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Reselling with head gasket leak. Worth repairing before selling?

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Reselling with head gasket leak. Worth repairing before selling?

Old 10-18-2012, 01:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
Question Reselling with head gasket leak. Worth repairing before selling?

Hey there, new to the forum and this is my first car. I'm from Canada, so I hope KM and Canadian jargon is okay.

Basically, I'm looking to sell my 2000 Honda Civic SE. However, there are a few problems with it and I'm trying to figure out whether to repair them or not.

I purchased it for the sole purpose of going on a month long roadtrip, which is over, and now it's time to sell it.

Before I bought the car, I knew there were problems with the right front ball joint, suspension issues and steering column, which held it back from it's first safety, but it managed to pass it's second safety test after taking it elsewhere. I bought the car from a friend for $1900, ~260,000 KM (~161,000 miles). It came with an oil change.

We put roughly 10,000 km on it during the trip. Mid way, we gave it an oil change and the oil guy said that we had a cylinder head gasket leak, low oil and that our coolant had been spoiled from oil leaking into it. We continued anyways, checking oil levels and heat levels every stop, but nothing seemed to me a problem except low-ish power (although it always tended to have low power). About 7500 KM in, the check engine light came on, but no further issues. And we made it back home.

Since the trip, I've driven it sporadically, but now the brake light on the dash is on. They are working fine, so this indicates low brake fluid (I think that's what the manual told me).

Anyways, so there are a list of issues with the car and I'm not sure whether if it will pass a safety/emissions test and if it's worth it to repair to increase the value of the car. And obviously I would be upfront about the issues with the buyer.

Anyways, hope you guys can help, I would really appreciate it. This is my first car, so I'm not super savvy when it comes to reselling and that.

Thank you very much!
Old 10-21-2012, 04:10 PM
HCF Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: YUMA AZ
Posts: 409

First I would fine out what the car is worth in good working condition. Then find out how much repairs would cost then decide.
Old 10-21-2012, 07:50 PM
HCF Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 43

The head gasket wouldn't be impossible to change yourself..I've been told that these 4cyl motors are pretty straightforward. You'd have to remove the valve cover and head, then take the head to the machine shop and get it machined (around $50 where I'm at), and then buy a new head gasket for it, and possible new head bolts. It's worth a shot, as the car will be worth MUCH MUCH more with as little problems as possible.

You can find cars on Craigslist that need head gaskets and/or upper engine work for around $1000 in Georgia...the same car would sell for $3k + if the HG had not busted. The reason for this is the labor costs for the mechanic are out the roof, and though it's not necessarily a tough job, it is labor-intensive and they want to charge an arm and a leg for it.

If you don't think you can fix it, or don't want to try, then I'd just put it for sale as-is, be upfront with all of the issues, and try to get most of your money back. Even if you don't make back what you paid for it, consider it cheaper than a rental car!
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