Head Gasket Repair

I had a head gasket replaced on my 08 Ford Fusion SEL AWD (warranty repair) @17,000 miles. I generally keep my vehicles a long time (I had a 93 Ford Probe GT for 10 yrs/210,000 miles and a Mercury Mountaineer for 10 yrs/132,000 miles).

Can I plan for a 10 yr ownership period with this vehicle without facing a costly engine repair or engine replacement in a few years? or how many miles should the head gasket repair last?

What Were Your Car’s Symptoms Leading To The Gasket Replacement?

Providing the car didn’t ingest too much coolant, run low on coolant, or dilute the engine oil with coolant, it should be fine. A small external leak should cause no problem at all. The replaced gasket should go the distance as long as these engines don’t have head gasket problems, in general.

I had a head gasket replaced by a different manufacturer, under warranty, for an external oil leak. That car, under different ownership is still on the road with 200,000 miles and 18 years under its belt.

The symptoms were similar to your vehicle. A small external oil leak. No engine overheating as indicated on the temp guage and the coolant level was always ok.

I Wouldn’t Worry About It. It Might Be (It already Is.) Better Than The Factory Gasket!

Enjoy your next ten years.


I can so no reason I would worry about it.

I would have let this leak continue right up to the point of warrany expiration to see if it is of signifance. I really don’t want my head removed unless it is totally necessary. My thinking is there is a small number of heavyline mechanics (and getting smaller) no one in the shop ever did a headgasket on such a new car,they learned on yours.JMHO

I understand your point but I’m curious, let’s say I waited until the end of the warranty period to have the work done and another 10,000 to 15,000 miles after the initial repair the problem for some reason reappeared. Now I’m beyond the end of the warranty. How difficult is it to get Ford/dealer to still repair the car as if it was still under warranty? Is it a given that they would do the work or is it a real “tug of war” to get the car repaired?

My thinking was to get this problem taken care of immediately so I still have 3.5 yrs/43,000 miles of drive train warranty remaining.

Thanks for the quick reply.

A problem that was repaired right at the warranty expiration date and re-appeared after warranty would be handled by the repairing Dealers warranty which you would have to get the details from the Dealer.

This Is Water Over The Dam. The Gasket Was Replaced. My2Cents Remains Under Warranty.

He/She can talk to the technician who actually performed the work during the next trip to the Dealer. I’ll bet it was done by an individual with lots of experience in engine repair and can reassure the owner that everything will be fine.

Why complicate things with shoulda, woulda stuff? This isn’t anywhere near rocket science. We’re talking about a head gasket. I’ve done them successfully in my driveway. The owner deserves to enjoy this new automobile.

Two more years of Consumer Reports and Car Talk will let you know how the head gaskets on Fusions have been holding up. If there is no bad trend by then, your new head gasket may be a forever job. Right now, you can’t tell if it’s forever or fornever.

My oil leak reappeared 10 days after the head gasket replacement. I’m now working with different dealer. Wish me luck!

2 Cents, Same Location, As Far As You Can Tell?

I’d wonder if a head gasket or its replacement is the problem. The factory tried one. The dealer tried one. This may require a much closer inspection and more thorough checking. I’m not convinced gasket #3 would solve this problem. They need to have a good hard look at the head and block and bolt holes, etcetera.

Good Luck!
Start reading that Lemon Law, three strikes material, just in case.


P.S. Just curious, is that the 2.3 four-cylinder or 3.0 six-cylinder SEL AWD?

As far as I know these engines are not prone to head gasket failures but anything can happen. Since it’s leaking again already this means one of 2 things to me: either the repair was not properly done or it was not done at all.
By the latter, I simply mean maybe a cleanup was done and you were BSed about the gasket even being replaced. In a word, placebo.

Reasons for a gasket failing so soon, if that’s the problem, could be:
Failure to inspect the cylinder head surface for flatness and surface as necessary.
Reusing head bolts.
Failure to thoroughly clean the cylinder head and engine block mating surfaces.
Failure to torque the head bolts properly.

You might ask to see the complete, as filed, warranty claim on this job. If it was performed you should see things other than a head gasket being charged out under warranty rates. This would include any other gaskets needed, new head bolt set as the head bolts are Torque to Yield and should not be reused, oil filter, oil, coolant, etc. IF the repair was done properly.

If they can’t or won’t show you the warranty claim or various parts are not shown as being charged out then the repair should be considered suspect. Just my opinion anyway.

I am not suprised that the repair did not go well, I do believe anything is possible but headgasket at 17,000,what I have seen is porosity of the aluminum head material at that mileage (on a small number of 3.0 sixes in the BMW X5 and we did replace the heads upon instructions from Tech. Assistance)

3.0 V6 SEL AWD.

Thanks for the responses. I’ll continue to pursue a resolution to the problem with my new dealer. You’ve provided me with some good input. As a last resort I’m thinking about the lemon law but that’s down the road aways and hopefully I won’t need to get that far.

I’ve not called the Ford customer relations number yet either. I thought I’d work with this dealer first. Does anyone have any experience with calling the customer relations people? Is it a pr thing only? Would I get a run around or would they actually be helpful?

Please let me know if you think calling Ford would actually help.

We’ll Try Paging Ken Green For You. “Ken, Are You In The Building?”

I think calling Ford would be a waste of time if you’re looking for specific information. This is true of any car maker. They simply won’t talk and will tell you to “talk to the dealer”. It’s kind of a Catch 22 if the dealer is not talking or clueless.

Right now I’m in the middle of a Ford issue while trying to help my son with what could potentially be a transmission problem on his Lincoln. The service writer (NEVER listen to those guys) fed him some BS and when I talked to the writer I led him into a discussion with loaded questions. You’ve never seen so much tap dancing and back tracking; constantly changing his story when a tech detail was pointed out.
A subsequent discussion with the service manager was pretty much the same; trying to skirt the issue until he finally admitted the writer knew nothing.
As of today, this issue is not resolved and Round 3 will occur next week.

The reason I mention getting copies of this warranty repair info is that it can reveal a lot; from whether the correct parts, etc. were properly used to whether it was even done at all. I’ve had quite a bit of experience with not only doing warranty repairs but also submitting them and even aiding the warranty clerk in shoving through those claims that got rejected for any one of a million reasons.

As far as I’m concerned, if they can’t produce a verifiable claim then it’s quite possible the job was never even performed. If the claim is lacking a number of parts then it could have been a “halfway job”.
Another issue would be possible resurfacing of the cylinder head. Did anyone check the head while it’s off? You have no way of knowing this and if someone reinstalled a warped head that is out of specs then the new gasket will not hold.

In case this turns into a Lemon issue, you MUST maintain a paper trail as to the complaint and repairs done. Without paper you’re sunk, so make sure everything is documented. Hope some of that helps.

The paperwork I received when I picked up the car says:

1 CA Gasket
1 BA Gasket
1 AA Gasket
1 AA Gasket - Valve
1 DA Gasket - Valve
8 Hex Head AB Bolt
1 A Gasket - Cylinder
Sealant - Silicone
Brake Cleaner
Filter - O
6 5W-20 QSP Oil

Also, when I’m idling I smell an odor similar to burning oil. I assumed that was typical for engine work of this type. But, should that be gone after 17 days? The oil spot on the cardboard has also moved a few inches. I assume the migration path to the floor changed indicating a leak in a different location.

I’ve concluded some work was done (as you said in one of your posts)and the work was done 1) incorrectly or 2) there’s more wrong than just a gasket leaking. A friend of mine also suggested he thinks it’s a warped head (he’s a backyard mechanic that’s done head gaskets before).

Again, thanks to all for some sound advice.