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Head Gasket

We have a 1999 CLK 320 with 55K miles. The dealer in town has informed us that a head gasket needs to be replaced at a cost of $4K. Could you let us know if this a reasonable estimate and also if there is a sealer that can be used instead of a replacement.

Are there indications of a head gasket problem? Steam out the tail pipe? Engine overheating?


I would not spend 4k even on an 11 year old Mercedes with just 55k. The price is maybe “reasonable” for a Mercedes dealer repair, but it’s neither fair nor a good investment on your part.
I would guess that there is no warranty or any other protection still in force for this car. If you need a head gasket and have kept up the car, but the warranties have all expired, seek out a reputable garage rather than spend $4,000 to repair a head gasket.

There are liquid products that will provide some improvement in the short term, but I consider any liquid fix a last ditch method to get a month of two out of a car while saving up to replace it. If you value this car, get it fixed, just see if you can spend much less than 4k to have it repaired.

Sounds like Mercedes prices, i’d try and find an independent shop that specializes in Mercedes and see what they’d charge.

What’s the story behind this head gasket replacement and what led to this diagnosis?

Overheating? Continued operation of the vehicle?

If severe overheating and continued operation was behind this then it’s possible the engine could have other problems, all depending. Washed out crankshaft bearings, crank journals, cam lobes, washed out cylinder walls, fried piston rings, etc. All of that means an entire new engine, not just a head gasket.

none of these - we took the car in because the battery was failing.