How much cost is involved with replacing a Blown Head Gasget, 2 cylinders with low compression. 1996 318i, great body.


Asked by Jul 06, 2013 at 11:44 PM about the 1996 BMW 3 Series 318i

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

8 Answers

do you plan to do the work yourself? a mechanic price will be at least eight hours to tear it down....machine shop tank and inspection of the cylinder walls for scoring...damage to know whether or not to proceed...several hundred for all the gaskets and fluid and oil and about eight hours assembly...all complications not withstanding~

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

No, Unfortunately I do not plan on doing the work myself. Just really liked my car of 15 years, Original owner, 153,000 miles. I guess I will sell the parts because the body is in great shape. It overheated when I was gridlocked on the interstate a very long time because of an car ccident. I guess from idiling a long time it cause it to overheat and radiator fluid suddenly flooded out over the hood of my car. Replaced the radiator and it drove fine for 2 months until suddenly without warning (no temp. gauge warning) it started driving strange and I pulled off an exit and it completely died and had to have it towed. I have maintained this car very well and just replaced the Alternator, head gasket valves, etc. Guess I need to retire it but I wasn't ready. I really loved this car and the gas mileage was great!

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

After reading great posts on this site, it sounds like when they changed out the radiator, they should change everything. They also changed out the thermostat for what it was worth. Wish I knew how I could have prevented this. Or maybe it was like this for a long time and it took driving a longer distance on the interstate to get hot enough to finally blow out the head gasket. Don't know however I thought I maintained it well enough to not have this type of surprise.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Robert Charlson

Have you done a cylinder leak down test on the cylinders with low compression? That can make sure it is the head gasket leaking not cylinders rings or valves. Hate for you to start this big job and then finds other issues. I do see this a lot on BMW engines they do not like overheating is quickly damages them beyond repair. Not to say yours is of course.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I had it towed and all they told me was the head gasket was blown and 2 cylinders had low compression... without charging me. So I don't know for sure if they did a cylinder leak down test. I'm leaning towards selling the parts because I keep hearing it's not worth the cost of fixing it. But trust me it's much cheaper than buying a new car. I loved the visability of my old 318i 1996 mode. It seems like the new models have too much pillar thickness and high sills... very difficult see when changing lanes or backing up. .If the body of a car this old is in perfect shape why is it not cost effective to place a new engine with all the valves, etc. in it. And if I buy the parts new - what else should be replaced to assure it will not have problems. Is it possible to get a warrenty on the new the engine and parts. Even If I spent $5,000 it would cost me less than a new car. And if I get another 50,000 miles it's worth it to me. Currently it has 153,000 miles. I would love to have it for a second car and I always thought I would get at least 200,000 miles from it. I am the only owner, bought new from the dealership 1996 and it no accidents. I need advice on the best way to get it fixed and if done the right way are the risks reasonable that this car will run properly. I assume all cars can be rebuilt but maybe that is wishful thinking.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Robert Charlson

You are right that any car can be rebuilt it's just the cost that makes it hard. One of two ways really to fix this. First way is to replace the entire engine with a used one and run the risk of another issue with the used motor happening. Second is to rebuild the engine you have. Now depending on the severity of the engine overheating you can rebuild it I would recommend getting the head planed and rebuilt. Of course check the lower end for damages as well and issues. As for warranty most do come with some warranty the best warranty come from original BMW parts bought from a dealer they give you a 2 year warranty on parts and labor if they fail. And you don't have to have a BMW dealer put them in either to get this warranty.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Thank you. I'm afraid because this is not my area of work, I would be very vulnerable to problems, costs, mistakes and probably a list of other things that I don't even know exist. In other words.... I don't even know what I don't know with a project like this. If I did - I would have already taken care of it. But I would need someone to oversee the entire project finding the correct head gasket/engine, etc. from A to Z. Otherwise I'm setting myself up for a lot of frustration. If you know of anyone who would handle a rebuild project like this (consultant) as if were their own car please let me know. This kind of repair seems to worth it if the owner of the car is a certified mechanic or at least a friend! Thank you.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I'm having the very same problem with my 1997 BMW 528i. Thank you this post really helped me. Sadly enough I think my car taken its last breathe ;-(

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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