95 Chevy Beretta intake manifold gasket

I brought my 95 Chevy Beretta in for an oil change today. Post-change, I was informed that my intake manifold gasket was spewing coolant and that said coolant could get into my engine, mix with the oil and seriously mess things up.

I’ve noticed that the car has been slowly losing coolant for about 4 weeks. There were never any spots under the car so I assumed that the coolant leak was super small and just burning off of some random part of the engine. As it turns out, the coolant is simply pooling under the leak in the gasket.

The repair will cost about $700. After at least a month of this slow leak, is my engine already too contaminated by coolant in the oil system to be worth repairing, especially considering that the car itself is barely worth $700?

Your help and advice are appreciated! Thanks!

And thanks to Click and Clack for an awesome show!

If the shop that did your oil change visualized the oil as it came out of the pan, they can tell you if the coolant has been getting into the oil. Instead of looking black and shiny the old oil will be brown and frosty. Also the last of the oil out of the pan would have been gloppy and sludgy if they noticed. So ask the mechanic if they noticed any of these signs. Also if significant coolant has been getting into the oil the level would have been up above the full mark. Also looking under the oil filler cap and into the valve cover, you might see a lot of condensation sludge caused by the coolant vapors condensing in the cool valve covers. The definitive test for damage to the engine would be an oil pressure check because coolant contaminated oil will not lubricate the bearings well and the resultant wear would be evident on the oil pressure at idle.

If the leak was all external, you may have dodged a bullet and can get more mileage out of this car.