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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

After owning 2 97 Odysseys and loving them -Lost one due to someone pulling out in front of me and the other due to the oil blowing out of the engine without me knowing it and driving 15 miles home. :frown: I can't prove it but a week prior I let Valvoline clean my fuel injectors and they gunned that engine like you wouldn't believe and I think they caused it.

Anyway I've been looking for another and I found a 98 at a Honda dealer. 177,000 mi. Test drove it and was just as smooth as could be. The car fax showed it was a one owner and the maintenance was regular from the time they bought it at another dealer in town. Very minor rust, tires are good, and exhaust look good. The interior is really clean but does have wear and tear. It looks like they never had a passenger in the front seat. The dealer did say it was towed in and needed a radiator. They put a radiator in it and new hoses, Changed oil - new cap and new plug. Few other things as well. Anyway I picked it up Friday night about 7 pm. When I started it it stumbled for a second or two and then ran just fine.

Next day same thing stumbles for a few seconds (just a little longer than the day before) and then runs fine. When I go to return home that afternoon it's having an even harder time getting the fuel it needs. I'm having to give it more gas but once it's going it's great. At a friends she said she smelled antifreeze and I did too. We figured when they put the radiator in some spilled and was buring off or maybe in the radiator itself.

I stopped by the dealer where the ody had been serviced since 1998. Service guy looked and said they brought it in the last time because it had overheated and they checked it out but had no record of what they found because they didn't do the work.

At this point I'm thinking maybe it needs a fuel filter or it's sucking air somewhere. Anyway on Sunday (today) it's starts a lot rougher and the check engine light comes on and stays on. I go to take it somewhere early evening, I got out after starting it, and there's white smoke coming out thick. So I drove my other car.

Long story short from what I'm reading it seems most likely that they probably really overheated it badly ruining the head gasket and probably warping whatever else is inside there.

Besides me being an idiot for driving away when it started a little rough:duh: here are my questions:

1. If they knew what was wrong with the car was there something they could have done to mask the problem?
2. Also, not really an ody question just hoping someone has experience. The car being so old was bought As Is. Being a Dealer who has a good reputation what do you think the chance is that they'll work with me on this?
3. If they agree to replace the head gasket should I trust them to tell if the heads are warped?
4. If I end up keeping it should I go ahead and replace the timing belt when they have the engine apart. Last time it was done was at 100,000 miles.
5. Would you get it diagnosed elsewhere and then go back to them with the info?
 

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Contact the seller immediately with the issue. Make sure you communicate in written form as well. Don't be emotional about it with them, just be insistent that they make it right.
 

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It could be a serious engine problem like a head gasket, that's an older van and although you had good luck with others of same vintage you may want to have a mechanic look over vehicles before you buy next time.

For this one, hopefully the dealer will agree to repair, since they admitted "it was towed in" before they sold it! Probably was nothing wrong with the radiator, someone was guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The dealer is awesome

Lindsay Honda in Columbus OH totally rocks. There was no argument or anything. They took it in and checked it out. Found coolant in one of the cylinders. Estimated 1335 to fix. Head gasket(s) and 250 more for machine shop. If that's the extent they'll fix it. If there's more damage they'll give me my money back. If they'll fix it that's what I want. I'll do the timing belt and water pump at the sametime and they said they'd do it for me for $400.

I hope it works out because it'll be in awesome shape then. It has new radiator/belts/oil plug and cap/tires in great shape - rotated and balanced/oil, coolant/ exhaust looks good/battery good. Body and interior great.:DD
 

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White smoke (steam) out the tailpipe is nearly always a head gasket - great to hear you are getting it done on their dime!!
 

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Did you read the op's post above. It is in plain english.
 
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