Blown head gasket

hey I have a 1998 volvo s70 with 273k on it. I am pretty sure the head gasket is blown. The shop I usually take my car to said i need to take it to a dealer and that volvo usually wants to replace the engine on a car that old. Would you pay the 6k for a new engine or think about a new car?

If your car was repaired, and was–overall–in “average” condition, it would retail at a dealership for less than $2,000.

If you were to repair it and sell it directly to another person, they would be unlikely to pay more than $1,000.

Unless your values system is far different from mine, I think that it would border on insanity to “invest” $6,000 in a 15 year old car with such a low book value.

Time to move on, IMHO.

The engine in your S70 is the 2.5L 5-cylinder engine, I believe. This engine is all-aluminum. A blown head gasket could cause warping of not only the head, but the block, too. Dealerships simply don’t want to take the risk of doing all the work just to find out the block is warped.

I took the risk for my cousin a few years ago. We got lucky, and the block was straight. The head just needed a shave. $300 at the machine shop for a shave, valve reseating, and valve seals, and it went together smoothly.

15 years old and getting close to 300k, perhaps this car is @ the end of it’s life. You can get a halfway decent used car for $6k and get years of use out of it. Or put $6k down on something new or newer.

Was the BHG diagnosed by a tech, or do you just suspect that it is? I’d confirm the issue before doing anything.


I’d consider installing a rebuilt engine from one of those places that do the rebuilds in a production line. I wouldn’t install a new engine. And I’d only consider installing even a rebuilt engine if it was a cast iron block from an econobox car with a high sales volume.

A 15 years old car with an aluminum block engine? Probably not.

I say send it to the recyclers. It will come back to life, sort of reincarnated, mixed in the metal alloys with various parts of thousands of new cars.

I’d move on, it’s had a good run.

@bigbill4368 unless you have the tools and know-how to do the job yourself, move on.

Say goodbye and cut your losses.

Time to go shopping. There is absolutely no way in space that I’d put $6K into a '98 S70 with 273,000 miles on it.