My daughter just purchased a used passat and found that the water pump needed replacing (slight lead). In the course of having this replaced (along with timing belt + fan switch + fan motor) found out that non-recommended anti-freeze was used by previous owner (yellow/green vs. red/pink). Now repair shop says that a new head gasket is in order - the car doesn’t smoke (white) - could this be true and what cost could be expected to replace?
How many miles are on this vehicle? What evidence do they have to support the idea that the head gasket is damaged? If none, put in appropriate coolant and drive it. Coolant color has little to do with its composition these days. What ever possessed you buy a used Passat?
the price on it was irresistable (4400) - the shop that recommended gasket replacement would not do it - they suggested only VW service, hence since the recommender is not profiting and has no connection with VW, I assume he is being forth right. Maybe I’m just a bit naive. My concern - if it really needs it and isn’t replaced soon, what are the other ramifications, i.e., cracked or warped head?
I’d still like to know his reasoning for recommending the head gasket replacement when there aren’t any symptoms. It’s true that problems can potentially occur when you mix two different types of antifreeze (I.E. green glycol with orange Dex-cool or a substitute), but if the system is drained and properly flushed out, there shouldn’t be any problems.
If it starts showing head gasket symptoms (white smoke, overheating, unexplained coolant loss, bubbles in the radiator), then you can worry about it. For the time being I’d say just drive the car and don’t fret.
I agree with the above. The non use of the GL-12 coolant should not automatically call for that kind of work. Only after doing other test could it be called for. The wrong coolant should not be used and may cause damage, but I don't see where you have sufficient reason to fix a problem that you may well not have.
Thanks to all responders - by the way there are 92K miles on the car. I need to drive it for a while and see what’s actually happening. Hope you’re right and I can proceed without issue! The garage that did replace the water pump etc… did a complete radiator/coolant flush. I’ll let you all know after I’ve driven for a while (white smoke or over heating etc…)