there. And sometimes he works for trade.
    So give me a call if you are interested.

    1. *gulp*

      Not sure I can make enough knitted and crocheted scarves and hats to trade…

  5. Suckage..

    That is really crappy.

    Good luck with a new auto…

  6. My parents actually willing chose to downgrade to a mazda (same one older model, smaller in fact) and an impreza when I was about 14. toting around three tennagers in the back of one of those…don’t know what they were thinking, not real fun. I’m sure a carseat doesn’t make it more fun.

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