03'-V6/112k Bad head gasket replacement or not?Coolant in oil,no overheat/leaks on 2003 Saturn Vue Junk or fix-keep ? Limited funds, only transp. source. Engine were strong-blown head gasket x's 2!!

Asked by Mar 09, 2017 at 05:58 PM about the 2003 Saturn VUE V6 AWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

12/12/16:Failed pressure test, oil cap to reservoir was coated in orangish
milky substance. Visible coolant level loss and leak spills, thought to be oil
but later determined were coolant. What do you think it could be ? I bout
12/2014 used from a dealer as second owner with 104k miles, now 2 yrs
later with regular maintenance done and 112 mi. Also, I did have the valve
cover gasket and intake valve replaced a year ago, when the car had
106.5k mi.it. With having kept up on regular maintenance & only putting 6k
on the car in a yr. with the head gasket in need of being replaced, should I
risk getting the work done and keeping the car or sell it now ? Is it possible,
that I may be able to affordably keep the vehicle as my sole source of
transportation for the next 2 yrs. ? Any readers that have had the similar
work up done on their 2003 Saturn Vue 3.0l V6's, please reply with a
scenario of your results so I hope I may ease my anxiety level by getting
better understanding/knowing more of what I can expect. THANK YOU !
Same Saturn Vue V6 3.0 L/Recent re-occuring blown head gasket from
11/2016-present w/ less 300 mi./March 09, 2017, 02:42 PM
Now are being told, as the initial coolant leak and into the oil
reservoir/ground with visible antifreeze loss from radiator were never
resolved from initial diagnosis and repair of replaced head gasket &
$2,200.00 later on 12/17/2016. The car w/ 112 k, 2nd owner and all
maintenance done on car. Several calls were made to service station, as
well as vehicle being taken back twice & only 300 miles(limited driving-
nursing my vehicle and countless contact to manager at service center-piss
poor customer service and no follow through, where services were
supposedly rendered) on car since 12/17/2016. Now are told, my car
rejected the head gasket due to what is believed is a cracked engine block.
Being inform of this, when it were noticed where car were parked routinely,
had new area leaking under the car. Shortly after this discovery, I assessed
engine by popping hood and saw oil/coolant spots all throughout engine,
including the valve cover gasket seals/seem along engine. Now, same
company, their District Mngr. says they will replace the head gasket under
warranty but it is recommended I replace the engine out too at my cost.
Someone assist- please help ! This car is going to be the death of me, as I
am so frustrated financially and with the poor services had by a local to me
shop, that it is felt due to negligence has killed my car. My engine always
running strong and never ran the same after said mentioned initial repair.
Please note, this known name shop changed it's name under another
umbrella name and is no longer BBB accredited.

4 Answers


If this Saturn was an S-series, it might be worth keeping it, but a Vue falls far short of the earlier Saturns. It's impossible for any of us here to diagnose all of your engine troubles, or whether you were taken advantage of by the dealer that sold you this heap or the repair shop. Clearly, they both jumped to take your money and did not deliver. However there is no way of knowing what sort of maintenance was ever done for this car by it's first owner. For now all you can do is stick to your guns with the warranty you bought but warranties on used cars are notoriously spotty. If you decide to keep it, don't thrown any more money into this motor - buy a replacement engine. You can still get some money out of the old engine as it still has a lot of good parts on it, even if the block itself is cracked.

1 people found this helpful.

Thank you KenF for your advice, and I do have to mention the car was sold to me by a dealer with a clean carfax report.

Can any Saturn Vue experts advise as to whether or not a pre- existing cracked engine block would reject a newly installed head gasket kit, creating the symptoms of a blown head gasket ?


It sure would if the block or head is cracked into the cooling jacket. Personally I think it's just time to move on. Use the money you'd spend repairing this 14 year old vehicle toward something newer without the issues! Trade in the Saturn as-is or scrap it. Either way you should be able to get about $200 or $300 for it. HTH. - Jim

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