'94 Lebaron convertible engine problem

Discussion in 'LeBaron' started by David James Polewka, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. It's blowing white smoke, and a smell fills the car.
    My mechanic says I'm burning oil, and it's because
    the valve stem seals are bad. It could cost $800,
    unless the sleeves are bad, which would add more.
    Or, I could need a replacement engine. Anyone
    else go through something like this?

    "Endeavor to persevere"
    David James Polewka, Sep 11, 2003
  2. It is using a lot of oil, but not thru leakage, that
    I can see, so I believe he's right. I dunno if it
    would be worth fixing, though. I recently paid
    $1500 to have the tranny rebuilt.

    "Endeavor to persevere"
    David James Polewka, Sep 11, 2003
  3. David James Polewka

    Dan Gates Guest

    Ask yourself the following questions.

    Do you want a new car?

    What else might go wrong in the next few months/years?

    Do you like the Lebaron and really want to hang on to it?

    How much would payments on a new/used car be?

    If you like the car, don't particularly want a new one, and your
    mechanic says that everything else looks OK, $ 2,200 doesn't go very far
    in terms of payments on a new one. It is almost always a better
    financial decision to hang on to an existing car and fix it then it is
    to buy a new one. Sometimes, however, too much is gone to be able to
    fix it. Further, sometimes you just want a new car!!

    Dan Gates, Sep 11, 2003
  4. David James Polewka

    David Allen Guest

    Sounds like a 3.0L engine (no?). The white smoke would indicate a possible
    head gasket leak. The oil consumption without oil leakage sounds like valve
    guide seals. What's the smell? Coolant? Oil? Burning?

    It's tough to chase a tranny repair with a head gasket or valve guide seal
    repair. The problem with an aging car is that these repairs are to be
    expected. If you're going to pay someone to fix it, it gets kind of
    expensive. Balance that against car payments.

    If you can DIY, it'll be easier on your wallet, but it takes up your time.

    If you have both a bad head gasket and bad valve guide seals, then the two
    repairs coincide nicely with each other. When I take the heads of my 3.0L,
    it makes it easy to replace the valve guide seals. I always send the heads
    into the machine shop and they can do the seals also.

    If the problem is just the valve guide seals (no head gasket problem), then
    the repair is cheap on parts but expensive on labor.
    David Allen, Sep 11, 2003
  5. I went ahead with the repair. It came to $1035.
    $675 labor. $333 for gaskets, rotor, cap, degreaser, hose, coolant,
    oil change. Then I had to replace the O2 sensor for the 4th time.
    Then the radiator started blowing smoke, so I replaced it ($770), just
    in time for me to take a long trip! I'm ready now! I'm at 140K miles.
    Next year: maybe a new top and upholstery. Thanks for your input!

    "Endeavor to persevere"
    David James Polewka, Nov 17, 2003
  6. Thanks to Dan Gates, too! I appreciate it.

    "Endeavor to persevere"
    David James Polewka, Nov 17, 2003
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