Craçked head after new water pump

My friend just got a $1,200 repair done: changed her timing belt and water pump. Her car immediately overheated. Now her mechanic says her car has a cracked head. He says he’s going to patch the head with something and she should then sell it immediately. I feel like this mechanic’s repair caused the subsequent overheating problem. I also feel it’s unprofessional for him to tell her that he’s going to patch it up and then she should deceive the new buyer of the vehicle. I feel like she should call the Better Business Bureau. What’s anyone elses take on a brand new problem of overheating right after a water pump repair?

If the engine never before overheated, then–yes–this is a bit suspicious.
On the other hand, isn’t it possible that the old, defective, water pump had led to overheating issues, and that the cylinder head was already cracked?

In any event, calling The Better FOR Business Bureau will probably accomplish nothing. For some reason or other, a lot of people seem to think that the BBB has regulatory and punitive powers, when–in fact–this private organization has neither power.

The BBB is essentially a “club” that businesses can join on a voluntary basis, in order to give themselves a halo of righteousness. Any business can join, including those that are dishonest. The national BBB is actually a profit-making organization that sells local franchises to the highest bidder. Then the local BBB franchise owner makes his money from selling memberships to local businesses.

Membership in The BBB does not guarantee that a business is honest or honorable, and conversely, lack of membership in The BBB does not imply that a business is dishonest or dishonorable.

Consumer-related problems should be referred to the Office of Consumer Affairs in your state. This agency is usually under the same umbrella as the state Attorney General’s office, and as a result, they do have both regulatory and punitive powers.

Several years ago, Smart Money magazine published a long, detailed summary of their investigation into the BBB, and it was extremely critical of that organization. The last sentence of that investigative report was, “Few, if any, consumers have actually been helped by The Better Business Bureau”.


The more likely possibility is that the water pump was changed proactively as part of the timing belt job. However, this should be confirmed by the OP.

From what you wrote, it doesn’t say the mechanic said to deceive anyone, just get rid of the car. That may have been implied by the conversation but this is all third and further party information. We weren’t there to hear how it was proposed.

Just because of the unfortunate timing? I would be suspicious as well but without any concrete evidence, it only a suspicion and there are just as many reasons why it could have been an unfortunate coincidence. Now if your friend invests time and money to have someone else diagnose the overheating and finds evidence that the new water pump failed or was improperly installed, that is something they can work from. Unfortunately, that means sinking even more money into the car.

Excellent point

Another valid point.

+1 please read and then reread these excellent point about that particular bureau of crooks…

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From my own experience, the mechanic is probably going to weld the crack in the cylinder head. That was done some years ago to a Ford Escort my wife owned and it ran well for several more years. The mechanic is probably advising your friend not to sink any more money into her car because it has other potential problems or it’s just plain old. PT Cruisers haven’t been made for ten years.

He can see crack? Vs failed headgasket?

I agree. Assuming the timing belt/water pump job was done as routine maintenance, the subsequent overheating could very well have been caused by the recently-performed work. It could also be coincidental, but unless the mechanic can say “component X failed and caused the overheating” and component X is something he would not have touched, I’d assume the recent work caused it.

I assume the mechanic is planning to use one of the commercially available “head gasket repair” solutions, which contain sodium silicate together with ceramic fibers, and are intended to provide a temporary “repair” to a water jacket leak. I certainly would not want to knowingly pass off a vehicle “repaired” in this manner as a good running car to someone who might be financially ruined by buying this thing, and for the mechanic to suggest that is very unprofessional.

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