Repair head gasket or get rid of 98 stratus?

aklapaklap Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I've got a 98 stratus w/ 58,000 miles on it. Bought it used. Just found out it has a blown head gasket. It has not been overheating yet... Repair could be anywhere from $200 - $800. The dealer will trade me out of the car. Do I get rid of now - while I can or do I get it repaired??

Thanks for you input


  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Dealer will trade you out? Did you buy the Stratus from that dealer?
  • aklapaklap Member Posts: 3
    Yes - I traded in grand prix at local ford dealer. Had the car 1.5 years. Dealer is willing to take stratus + 4500 for a '00 focus, 28,000 miles & warranty. Yes i know the 00 focus has problems too... :( but it's in the price range.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Man o' man! This is a tough proposition. I suspect I would want OUT of the car with the bad head gasket. Be careful! Real careful! (:oÞ
  • aklapaklap Member Posts: 3
    I've never had to do that type of repair on any other vehical - so I don't know if I'd be openning a "can of worms". Evidently Dodge has had troubles with 2.4l engines & headgaskets. I'm leaning towards getting rid of it just because I hate dealing w/ car problems...And this is my wife's car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Let me ask you this....totalling up your current investment in the Stratus, what will you be paying in actual dollars out of your pocket for the Focus?

    Once you have this number, go to the Edmunds Home Page and look up the True Market Value of the Focus you are buying.

    This should give you a clear idea then of what kind of deal you are getting and whether bailing out of the Stratus is going to hurt you or not.

    If it isn't really costing you anything to bail, and if the Focus is affordable to you, well, then, maybe it's the way to go. But if you are actually overpaying on the Focus just to get out of the Stratus, you might as well use your money to fix it rather than just hand it over to the dealer as extra profit for him.
  • jack51pinejack51pine Member Posts: 18
    We had the head gasket replaced on our '96 Stratus about 4 years and 55000 miles ago, and haven't had any problem with it since. We now have about 91000 miles on it.
  • tulsahogtulsahog Member Posts: 64
    Changed the oil and filter on a V6 and the dip stick showed full with 4 qts of oil.

    The owner's manual says it should hold 4.6 qts with filter change.

    Should I go by the dipstick or add the extra .6 qt which would show over full on stick? I suppose the stick could be wrong.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    Some of the oil will stay in the engine and the filter, and then the dipstick will appear "low", so that you can add the extra .6 qt.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    Have you had other problems with the car?

    Do you like it?

    If the car is relatively trouble free, and you like it, then the right answer is to put a new head gasket in it.

    The head gaskets have been improved, so make sure your mechanic puts a good one on there.

    Of course have the other maintenance stuff done while there. If there is a timing belt, have it replaced, any hoses that can easily be replaced while the work is done.

    Might as well pay for the labor only once.

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    If the head gasket is the only shortcoming of the car, I should think getting it repaired is in order, even if you plan to sell it.
This discussion has been closed.