Repair the head gasket or purchase a new car?


Asked by Jan 14, 2015 at 11:26 PM about the 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2008 altima coupe 3.5.  It has 160,000 miles.  I recently took it to the dealer
and they mentioned i need to replace my head gasket.  I had my mechanic check it
(he previously worked for Nissan) and he said it is leaking coolant and it needs to be
replaced.  He quoted me a 1,500.  Also I need to replace my back brakes and
something else in the car for a grand total of $1,800.  He already fixed the Oil Cooler O-
ring and the front drive shaft last week.  Both of those areas were leaking.Should I go
ahead and fix the head gasket and brakes or start looking for a new car?

10 Answers


Altima,3.5? Fix it,trust me. Its worth the keep if you're not paying a note.


Look at what you're getting for the buck. New upper gaskets all around. At the dealer you would pay twice that.


the car books for around 5500 bucks in good condition. you cant replace it for 1800 bucks. if it were me I would fix it. assuming you aren't making payments, or are upside down on the value.


Yeah I own the car. I don't think it's blown out its just leaking coolant and two mechanics have recommended I replace the head gasket. The cosmetics of the car are great. The interior is also in really good shape. My biggest concern was that at the miles I have if I replace this, will it at least prolong the life or is it at a point where I'm going to have to be repairing stuff here and there due to the wear and tear.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

While he's got it all down see if he'll look at the timing belt. That should be the last thing at 160k. Other than that you sound like you're in good shape.


A car with that many miles could have some issues certainly. I personally don't mind driving higher mileage cars. We have 5 vehicles, all with over 100k. I do a lot of my own work though. If you have to pay for everything it sure sucks. Those are pretty good cars though. If it is in otherwise good mechanical condition then it is probably worth fixing. Things like brakes are normal wear items. Even your new car will need them eventually. That would be considered maintenance. I know its a tough decision. If it were me I would fix it. Good luck.


Yeah he mentioned he would look at the timing belt. Out of curiosity how much is it to replace a timing belt if it did in fact need to be replaced?


Btw I really appreciate both of your timely responses. Thanks guys.


Well, to do the heads he'd have to take the timing belt off because of it being a 3.5. Each head has its own camshaft but they are timed off the same primary chain. Internally there is a chain that times both camshafts. Ask him about the timing tensioneer to the primary timing chain.


The tentioneer about $60.00 I would think. Better yet go to Autozone on line and check it out. Compare Autozone,Nissan,advanc e auto parts as well as other stores.

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