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Is it really a head gasket problem?

hansenkenthansenkent Member Posts: 1
I took my 2002 Alero in to a dealer to have them look at a coolant leak problem and they tried to sell me a new water pump (probably needed) and a new head gasket as well! They say the two problems are not *necessarily* related. Which raises two questions in my mind:
1. If a head gasket is leaking, why isn't the "Check Engine" light illuminated?
2. Other than this, my car is working great with 135,000 miles on the odometer. If a head gasket is needed, is it worthwhile spending that kind of money on a car this old?


  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    There's no sensor for a head gasket leak so no surprise there, but if it gets bad enough it may trigger some other sensor (low coolant for example).
    You didn't say which engine, 4 or 6, but in either one if I was going to replace a head gasket at that mileage I would probably change the water pump also since even if it's not leaking it is near end of life.
    How did they determine the head gasket is bad?
    The decision to repair is yours, I would base it on the overall condition of the car. Keep in mind that the costs for that major of a repair is most likely going to be at or above the trade in value of the car (Alero's and Grand Ams depreciate fast) so if you repair it plan on keeping it for a while.
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