Head Gasket Leak Repair

5

Asked by Jan 04, 2016 at 01:43 AM about the 2007 Hyundai Elantra 4 Dr GLS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Car details: 2007 Elantra GLS 78,000 miles , AT
So I bought the said car from a woman last summer, & when I got it it had zero
leak, my mechanic also looked at it BEFORE I bought it, and gave me a go
ahead to buy. May be it was just bad luck, or she somehow hid it, but I noticed
a small leak 2 months after I got it. Had the same guy check it out - he
diagnosed as a HG Leak. Got it confirmed by friend who works on cars. Since
I am 2nd owner, Hyundai warranty wont cover it. was given an Estimate for
repair b/w $900 [my guy] - $ 1200 [Stealership] , both include head analysis to
see if it is bent/warped. & resurfacing if needed,
The Leak:
appears to be to the outside from the engine, rather than into the engine, [see
picture http://imgur.com/06uhVQ5 ], so my coolant / oil have always been
clear, I now check oil & coolant level / color 2x per week.
oil has been described as 'not so small', Engine Oil it leaks from full to half [ as
measured with dipstick] in about 4 weeks, so I top it off with 5W20 as needed
Car Temp gauge remains about a quarter inch below the half way point.
I was not sure if the car was worth putting $$ in, so I had it 'looked closely',
apart from this, it will need front struts + other stuff totaling about $2100 for it
to pass inspection, due in summer 2016
My goal, as any person who buys used, is to put min $ in it and keep it legally
on the road if I can.

My questions are:
> if I keep the fluids topped up, what damage, if any, can occur ?
> are struts really needed to be OK to pass inspection [ I dont mind the bumpy
ride - as a matter of fact, I dont feel it any different ] and the GRAND question
> am I better off to sell it to someone who can work on it and cut my losses or
cuz of low mileage and body is good condition, put 2 grand in it ? [of course
its my choice, but what is your opinion as a mechanic]
Thank you for reading my lengthy post.

1 Answer

5,075

So this question was posted quite awhile ago so I will attempt to answer it , and hope that it helps. I have a 2007 Hyundai Elantra that I bought brand new in 2007. She literally had 7 miles on her when I drove off the lot. I have been hard on this car but I have always done all scheduled maintenance, and done it early. I have only run premium fuel in it, and it has been an EXCELLENT vehicle. It currently has just under 70K miles on it. It is one of the best cars I have ever own, and I have had approximately 15 cars. So first regarding the Struts. Yes, it is important but not imperative to replace the struts. Failure to do so can cause significant problems with other suspension parts, the brakes, the bearings in the wheels, and most importantly the steering rack and drive axels. These particular cars are known to have some issue with the steering rack. If it is damaged, you can add another $1000 to your repair bill. The biggest problem with not replacing the struts is that it will cause the car to literally eat the tires. Because the proper amount of pressure is not being applied to them, they will wear very quickly. Now regarding the head gasket, I would never advise someone to drive a car with a blown or leaky head gasket. If the car blows the gasket in full, and the oil and antifreeze mix, you are looking at some serious engine damage, not too mention if it overheats. I would park it, and repair it. The car has low miles, and sounds to be in good shape. Would you rather spend $2500 repairing a car that can last another 100,000 miles or dump it and buy another used money pit? My vote is to keep it and repair it asap. I know money is tight for some, but if you are able to, I would address the head gasket first, and then the struts. I hope that this helps and message me should you have any further questions as I have EXTENSIVE experience with this car! Best of luck!

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