2003 Mitsubishi Galant head gasket repair

10-15-2012, 09:02 PM
Hey guys,

I noticed my girlfriends 2003 Mitsubishi Galant - 2.4L 4cyl automatic transmission - had a leak on a Wednesday. I put newspaper under it to see what color the leak was - it was rusty brown. She drove it to work the next day. On her way home, the engine started smoking, the temp gauge on the car went all the way up, and when she pushed on the gas pedal it made a grinding metal sound. My girl says it didn't want to go into gear when it was dying either.

The car died on the highway and we pushed it to a nearby parking lot. The car sat in the parking lot for a week before we had it towed to our local shop. There they said it was a radiator hose blew out and that the head gasket had blown and we'd have to take it somewhere else to be fixed. $140 for that work.

We took it to another shop where they quoted us $825 and said they'd fix the head gasket no problem. All told it was $1100 and the car is still not fixed. The engine makes a ticking sound when it operates and the car still does not want to switch into third gear. There's also a pronounced antifreeze smell that's making us really sick. When I called the shop to tell them of the problems and have it looked at - they told me the ticking was the "lifter" ( not sure what that is ) and that it would just sound that way now. They said that as far as the shifting went ( it's an automatic btw ) they only worked on the top half of the engine and couldn't be responsible for anything with the transmission.

I was also told that the antifreeze smell is from when the car died and that it could be 500 - 1k miles before it wears off. Although we didn't drive it at all after it died.

The thing is I don't know a lot about cars, and this is my first time ever using this shop so I'm looking for any and all opinions on this case. Any help is greatly appreciated. I'd like to know what to check for and to be able to figure out if I got hosed or not.

Thanks in advance,

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