After my overheating this weekend and subsequently finding the leak in an odd spot, I knew it would bug me if I didn’t go ahead and look into what was causing the problem. So, I booked it into a local recommended, independent shop specializing in Land Rovers.
It did not go well.
Bad news and good news
The bad news is both head gaskets and the throttle body heater are leaking coolant. Not much more to say about that, I’m afraid.
The good news is they have been doing this for longer than I’ve owned the car. So in reality nothing has changed. This car still completed a 1400-mile off-road road trip and lived to tell the tale. It still runs and drives as it always has, it just is slightly more… broken that I’d like it to be.
Something something stealership
Oddly, the frustrating part about this isn’t that the dealership that sold it to me likely knew it had a blown head gasket and sold it to me anyway. Nor it is that that the head gaskets were replaced 60,000 miles ago, meaning this car eats head gaskets, on average, every 55,000 miles. No… the frustrating part is the indy shop I took it to touched me in a bad place (not literally).
You see, I was quoted $60 to $80 for the pressure test to determine the location of the leak. When I showed up, I also mentioned the parking brake doesn’t work and the problem isn’t the adjustment or the cable and asked if they could take a look. The guy said “no problem” and that was that.
Turns out that “no problem” meant “no problem, but it will cost $50 for us to look at that”. In the end, what it really meant was $50 to learn no information I hadn’t already told them.
I’ve priced it out before and the shoes are about $30 shipped, but you have to remove the propshaft to do the job, which is lame. Their estimate? $900
Same story on the throttle body heater. About $30 in parts and a 15 min job. Their estimate? $255
Head gasket is a little tricky, but what I’ve heard on the internet is about 10 hours of work, $200 in parts plus whatever it takes to get the heads checked out. Their starting point? $3800
This is literally why I learned to work on my own cars. Not because I actually enjoy it, but because of shit like this.
Is Disco Dead?
Not... quite. As I mentioned, I’m going to quote send it unquote, as the kids say, on this offroad road trip next week (which I haven’t mentioned yet but I will get around to writing about). After that it is off to the body shop to fixed up after the boop, and then pick a weekend to begin tearing it down and doing the work myself.
Part of me though it would be “fun” to try and do the job before next Thursday, but between Christmas and expediting fees, it would be a close thing and more stress than I really need. Would have made for good Oppo though!
My guess is it is a two weekend job, so I’ll budget three plus two garage bays, one for the car and one for parts.
So yeah… The Disco isn’t dead (yet)