CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Coolant leak

I have a 1997 Buick Century with more than 215,000 miles. The low coolant light came on so I took it in. THey said it was a collant leak and the intake gasket needs to be replaced. Total of $900. I only need the car for my son to drive 3 miles round trip to school each day. Is there a cheap fix that could keep the car going for a few more months if he only drove it to school and back? I can’t buy another car for $900, but I hate to put more into a car with so many miles. Thoughts?

You might be interested in reading this thread
http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/2116763.page
Maybe tester can talk about how it works with gaskets.

thank you very much.

I have a 2003 Sonoma pickup with a similar problem.The leak can be external or internal. External if you are seeing leak on the pavement. Internal if coolant is getting into engine which can damage by corrosion.The mechanic said it is the lower intake manifold gasket which in my case is made of plastic. Check the oil drained on your next change to make sure the coolant is not getting into the engine.Price to repair sounds high. I had a quote of $500, but this can vary according to vehicle & location.

I just had this happen to my daughters 97 Skylark. The GM V6’s have a reputation for the intake gaskets going bad. Cost us about $800. Check out Steel Seal, there are other postings you can search on to get an idea about it. Maybe a cheap alternate, but it may clog the heat exchanger.