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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I have been reading this forum for a few months, and now its time for me to ask for your advice.

I have a 1992 Toyota Camry V6 XLE 177,000 miles

When I was driving home last nite, I got off the freeway and noticed that my car was overheating

I pulled into my garage and noticed that I could hear the overflow bottle boiling. Since it was late and the engine was very hot, I let it cool down for about 6 hours. After I let the engine cool down, I filled the radiator with coolant (50/50 mix). I then tried to start the car, but nothing happened. There was a shudder type of sound that happened whenever I tried to start my car.

Finally, after a few more tries, it started, but it was idling very, very roughly. I drove it down the block, the car overheated almost immediately and there was a large amount of white smoke coming from the tailpipe. I immediately turned around and parked the car.

I was driving the car all day yesterday and there were no signs of overheating, rough idle, etc...

Does this sound like a blown head gasket? If so, what does this repair usually cost?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

*Note: Radiator replaced in September 2003
 

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Doesn't look good. Yes it is very likely to be at least a blown head gasket. I also have the impression your engine lost compression on at least 1 cylinder.
I THINK that your block doesn't have a problem but your head would need to be removed first for examination. You will also need to know what was (if any) the first cause of the problem. Was this blown head gasket due to a clogged radiator or a leaking water pump,... ? Everything will need to be checked in order to avoid getting the same problem again in a few hundreds miles...
Good luck !
btw do you think you could do the work yourself ? It could save you a LOT of money...
 

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Drain the engine oil and see what it looks like. If it is brown and thick there is some bad news for the gasket. See if you can get a used engine with < 70k miles or so and do a quick & dirty swap out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, everyone for your repsonses! I have 2 friends of mine that can probably do the work for me and save me a lot of $.

mk3glx, I'll take a look at the engine oil tonite......

I'm just frustrated right now, I just replaced the tranny 2 weeks ago!!!! Thankfully, I got a used tranny for $700, and my friend only charged me $200 to put it in!

I'm certainly at the point at which I have to decide if I want to repair the car and risk something else going wrong, or biting the bullet and getting something newer and having to make monthly payments :(

Both the exterior and interior of my car are in good shape. I have a new radiator (Sept. 2003), new brakes, new tires, new struts and I just had the AC converted to 134.

Anyone know roughly how much a used engine goes for?

Thanks again, everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yikes! I've been calling around, seems like it'll be a minimum of $1500 to replace the head gasket and anywhere from $2500 to $3000 to have the engine rebuilt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I've decided to get a used engine for my Camry. A lot of people don't think its worth repairing my car anymore, but I've repalced the tranny, tires, brakes, struts, radiator and A/C has been serviced.

I know my car is old and has a lot of miles, but $800 for a used engine plus installation sounds better than making $400 a month car payments (for the next FIVE years!) plus the laughably high insurance rates in LA county.

Since I have opted to replace the engine, I'm also going to have the timing belt and water pump replaced. Any other suggested replacements?

Thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just a quick update guys, my friend was able to find me a used engine for $850 plus tax, delivery included. Not too shabby for a 3VZ! Now I just need to find a water pump......
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the link, Nico. I found a water pump for my camry for only $50! What other components do you guys think I should replace while I've got the engine out?
 
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