Pity the poor Legend

My '92 Acura Legend with 212k was recently diagnosed with a potential car-killer: a leaking (my mechanic’s actual term was “weeping”) head gasket. Estimated repair cost was $1900.

The smart decision would be to let the car go and replace it.

But as time goes by, I’ve begun convincing (or fooling) myself into fixing the car.

For starters, there are no other big problems with the car. Timing belt is 30k old, and the transmission, while aging, doesn’t show any signs of impending failure.

And I don’t rely on the car day-to-day, I mostly need it for occasionally leaving town.

Finally, I’m a cheapskate. I have a hard time justifying the purchase of a $5k+ replacement car given my limited usage. Not to mention the poor job security of a crappy economy.

Am I being completely foolish considering the repair route?

'92 Legends are pretty sound cars. If you plan to drive it into the ground the repair makes sense. If you look at the book value of the car it probably doesn’t make sense.

Get another opinion and repair estimate. Does weeping mean just a leak externally of a small amount of coolant? Is the coolant weeping internally into the oil? Or is oil getting into the coolant? If it just a small external coolant leak perhaps you can live with it for a while. If the coolant and oil are getting together then you need to fix it ASAP if you want to keep from significant motor damage.

I’m not sure what I’d do, it depends on the condition of the car. If the motor was fine how long would you keep it?

A weep is a very small leak. If it’s an external weep, don’t lose sleep over it. Some things don’t NEED repair. Being unsightly doesn’t count.
Your mechanic could try to stop the weep by loosening the head bolts, and re-torquing them.

Your mechanic could try to stop the weep by loosening the head
bolts, and re-torquing them.

I’ve never heard of that. Does it work? What happens if the head uses torque-to-yield bolts?

Does it work?
Ans: No testimony from me. You won’t know until you try it.
What if they are torque to yield bolts?
Ans: Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

I had an engine with a weeping external head gasket leak. Ya know what I did? I poured a teaspoon of black pepper in the coolant. This stopped the leak for two years until the gasket deteriorated to the point where it required replacement.

With the age and mileage on the vehicle, that’s all I’d spend on it.