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Old 10-23-2002, 08:59 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Petersburg, Va 23805
Posts: 24
Head gasket leak?????????

Took my 1992 300E to the shop............ Oil leak near alternator.... I was told it was the head gasket? They suggested doing the valve guide seals too.... tensioner and motor mounts.....Plus they said radiator was leaking too. Total cost 3000.00 ouch
Should I get the valve guides replaced...... and how can I be sure it is the head gasket
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Old 10-23-2002, 09:36 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
What motor do you have?

Oil leaks due to an impending head gasket failure show up at the rear of the head. If the leak is at the front (by the alternator as you stated), it is the timing cover seal, a much less expensive repair.

Unless you are burning several quarts of oil a month, I wouldn't bother with the valve guides. Save that job for when the head comes off for the head gasket. You are losing more oil out of that timing cover anyway.

Is the tensioner making noise? Usually, a replacement bushing will solve that problem, and not replacing the whole tensioner.

Radiator usually fails where the top hose meets the inlet.

Motor mounts collapsed? Could be. You haven't given a mileage on your car, but it might be due.

BTW, except for the daunting head gasket replacement, the above problems are DIY, and can be done for around $500 in parts (the $300 radiator being the most expensive). And many here have done the head gasket job.

Your head gasket can leak for years before actually being a real problem. When you start seeing oil in the coolant, or you can't keep the engine from overheating, that's the time to act.
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Old 10-23-2002, 10:40 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 571
The head gasket may have been mis-diagnosed. As the previous poster said, leaks more towards the front come from the u-gasket that's under the upper cover.

Your belt tensioner could be worn, but often times the tensioner bolt is merely striped and the belt can therefore no longer be properly tensioned.

Your valve guides may not be worn at all. This would be determined when replacing valve stem seals, but again, if your leak is from the front of the motor, your head gasket, seals, etc. may be fine.

I'd take the car to another garage and get a second opinion.
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Old 10-23-2002, 10:55 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Petersburg, Va 23805
Posts: 24
Thanks ..............the mileage is 142,000
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Old 10-23-2002, 10:59 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Petersburg, Va 23805
Posts: 24
The engine size a 2.6 300e, 1992, 142,000 miles
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