Cost to replace a 99 Buick head Gasket

iggieFebruary 10, 2008

My grandson 99 Buick blew a head gasket after the thermostat stuck . He was quoted 1500 at dealers, 1200 at an independent shop and 600 by a guy that works in his back yard. He and I decided to tackle the job. it was a monster. Took us 7 hrs 4 one day and 3 the next, However, we got it done and car runs fine, seems to me12 and 15oo is a bit much for such a job. I am an 82 yr old tinkerer and he knows absoloutely nothing about working on cars, However, if we could do the job in 7 hrs seems a shop with all their impact wrenches and such could do it much faster and the charge should be less than 1200, any thoughts on this?By the way it was the 3100 engine

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As long as you did everything properly you should be fine.
did you replace the head bolts ? Use the updated manifold
set ? lock tite the manifold bolts down ? Check the heads
for warpage and champher all sharp edges off the head where it meets the block ? Why did the thermostat stick ?
They usually stick open. Oh yah. Make sure you change the oil and filter at least twice in the first month if anti
freeze got into the oil. The 3.1 is a bad apple for manifold gasket leaks. Good job, i hope. Spending quality time with your grandson is a good thing.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 11:02AM
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How many miles were on the car?I have a 2005 Buick Century with that same 3100 engine.It is are traveling and weekend nice weather car.It only has 19,800 miles we bought it new.I just bought a 4 year extended warranty from GM because I have heard about this head gasket problem.I wanted coverage so took it out before the end of the 3 yr 36000 mile coverage ended.I had a 2.8 in a Pontiac 6000 however that went to 150,00 no problem and it was basically the same exact engine.I have a 3800 in another 1994 Buick with 144,00 miles no problems and they claim it is a bad apple also.But it still makes me jittery about the 3100 hopefully they updated that engine on my 2005.I love that car.

As for the prices you were quoted.I know what you mean everything is way out of line these days.I am curious of just how many miles were on your grandsons Buick?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 11:39AM
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We took the heads to a machine shop and had them checked, used new head bolts guy at parts place advised this also new gaskets every place. Marcel who ocassionaly posts here, loaned us a torque wrench and gave lots of helpful advice, he owned and operated a garage many years. The car has 95k miles on it. The blown head gasket was due in a large part to my grandson,s lack of car knowledge. It started to heat up he kept driving in an effort to get home instead of pulling over and letting car cool> I have no idea why the T stat stuck, but I checked it and it,s definitely stuck closed. We also changed the oil. Tell you one thing the old man is sore and will take things easy for a day or two. definitely not an easy job, but not worth 1200 either Guy at machine shop said heads were fine, not warped and did not need a valve job. Car runs good, kid says it has lots more zip

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:35PM
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At 82 years young Iggie you deserve to take it easy a few days after a project like that.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Congratulations on that job - your grandson is lucky to have you to help him out.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 2:50PM
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I had the intake manifold gasket fail on my 3100. Wish I could have repaired it myself.

Kudos to you for successfully completing such a job.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 8:13PM
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Can I ask what the total was just for all material used and the cost to have heads checked also?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 11:11AM
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If I remember correctly the total costs for head gasket kit and having heads checked was around 250 we bought gasket kit from place where guy checked heads Iggie

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:14AM
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Hey pips...Don't know if this is the right place to post this but i really apologize in putting this thread up. Just badly need some sort of help from you. Hope get what im looking of . So My Century 99 had a coolant leak which was diagnosed as the head gasket. The leak was external as far as I observed, there was no smoke out of the exhaust. The repair facility wants to replace many items along including the head gasket to assure total satisfaction with the job. The cost of Buick Century repair was $1900. If the leak is external, do they need to replace spark plugs, pump, alternator,....I also asked them if they checked for a manifold leak and they triple checked and it is was no.My question is that, what is the minimum I should do to have a faithful vehicle? Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 1:12AM
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That price for a head gasket replacement, spark plugs and an alternator is sheer robbery, you may need the plugs and if the alternator is making noise it should probably be replaced, otherwise if it.s charging alright and you do not have a problem starting vehicle it does not need replacing. Check some other shops you should certainly be able to get repair done for less than 1900 bucks.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:37AM
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I'm not sure if i will get this question answered, but i am trying to fix my 1999 Buick Century on my own, what tools would I need to fix the head gasket on my vehicle? please reply asap

    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 9:05PM
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