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Short version: My son's 'new to him' 2001 9-5 wagon with 4 cyl 2.3L turbo blew a radiator hose and apparently needs a head gasket. I called RockyMountain Garage, but they seemed to think with 200k miles, we should just replace the engine for $3,500. Can anyone recommend a shop in that area that would do a head gasket R&R?

Long story: The car had mysteriously leaked coolant from under the hood on a couple occasions. There was coolant splashed on the under-hood lining. We replaced the cap, then a week later discovered a split upper radiator hose. It was a major leak, he pulled over as soon as it was safe to do so, and had the car towed. When the shop checked it out, they also discovered it was 4 quarts low on oil! After they added oil, replaced the hose, and added coolant, bubbles kept appearing in the overflow tank. Once they put the cap on, it began entering the cylinders, they shut it off. It then started hard, i.e. the plugs were wet...

We regularly check the oil, it was fine 200 miles ago, and the 'low oil level' light never came on. It did not go out the turbo, the turbo had been replaced. Could it have quickly dumped the oil 'without making a mess', or a lot of smoke?

What checks would you do to verify the bottom end is still OK before doing the head gasket?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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heck sounds like the start of the problem could have been a stuck thermostat causing a build up of pressure. then with the disappearing anti-freeze could have been a bad heater control valve.

you can do a compression test to make sure the bottom end is okay. but with the overheating you might have more issues than just a blown HD. l

if it was me I would do a new engine and call it good. but only it if has a warranty on it.

good luck in your decision.
 
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