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Hello,

I have a 1999 Toyota rav4 that I am fairly sure the head gasket is messed up on. It is leaking coolant out of the exhaust manifold and seems to be worse this week than before(I have filled the reservoir bottle twice this week).

My question is where should I go from here? The car has 220,000 miles on it, I'm not sure what all information is pertinent here so sorry about that

I have read some about the blue devil gasket sealer and other similar products but there is mixed reviews. It worked for some and others say it made the problem worse by clogging the whole cooling system.

Then there is paying to have the gasket replaced which is very pricey and I don't have to tools, time(I work 2 jobs), or a garage to do it myself. And I don't know if it is worth the cost to have it replaced. I have some money saved up but I don't know whether it would be a better investment to use that for a down payment on ano there car or invest it in this one.

Any thoughts on whether it is worth the risk of trying a gasket sealer chemical? Or worth the cost of having it replaced? Im pretty lost on what to do right now. Thank you for any help you have to offer
 

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It all depends what will work for you. Time, money and really a desire to continue with a RAV4 with a hurt engine. Only money will resolve the situation. Then again, you can give it in as a trade in and get out a new car. But they will test the car before they'll accept it as a trade in. But then come monthly payments.

IMO, you should fix the RAV4. You'll be taking the bus for a few days. That gasket let loose because it was run hot, very hot. You should get an estimate before doing anything. I think you are looking at about $600.00. Anyway you look at it, it isn't easy.
 

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I am planning on buying a RAV 2015 to REPLACE a 07 Subaru with a KNOWN HG issue..they all have them. My entire decision process went the same as yours...my cares only 69K miles, and VERY costly to do the job here, since I am not a mechanic either. ($2500-$3400-incl timing belt, water pump, new bolts, etc etc)

You got 220+K miles, a long ride, and the newer safety features alone are worth your life over investing in an old old car.

I LOVE my 07 Subaru, but I had to face reality, the new airbags in most cars would have saved me injury when I was in a head on collison back in a 2002 car ( the new car side wall curtains, and new Knee bag protect your body better. Crash tests on the IIHS Failed 2013 Rav4 Small Overlap test show the dummy head cracking on the side post after slipping of the airbag instantly..all that counts! outside of a head on crash, being hit on the driver side by another driver is a tremendous impact, and the more likely of accidents on 2 lane roads.

..but an older car does not have them. so buy the newest car you can afford.

I've heard TO NEVER use the sealers, and never use the same OEM gaskets (they are the failure point on Subies)...look up "the dreaded head gasket issue" an article by a CA Subaru shop, they do MANY of these, and can describe the WHY of it which may apply to ANY car needing costly HG repair.

The HG needs to be shopped out for resurfacing too, that is costly, and labor alone is $102. p/h here, it adds up fast and you still have an OLD car..more things will stress and fail over time., and you do not get the investment back if you sell sooner, so you COMMIT to years more ownership and care.

You are wise to think it through. lastly some have the same HG fail 20-50K miles later so nothing guaranteed. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also another thing I was wondering is what other major issues could happen. Basically if I were to get this done how much more money could I possibly be looking at in future repairs and how long can i realistically expect the car to last. Another 50-100k miles? More? Less?

I have already replaced the fuel pump, front and back shocks/struts, I feel like there was more than that but I can't think of anything else.

Also I just bought 4 new tires a couple weeks ago.

600 doesn't sound as bad as I thought it would.
 

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New car payment = Servitude for years. I wouldn't get a new car unless it's very necessary. I would fix the car....The temptation to get a new car is overwhelming but those monthly payments? The only loan I'd take is a business loan. Save your money.
 

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The head gasket is essentially gone so don't even bother with a sealer attempt. Neither would I spent any more money on it with 220K.

I'd be all over Craigslist on this one - both to list it to see what you can get for it and to buy another, maybe even another 4.1 the new tires will fit on. Don't give those away.

On Muddygurl's '07 Subaru: Same standard Subie HG failure happened to my niece on her '07 Outback but since I'd done that pain of a job on a Forester I inquired as to the repair cost from a very reliable local Subaru mechanic who guarantees his work. We were able to get that amount, $1300 I believe, deducted from the price when we bought the car privately off CL. Car was in immaculate condition except for the mess under the engine.
 

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I see OP getting a newer car.
That is the reason nice looking first gens are in the junkyard.
For a 3500 vehicle nobody wants to spend thousands.
Me ... I am screwed up. lol
 

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Also another thing I was wondering is what other major issues could happen. Basically if I were to get this done how much more money could I possibly be looking at in future repairs and how long can i realistically expect the car to last. Another 50-100k miles? More? Less?

I have already replaced the fuel pump, front and back shocks/struts, I feel like there was more than that but I can't think of anything else.

Also I just bought 4 new tires a couple weeks ago.

600 doesn't sound as bad as I thought it would.
Looking at it this way, depending on your maintenance record, these vehicles have a very high durability rating. Of course if you use Toyota parts, or the replacement parts. But I've used both, some replacement and some Toyota and it still running very well. When my RAV4.1 hit 100K. I did the clutch, brakes, shifter cables and some other stuff. This summer I'm doing the bushings. But it has been a long time since a major fix was up. Yes, I think I got into about 1K, maybe more, but man, I hammer my ride, but I also take good care of it.
 

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hi all, not sure if I'm posting this on the best thread, as it looks like some of the conversation on this has gone stale. Situation is a 2010 Rav4 v6 with a coolant leak as diagnosed by 2 shops including local Toyota dealer. I can see the coolant leaking. However, no overheating problems yet and coolant level changes only slightly. Told it is a head gasket. At 140,000 km??? Dealer estimates about 20 h + parts to do it, and private shop reads 28 hours in their guide. We were looking to sell the vehicle actually, as we have a company car and the "old" company car ('16 Outback) to use. However now that all this has become known, this throws a wrench into things. Has anyone had success having Toyota Canada help support a repair for an issue that never should have happened in my opinion? Or using some kind of sealer product? I'm afraid to dump that stuff into the rad for the potential of clogging up things like heater core & rad. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I've used Alumaseal quite successfully on several cars over the years. Never had a radiator issue but pinched off the heater hoses when possible. For less than $5 it's worth some time and a try. I'd also suggest running straight water since it's summer. After the leak stops drain and refill with coolant.
 

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I've used Alumaseal quite successfully on several cars over the years. Never had a radiator issue but pinched off the heater hoses when possible. For less than $5 it's worth some time and a try. I'd also suggest running straight water since it's summer. After the leak stops drain and refill with coolant.
Thanks Dr. Dyno, that may be worth a try. I have approached Toyota Canada on the matter using the nicest and most convincing email that I am capable of writing, and here is a snippet of their response:

"
As you are aware, your 2010 Toyota RAV4 is now outside the warranty parameters by a substantial amount.

Although we are unable to change our responses, we believe Toyota Canada Inc. has met and exceeded our commitment to answer your inquiries with adequate and reasonable explanations; as such we would not be in a position to debate this matter further. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, but trust you understand our position.
"
Has anyone had success with pursuing this? I get the car is 10 years old and I'm not asking for something at no charge - I'm asking for some help, commitment, etc. not seeing any of that from TC.
 

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Toyota is right so let me put this the kindest way I can, "You're barking up the wrong tree."

I used the Alumaseal on a friend's Mazda after he was told it needed a head gasket. He drove it for years until it rusted out.
 
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