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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good day everyone. So I'm on my way home from work and notice what appeared to be my son broke down on the other side of road. I turn around pull behind the car and to my surprise some young kid came out the drivers seat that wasn't my son. o wait this aint my kids car lmao. so I ask the kid if he needs help. starts it up after 2 min antifreeze blows out overflow. so I tell the kid he has cracked head or head gasket blown. kid almost started to cry said he just bought it. I have been looking for a parts car for my son and when I told the kid this he offered it to me on the spot. so I give him 400 he hands the pink. Day later load it on roll back and off to the garage I go. now I live in upstate ny. salt is the number 1 killer of cars up here. I get this thing on the lift and cannot find a spec of rust anyplace. inside is like new paint is still shinny suspension seems perfect. I have a 15 year old who will be driving soon should I just put a head on this thing and go? it only has 97000 on it. must be the former owner had the water pump go out he replaced the pump and belt but I think the damage was done already. sold after realized needed possible head. my oldest wants hood doors trunk but I hate to part out such a nice looking Passat. Head or no Head. That is todays Question.

Update!!!!! I have got in contact with original owner. Internet is a great thing. They have owned since new. water pump went out on it. They changed pump and timing belt but when mechanic said 1200 more for head after the rest they said no and sold. I have now all maint records. new cv axles and front end. new struts shocks car is bone stock. I will be doing all the work myself. I have lift and every tool you can think of. oil was changed every 5000 with Valvoline synthetic. I even have all the oil window stickers since day 1. This is a 1.8t and I can get a complete rebuilt head with cams for 500 so im going for it.
 

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in dire need of an organic chemistry lesson
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If you do all the labor yourself then it may be worth it otherwise sell it to a junk yard for $500 quickly.
 

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I would do more diagnosing other than your first thought of "must be a head gasket or cracked head". That is indeed a possibility, but I for sure would dig more into what and why it is doing what it is doing. I feel bad for the kid, nobody wants immediate issues with a new to you car cause someone sells you a vehicle with issues and doesn't disclose them.
TomK
 

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I agree with kutch1

Dig into it more to see if it is the head and not a faulty WP, coolant blockage, failed resivor cap or something else. Would suck to replace the head only to find out is was something else.
 

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This thread reminds me of the adage, "There is no such thing as a cheap tool." (Cheap tools break, damage heads of nuts and bolts, cause bruised knuckles and worse, etc.) We can expand it to, "There is no such thing as a cheap car." In either case, you pay one way or another.
 

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That adage is especially true with a B5, since a neglected one is sure to need at least $500 worth of control arms & cv boots right off the bat. Probably rubber shock and snub mounts too.

I would ask the original kid if he wants to pay for the head repair, since it is otherwise so nice. If he declines, go the own son route.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It was a messed up thing to do as far as not telling kid head was bad. but the only thing he lost was some time. he only paid 400 for it so I gave him what he paid.
 

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Funny, I was offered a $750 Forester with a "leaky head gasket" from a shop here in town. Seems a lady from the big city didn't want to deal with it, and I offered to get it towed down to St Louis for her for $500 and she could trade it in for $3K or so. She wanted rid of it - she bought it for her grand daughter who was supposed to finish her GED...she never started. So I took it.

It has.$750 worth of Michelins on it that are 6 months old and look new. So there's that.

However, I won't do a Subaru head gaskets. But $3000 total for a 09 car with 123K on it....so far so good. My 15 year old cabbage onto it.

Not that this matters or anything...worst case: slap a reman motor in it and away you go?
 

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I had this exact issue 6 months after buying my 1.8t, and it wasn't a head gasket. There was a blockage in the coolant system (in the rad). Every time I would try and pull a mountain pass or put a heavy strain on the engine it would eventually blast coolant out of the overflow. I originally thought it was a head gasket, as did my mechanic, but I had them change the thermostat, some hoses, the overflow tank etc just to be thorough. It didn't happen again for a while, but when it did happen again, i decided to change out the rad myself (I had already changed the heater core too).

My guess is because the heatercore went early, the previous owner put stop leak in the fluid and it completely mucked up the system, but who knows, it could just be from a lack of maintenance. Either way, I would be wary about jumping into a head repair. Do some chemical tests to see if there is exhaust in your coolant/coolant in your oil. supposedly the heads rarely go on the 1.8t, but i know the coolant systems can cause a lot of grief. Good luck!
 

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I had this exact issue 6 months after buying my 1.8t, and it wasn't a head gasket. There was a blockage in the coolant system (in the rad). Every time I would try and pull a mountain pass or put a heavy strain on the engine it would eventually blast coolant out of the overflow. I originally thought it was a head gasket, as did my mechanic, but I had them change the thermostat, some hoses, the overflow tank etc just to be thorough. It didn't happen again for a while, but when it did happen again, i decided to change out the rad myself (I had already changed the heater core too).

My guess is because the heatercore went early, the previous owner put stop leak in the fluid and it completely mucked up the system, but who knows, it could just be from a lack of maintenance. Either way, I would be wary about jumping into a head repair. Do some chemical tests to see if there is exhaust in your coolant/coolant in your oil. supposedly the heads rarely go on the 1.8t, but i know the coolant systems can cause a lot of grief. Good luck!
I had the exact same problem but in my case, I limped the car along until it over-heated and warped the head one day when my wife was driving her parents around the mountains in 100* heat :icon_eek: At that point, I installed the radiator that had been sitting in the garage for months waiting for me to find time to do the job AND I replaced the head. As Connor1.8 said, my car was fine except under heavy loads. Going up mountain passes especially with the AC on would push the needle up. Backing off the throttle or turning the heat on (not fun in the summer....) would bring the temp back to normal. After the new radiator, all those problems were gone. I also had a clogged heater core and suspected the PO had used some sort of stop leak in the system at some point.
 
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