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Subject Topic: Reasonable cost to replace head gasket Post ReplyPost New Topic
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notirish1
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Posted: May 11 2010 at 4:19pm | IP Logged Quote notirish1

I posted back in March my discontent with Nissan to not have any sympathy
for me with a leaky head gasket in my 2003 crew cab 6 cyl. I have saved up
the $1500 I thought would cover replacing the head gasket, but now i am
getting estimates from 2K to 3K. Most include replacing the water pump
and timing belt and sending the heads to a machine shop for surfacing.
What is reasonable for this repair? the truck has 84K miles. A part of me
just wants to buy a Ford and be done with it, but the truck is still worth 9K
or so. Any advice?
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frontierguy
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Posted: May 11 2010 at 5:13pm | IP Logged Quote frontierguy

I'm assuming both head gaskets are leaking, even if it is only one, both should be done. It is premature on the timing belt, but again, it has to be removed to do the head gaskets, water pump is also a good idea. As far as machine work on the heads, highly doubtful. If they are warped more than .004 they are junk. Think about it, when you resurface, you are only straightening the SURFACE, not the entire assembly which the cam rides in which will bind and eventually break in a warped head. The correct way to straighten a head is to place it in an oven then on a press to straighten it. 12.7 hrs is the time allowed for both head gaskets, plus about an hour for the belt, w/p and 3 seals. Depending on the labor rate + parts, it does add up. How bad and where is the leak??? sometimes an intake gasket leak in the back can be mistaken for a head gasket leak.

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08 Frontier SE KC 4X4 6speed
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notirish1
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Posted: May 12 2010 at 9:55am | IP Logged Quote notirish1

I am sure it is a head gasket leak. I had a pressure test done by a
mechanic in the neighborhood ($39). Then upon the advice from that
mechanic I called Nissan and they said I had to get a dealer service to
verify the problem. The dealer did a pressure test ($124) to tell me it was
for sure a head gasket leak. Then Nissan said they wouldn't help
because the truck is out of warranty and I had not displayed brand loyalty
by not using a dealer for servicing the truck. The neighborhood
mechanic said 84K miles is very early in the life of this truck to have
such a problem and most companies would stand behind their product.
Not so with Nissan. Therefore, I am faced with what appears to be a
major repair. From your figures, the labor is about $1400 and the parts
should be around $600, which is about where the neighborhood
mechanic estimated. I have considered replacing the truck, but I can't do
so without taking on a payment that I don't really want, so I guess I will
repair this and shell out the $2K, unless you have different advice.
thanks for the response
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frontierguy
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Posted: May 12 2010 at 9:28pm | IP Logged Quote frontierguy

How bad is the leak? How often do you add coolant? Have you tried any coolant system sealers???

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08 Frontier SE KC 4X4 6speed
08 KTM 200 XC-W sold
09 KTM 200 XC-W sold
07 KTM 250 XCF-W sold
06 Altima SL!!
Nissan Technician 25 + years
2011 John Deere X720SE
used 07 KTM 250 XCF-W for trail r
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notirish1
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Posted: May 13 2010 at 9:21am | IP Logged Quote notirish1

Actually, the leak isn't bad enough that coolant leakage is a problem. The
amount that leaks is insignificant. However, the little bit that leaks lands on
the exhaust system so the smell of burning antifreeze is obnoxious. I
haven't tried any sealers because I have heard stories of how it messes up
your engine and is only temporary. With only 84K on the truck, I am
looking for a permanent fix.
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frontierguy
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Posted: May 13 2010 at 8:26pm | IP Logged Quote frontierguy

BG products make an excellent coolant system sealer that is a liquid, not the thick gumming kind that are characteristic of most. It is only available through auto and truck dealerships. Do a search for availability in your area or I could possibly send you some if there is any in our parts dept.

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08 Frontier SE KC 4X4 6speed
08 KTM 200 XC-W sold
09 KTM 200 XC-W sold
07 KTM 250 XCF-W sold
06 Altima SL!!
Nissan Technician 25 + years
2011 John Deere X720SE
used 07 KTM 250 XCF-W for trail r
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brandonmillsap
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Posted: Feb 03 2011 at 8:21pm | IP Logged Quote brandonmillsap

notirish1 wrote:
I posted back in March my discontent with Nissan to not have any sympathy
for me with a leaky head gasket in my 2003 crew cab 6 cyl. I have saved up
the $1500 I thought would cover replacing the head gasket, but now i am
getting estimates from 2K to 3K. Most include replacing the water pump
and timing belt and sending the heads to a machine shop for surfacing.
What is reasonable for this repair? the truck has 84K miles. A part of me
just wants to buy a Ford and be done with it, but the truck is still worth 9K
or so. Any advice?



It is true that head gaskets range from 2K to 3K. However, you can also go for OEM in order to get the best deals. Quality isn't sacrificed, and I'm sure you will be satisfied. Check sites such as car-stuff and pelican parts. Hope this helps.


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