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Discussion Starter #1
An elderly friend of ours has a 2001 Lumina that blew a head gasket.

The garage should have it repaired by next week.
I usually service the car for her along the lines of oil, filters and fluids.

As the oil was contaminated by coolant would any of you go so far as to run some oil through it for a few miles to use as a "flush" or would you go ahead and just fill and drive?

Thanks for your input in advance.....
 

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I would recommend driving the car 25 to 50 miles to properly warm it up and changing the oil ASAP.
 

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ASAP being the key word there, if it were me, I'd do it twice. Cant be too careful.
 

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Here's what I'd do. I'd put a dose of SeaFoam in the crankcase (you may need to drain a little oil out first so it doesn't overfill). SeaFoam has a "drying" quality, trapping moisture so it can be drained with the oil. Then run it up to full operating temperature and change the oil and filter again. It sure wouldn't hurt it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I was thinking along the same lines but wanted to be sure I wasn't being paranoid. I'll grab a case of something cheap to use as a flushing agent.
 

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The odds are the shop will run the motor for about an hour and change the oil themselves. If in doubt, ask.
Before retirement, I owned a repair shop. After a head gasket replacement I would run the motor at high idle for about an hour, change the oil and filter (yes two oil and filter changes) and then run the motor at varying rpm for about 3 hours after that followed by a lengthy test drive. I did not do it out of love for the customer or the pile they were driving. It was to cover my hind quarters. If the shop has been in business for more than a couple years, they have probably learned to cover their assets quite well. Again, it doesn't hurt to ask. I've also seen shops that would complete a repair, button it up and send it out the door. It's amazing how many of those cars return on a hook within the hour. I had 7 such shops open up and quickly fail right next door to me in just 11 years. My shop rates were about double but my comeback rate was less than 1/4 of a percent. That's pretty darn rare. My customer return rate was nearly $100% Anyway, the point is that if she took it to the shop with the lowest price, you can be assured they are cutting every corner possible and that particularly applies to skilled labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, if we go by shop rates she should be ok. They are just about the highest in the area if not the highest. However, the return rate for work not completed satisfactorily is quite high IMO.

I will ask them what their procedure is as the owner is not very mechanical as would be expected of a 76 year old widow. I would hope they would follow your guidelines but I suspect they will just button it up.

I'll post here as to what they say just to let everyone know. I do feel they are honest in that respect.
 

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all I can say is shop around ... a lot ! Having dealt with the dreaded subaru head gasket issue myself, I was very surprised that the best place, and also the cheapest was the stealership. I had qoutes from reputable shops that ranged from $1800 to $2500 for doing both sides, in the end, the subie dealer charged me $1108, and they replaced a broken bracket in the process as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
:twisted: Well they called her and told her to bring $1250 bucks. Car is ready. They did not flush the engine. Just buttoned it up. At least they admitted it so we know what we are dealing with.
 
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