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Old 01-13-2001, 11:52 PM
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I have a 93 300E2.8, 64,000 miles, owned since new, always maintained properly, runs perfectly. This afternoon I noticed some gunk in the radiator expansion tank and it appears to be oil in the water. Nothing in the oil; I checked and rechecked that. I guess I assume it is a head gasket but is there anything else I should check before spending the big bucks for a head gasket?

Any estimates on what a shop would charge to replace the head gasket? (I am am normally a "do it yourselfer" but not sure I feel up to this.)
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Old 01-14-2001, 03:44 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
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You need to take your car to a professional to pinpoint the problem. There are other possible problems. I doubt that it is your head gasket.
It might be you radiator, it can mix transmission fluid with coolant. Check transmission fluid level or signs of discoloration.
Make sure they find the problem before spending a lot of money on something that might not solve your problem.


[Edited by vinamg on 01-14-2001 at 04:49 AM]
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Old 01-14-2001, 10:39 AM
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Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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I have replaced quite a few headgaskets fo this reason. If the head gasket is replaced, you will have to flush the cooling system with a cleaner and replace the reservoir to get it clean looking.
Donnie Drummonds
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Old 01-14-2001, 11:03 AM
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Another possibility besides the head gasket is the oil cooler. I'm throwing all these possibilities at you even tough I'm leaning toward the gasket myself, since I've done one in the past also.
However, I recently changed a bad radiator on a 89 420SEL that was mixing trans fluid with the coolant.
Just check out everything before you do the most difficult one, which is the head gasket.

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Old 01-14-2001, 11:42 AM
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Oil in expansion tank 300E

Checked the transmission oil as well. Just ATF, nothing else in it. Looks fine.
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Old 01-14-2001, 04:55 PM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Before you go nuts tearing the engine apart, drain and flush the cooling system and see if the problem returns. If it does, then it may very well be the head gasket heading south for the winter...
Jeff Lawrence
1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.
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Old 01-17-2001, 10:03 PM
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Just to close this one out, I had the head gasket replaced. The head gasket was the problem as I almost knew from the beginning. My wallet is lighter but the car has no leaks now. Just does not seem reasonable with only 64,000 miles but what can you do?
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Old 01-17-2001, 11:15 PM
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Location: Jax, FL
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Could you please tell us how much lighter you wallet is? (if you don't mind). And did you do anything anything else while you, or your mechanic, were there?
'86 300E
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Old 01-18-2001, 10:26 AM
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Cost was $896 at the local MB dealer. Did nothing else but the price included an oil change, a new radiator cap and a new air filter. Some would probably recommend more work since the head was off anyway but everything else looked great and there has been absolutely no other problems. Besides, it only has 64,000 miles.
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