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Head Gasket Leak?

Old 11-01-2010, 05:52 PM
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Default Head Gasket Leak?

Hi everyone, I have a 2002 Camry LE. It is dripping coolant from the back of the engine. Can;t see the location since the intake manifold and associated covers and shields is blocking the head back there. Should I assume that it is the gasket? I don't see that there are any other sensors or other items screwed into the block or head that might spring a leak. I was hoping for that, but I fear the worst. It has 224k on it and this repair might be the deal breaker.
Anyone car to comment?

Old 11-01-2010, 06:59 PM
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If you can look closer it might be possible a freeze plug is leaking. Not common on this year of car as it would mean corrosion in the coolant system which should not happen in a well maintained car.

The main concern is this engine model prior to around 2008 has an issue with head bolts pulling out of the block due to inadequate block thread design. The block is aluminum.

The threads fail resulting coolant loss from the back of the engine.

If this is the problem then the fix is much more complicated and expensive then a head gasket repair!! The threads in the block can be repaired with steel inserts but the kit is $3-500 plus the labor to install them. It is a time consuming job.

If this is the problem suggest you pass on the car or make sure the price is reduced the cost of a head gasket replacement ($$) plus the cost of fixing the stripped threads which can be over $1k by itself. It is a real possibility you are looking at repair that is much more expensive then just a blown head gasket.

The link below has some info.
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