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Keep car or trade it in

i have a 2006 chevrolet cobalt ls with 80400 miles on it. a couple of months ago the temperature light came on and went off after awhile. i live far from my work so i kept on driving it. a month later, the check engine light came on. i took it to the chevy dealer and then to a mechanic who said that there was water in the 3rd cylinder. i have a negative equity loan on the car. what is your advice?

Unless you can temporarily hide the problem (not likely or ethical) you will gain nothing financially from trading in the car, as the trade in value will be substantially adjusted to account for this problem.

I would definitely do a search to see if I could find a junkyard engine with half that many miles on it before I would invest any money in this engine.

Over this month, were you adding water? It seems that there should have been more symptoms.

i added coolant to the resevoir. and then a week later, had to add another gallon. the car also would hesitate when stopped at a traffic light.

By your words you kept on driving it, temperature light or no, so it sounds like a blown head gasket at a minimum and a strong possibility that the rest of the engine may be damaged. (this would involve overheating of the piston rings and cylinder walls)

Replace the head gasket and you may be left with an oil burner. With negative equity you’re up the creek and will likely be even more up the creek very soon.

Of course you have read the owner’s manual and know that adding coolant to the reservoir does not necessarily add enough coolant to fill the radiator. Always fill the radiator when your car’s engine is cold. Then fill the reservoir to the proper level. But you knew that.

You have probably ruined this car’s engine, at least beyond the point where it can be fixed economically. Check out for a low mileage one near you.