I am laughing so hard....not really

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'08 Liberty in signature. ~154,000 miles. Been solid except for a few niggling Jeep issues, mainly HVAC, which we've had it in for - and warranty work for the same thing- thrice now. Two weeks ago it threw a code for high coolant pressure and we had a new thermostat installed; all was fine after the repair. Then 5 days ago, wife reported no heat - again. All was fine in between, and suddenly the heat was gone. Third time no heat, including new manifold under the dash, associated control panel and two heater core replacements mad I was away so Mrs JLTD stopped driving it and drove mine, only trip in the Jeep was to get her home and later a couple blocks out and back then the drive to the dealer. So back to the dealer we went, for warranty service. Engine's running fine, except started to overheat on the way to the dealer. Pop the hood @ dealership and engine's dry on top with nothing leaking anywhere. Fast forward 5 hours....get a call and they tell me there's no coolant in the engine shocked2 and they've done a "carbon test" and figured out that the head gasket is gone. OK I think, I've seen a sudden head gasket failure with no external signs before. But why did it take them 5 hours to see that? I was 2nd in line this morning... Then the service advisor asks, "How much does you wife love this car?". Uh, oh I think. Advisor won't give me the estimate over the phone, says I'll get a texted link. I opened the link and that's when I laughed. Before I get to the engine-- They also recommend full front and rear brake rotor replacement. I just did the brakes around 20k ago, checked 'em during tire rotation (Sept) and the pads are good. It's 12 years old, got some rust on the calipers, which seems to be the major issue they're having. Steering rack leaking and needs to be replaced. Just checked the driveway, again, and no sign of anything leaking. The rack was dry when I was under there in October for the oil change (which will be changed again). Head gasket needs to be replaced, and according to the tech: engine is too old for head gasket replacement, engine needs to be replaced. And he misspelled "too old" writing "to old" instead. duh [censored] [censored] [censored] [censored] )^#@$% STEALERSHIP. Oh, and they want 10 grand. I am tempted to violence, but instead I'll get it to a nearby mechanic we trust. I realize the vehicle's old and to some extent it's throwing good money after bad. Perhaps it's time to get it repaired well enough to go trade it in.....which may be the whole point of the dealer's whopper of an estimate. /rant Question: I'm not familiar with the Carbon Test. Can anyone enlighten me before I go down the internet rabbit hole?
 
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In college, one of the automotive technology instructors worked with a local TV station doing a dealer /mechanic expose. Nice to see in over 40 years, it has not changed. That head needs to be checked to see if it is still flat. The top of the block also. Any decent independent mechanic should be able to replace the gasket, and have the head surfaced if needed. Rod
 
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10,431
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
The way you described it-"no heat" multiple times, I would have guessed HG trouble right away. Have they even torn into it to see if the heads are good or not? It might not be that hard to repair, since the coolant has likely been sucked in & burned, and the engine has not been overheated multiple times. Guessing this is under the wonderful "lifetime" powertrain warranty? If the engine is truly toast, the stealership likely hastened its demise by not diagnosing it correctly to begin with.
 
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Man that sucks. My wife had a 2001 Honda Civic and the head gasket went with symptoms similar to what you're experiencing. I read it was somewhat of a common problem for Civics of that generation. I went to a local mechanic and he said it was better off to just replace the engine rather than spend labor hours on removing the head only to find out it was warped. But he recommended just to trade it in for something else if I could swing it. Honest guy. Since it overheated not every often, I took it to a Carmax and sold it without an issue.
 
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The absolute most I would put into a 150,000 mile 08 Liberty is around $2k, if she likes it. I'd put some coolant in it and sell it with a potential head-gasket failure. You can buy 04-09 Rav4's or CRV's for $6-9 k in good mechanical condition with less miles on them, and they will be significantly less expensive to repair going forward. Just ignore the fact they both look like middle school art projects that won solid participation trophies.
 
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Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by JLTD
Two weeks ago it threw a code for high coolant pressure
So it must have a coolant pressure sensor? Where?
With the head gasket compromised he was likely getting combustion pressure bleeding into the cooling system which resulted in the high coolant pressure code.
 
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Originally Posted by Fotoflame
Man that sucks. My wife had a 2001 Honda Civic and the head gasket went with symptoms similar to what you're experiencing. I read it was somewhat of a common problem for Civics of that generation. I went to a local mechanic and he said it was better off to just replace the engine rather than spend labor hours on removing the head only to find out it was warped. But he recommended just to trade it in for something else if I could swing it. Honest guy. Since it overheated not every often, I took it to a Carmax and sold it without an issue.
This is EXACTLY what my brother's '97 Civic (that he bought for his son) is doing-combustion bubbles in the cooling system, heat disappears at random times (usually on interstate off ramps), eventually runs low on coolant. Amazingly a new 16 PSI radiator cap, radiator, and thermostat have it somewhat under control, but he has an HG job in his future!
 
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I replaced the radiator cap and thermostat. It continued to occasionally overheat. The tell tale sign is that the exhaust gasses push all the coolant to the plastic expansion tank. If your coolant was filled to the brim in the tank, you knew you were screwed.
 
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Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by JLTD
Two weeks ago it threw a code for high coolant pressure
So it must have a coolant pressure sensor? Where?
With the head gasket compromised he was likely getting combustion pressure bleeding into the cooling system which resulted in the high coolant pressure code.
OK, but to set a high coolant pressure code, you need to sense high coolant pressure with some sensor. I don't remember coming across such a part and I have a Liberty myself.
 
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted by Fotoflame
I replaced the radiator cap and thermostat. It continued to occasionally overheat. The tell tale sign is that the exhaust gasses push all the coolant to the plastic expansion tank. If your coolant was filled to the brim in the tank, you knew you were screwed.
I think it depends on how bad the HG leak is, his seems to pressurize the cooling system when running, then pull it in after shut off, but it's not really bad yet. I had an '89 Civic wagon that I had a buddy rebuild the head on (incl. 2 exhaust valves, valve job, and resurfacing) that I bought for $100, and a new set of rings, rod bearings, quick hone, and HG/oil pan gasket set had back on the road for under $500. Drove it for a few years & sold it for more than I had in it, so they can be repaired.
 
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Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by Imp4
With the head gasket compromised he was likely getting combustion pressure bleeding into the cooling system which resulted in the high coolant pressure code.
OK, but to set a high coolant pressure code, you need to sense high coolant pressure with some sensor. I don't remember coming across such a part and I have a Liberty myself.
Good point. Maybe OP could post the original trouble code that was generated....
 
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
Have you considered the possibility the HG failure could be related to the exclusive use of Amsoil products? hide
I could see it, if he's been using SSO in the radiator! I've never been overly impressed with the Liberty, they seem extremely rust-prone (around here), but maybe a boneyard engine would be OK.
 
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