So last week I noticed my 94 Mercury Sable was acting funny. It was vibrating a little, then one night it had trouble starting, and when I did get it started it was smoking from the exhaust, although it still ran. So I took it in and they told me it’s a serious problem: cracked cylinder heads. I have no idea what that means, but they also mentioned something about coolant leaking out, getting into the radiator and also causing the smoke I was seeing.
To fix it the guy said the need to take the top of the engine apart and send the cylinder heads to be pressure tested to see if they can be repaired or need to be totally replaced. In addition, the radiator might need to be replaced if a lot of coolant got into it. Here’s the kicker: it will cost at least $2000-$2500 just to take apart the engine and see if the heads are repairable and (I think?) to repair them. If they need to be replaced he said it will cost a lot more. If it really will cost this much then I’m not sure it is worth the value of the car to pay for it, especially if there’s the risk that they might need to be totally replaced.
So my question is, is this an accurate estimate or is the guy totally taking advantage of me? ANd if it is accurate, should I try paying for the testing or should I just try and sell it?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!