Headgasket or head it self??

I Have a 96Chevy Berreta and I know it's either my head or the HeadGasket that needs Rep. But my Qest.Is that mMy ex-Boyfriend told me it has an alluminom head on it.So is that a bad thing or is it just harder to get a new one if it is? And if it's warped can that one be fixed instaed of me having to buy a new head. The car isnt worth all that.It has a 3.1 and its a 6 cylinder. Z26, blows white smoke mustard looking oil, and gets hot...but has not over heated...i stoped driving it to get it fixed.it hasnt been drove in 4 M..

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  • 1 decade ago
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    i own a repair shop,and it can be either one on this one,,im real familiar with the 3.1 engine ,i have owned a few of them,and repaired a lot of them for other people the most thing i have found with them is they do blow head gaskets ,and usually you have to have the head trued back up,this involves shaving it to take any small warp out of it,,this can get expensive depending on where you go to get it done at some shops are real reasonable on ther labor rate,and some aren't,,id ask around before i let anyone start working on it,,it does sound like you have gaskets blown,and hope fully you don't have no other damage to it,,but ask before you let anyone work on it,,a good price for this ob is around 600 for everything,,no more than that,,good luck i hope this help,s.

    Source(s): been a certified mechanic for 36 yrs.
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  • 1 decade ago

    You can get a used one out of a low mile wreck for a fair price. The aluminum is prone to warping. If it's been leaking awhile it would have been slowly getting hotter and the oil would have had signs of water - that would be a head gasket..if it just went one day, a cracked head.

    If it had water in the oil for some time because of a leaking head gasket, the engine may be on it's last leg and a used engine may be just a little more than replacing a head. Get a local that works out of his home to put the engine in, it may be a better option if you can find one cheap enough.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Something to consider about your car is that it is 11 years old. I assume there are a " few" miles on it. Let's say you do get it repaired and it's just a head gasket. The shop who does the repair will most likely have the head machined so it's " true" again. Valves will most likely be redone. Things will be tight and you'll have a little more compression. With that in mind the bottom end of the engine ( crankshaft, connecting rod bearings ) will still have the same parts, same miles etc. There IS a possibility of the " bottom end" going out ( rod could start knocking ) so weigh all your options before making the "plunge" .

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  • 1 decade ago

    If it the heads, you're going to pay out the *** for it. If it's the gaskets, it will be a little cheaper. Unfortunately, if the heads are warped, you can't "fix" it. You have to get new ones. Being aluminum, they aren't any harder to find than the others, but they are more prone to breakage and warping.

    If the car is worth it to you, fix it. If not, you might as well upgrade to something else.

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  • 1 decade ago

    One additional possibility is a cracked eng block-not good. I replaced 20 or 30 blocks from 89 to 92 on 2.8's and 3.1's due to the crack. I don't remember seeing a 96 later block with that problem though.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    my friend had a blown head gasget.. I almost s h i t myself when she paid 1200 dollars to fix it ....don;t do it buy arunning car and save time and money...

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  • DASH
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    remove the head, have it pressure tested for cracks,if it holds water, have it shaved 0.10 to 0.20 cost approx. $50.00.install new gasket and head,torque to specs. change oil and filter. flush radiator add new coolant, check coolant fan for proper operation. and drive some more.

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