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Hi all, 2 weeks ago i brought a 1994 rav 4 import 144,000 miles from and ex mechanic. He had maintained the car himself and it had quite a bit of work done in the last year new water pump, cam belt to name a few. I have found out today that the head gasket has gone so will need to fixed and the system washed drained not to sure what that means but it going to cost more than the car was worth i paid 500 for it. My question is would an ex mechanic who knew the car owned it for 10 years, know that the head gasket was going to go hence why he sold it?
opinions please feeling pretty upset right now.
thanks in advance
Vikki
 

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Well, if he changed the water pump. One thing will lead to another. Meaning the water pump was trashed, it meant that it over heated. Giving way to a head gasket failure. He just made a quick fix and pass on the problem. Problem is that what else might have happen and he will say: "Sale is final, as is." >:D

Is it worth fixing? First find out what other surprises it might have.
 

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Unfortunately, Head Gaskets going bad are very common on most 4 cylinder engines. Yes it could have been gone when he did the water pump but maybe it wasn't.

I know a lot of people who will drive with a bad head gasket for years (if it is leaking to the outside of the block and not into a cylinder or water jacket). It would be very hard to prove he knew about it, even if he did...I agree, find out how much to fix it. If it is worth it to you then have it fixed. If not, then cut your losses (maybe mention it to him and see what he says). Maybe he will do the job extremely cheap on the labor side of things.
 

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It's a $500 car. Learn how to remove the head yourself. Worse thing you might end up parting it out. Got to be worth close to that.
 

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I agree, low miles for its age, as long as the body is not rusting out, I would do the head and make her all good again!. The mechanic might have had an inclination that the head was going (mixing fluids, exhaust bubbles in the coolant etc) but unless you checked all that when you got the car, and shortly after, there is no way to tell if the head just went at random, or was an ongoing issue.

having changed the water pump while doing the timing belt is not indicative of a head issue, its standard maintenance at that milage, while you have the belt off you do the front main seal, oil pump seal, water pump, idler-tensioner and timing belt.
 
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