Oil in my intake


Asked by Oct 28, 2012 at 07:12 AM about the 2004 Dodge Intrepid SXT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Yesterday my 2004 Dodge Intrepid started getting hot. The warning bell went off, I looked at the temperature gauge and it was about 3/4 of the way up. I stopped and turned the car off within 10 seconds. I tried to release the radiator cap slowly but it slipped and erupted all my radiator fluid. I waited an hour for it to cool down then refilled it. I checked the oil and it was at the correct level and looked very clean. The car fired right up and drove perfectly. I drove 1.5 miles home and it started to get hot again as I got there. The next day I drove it 3 miles to the car shop. It was starting to get hot by the time I got there. Except for the temperature, it started up and drove perfectly again. My mechanic said the water pump probably went out. He went to change it and the head gasket for me. When he took the intake off it was covered in oil. I mean, it was dripping really bad when he took it off. I saw the line of oil on the floor where he had carried to the back of his shop. He stopped and said I needed a new engine. Can anyone give me some info. I don't know if he's just trying to make some more work for himself or what. Like I said, it ran perfectly taking it to his shop. It has the 3.5 liter engine in it. The original motor blew up in 2008 due to the oil pump going out. So I replaced it with this engine. It had 20,000 miles on it when it went in. It now has less than 80,000 total miles on it now. Please help, I LOVE my car and don't want to lose her.

2 Answers

If there was no oil in the coolant, radiator....or vice versa, no coolant in the crankcase oil, he had no business taking the thing apart to begin with. It got only 3/4 of the way up on the temp gauge? Yeah, that's hot, too hot, but not in the red, meaning sure, it needed something, water pump, thermostat, whatever to correct the overheating but just because it got hot, especially for that short length of time, does not automatically mean a head gasket id blown. Possibly, sure, but 3 miles to the shop? You did the right thing by stopping, but never never, as you hopefully learned with your action, don't pop the radiator cap on a hot engine, even an engine at normal operating temperature. The pressure inside keeps the coolant from boiling, and when you relieve that pressure it suddenly is at normal atmospheric pressure, it will immediately begin to boil. Anyway, what engine do you have? Is it a V-6 or V-8 with two heads? If so, how the heck would he know which one it even is in the unlikely event the gasket was blown? As for the oil, my first clue is that a mechanic that will carry a part across his garage floor dripping oil is something that raised a flag with me. It will have oil on it, it's supposed to. Then suddenly announce you need a new engine? Uh uh. no. Not saying WHY a new engine? OK I got a bit long-winded here, sorry, but sounds to me, if he can not give you a good reason, and PROVE it, he is ripping you off. Big Time. Solution? Another, reputable competent, shop, don't pay the dude a dime, he may threaten to not release the car to you unless you pay, but if he already has the head off it's going to need a new gasket anyway now. Have it towed away. If I was in you shoes I would be quite pissed off.

I missed the part where you said it was the 3.5. Doing the math, your first engine blew at 60k miles and 4 years. Let me guess...it was the same mechanic? When it comes to salvaged engines, those guys lie like hell about miles. Every one they have has 20,000 on it. Did you see the car it came out of? Hindsight is easy, too easy for me. Where was it wrecked for the insurance to declare it totaled? Plowed in to something, front end? Or hit from rear? I'd really like to know if it was the same guy.

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