anti freeze leak on 1992 Chevrolet Lumina

This is my first car and i had only had it about 3 weeks,i only use it to go to work and back and taking my boyfreind to work, about 2 miles a day, the low coolant light came onon wednesday, thursday when i was done work i bought the right antifreeze but i couldnt get the lid off the radiater ( yes i waited till it was cold ) the next day after work i was planning on putting it in when i got home and it had cooled off, instead me and my boyfreind went to the next town over and got dinner which is where the problem starts, ended up not making my turn and ended up 20 miles away from where i wanted and then the car overheated with steam coming out of the hood like crazy, let it cool off an hour luckily i had the antifreeze in my trunk and we made it home ok, now i have a leak, it makes it to work and back ok but anything more and it starts to steam, sunday my battery died and we couldnt jump it because it was really dead and the battery is hard to get too, the mechanic who put it in said i needed a tune up wich im aware of, and that my intake gasket is broken or leaking or something, basically i need a new one, the car made it home ok but now when i start it right when i put it into drive it shuts off on me, how much damage has been done? what do i need fixed immediatly and what can wait a bit? i get paid everyother week so i can only do about 500$ of repairs at a time and do any mechanics have payment plans?

by in Phoenixville, PA on March 17, 2010
2 answers
ANSWER by on March 17, 2010
Hello, When an engine overheats it's possible that you can damage the cylinder head gasket. This can be a very expensive repair and this should be checked first before performing any other repairs, otherwise it will continue to overheat. If the head gasket is OK, then the coolant leak should be fixed, which sounds like the intake manifold gasket. If you ask around, you may find a shop that will allow for payments, but this is rare. You may need to pay with a credit card and make payments to the CC company. Best of luck, have this looked at very soon for that leaking head gasket.
ANSWER by on March 17, 2010
Go to and put in your info then choose intake gasket and you can see a price estimate $508 to $676 for the intake gasket replacement and you can get other estimates from shops here but you need to have this repaired before major engine damage occurs then you can have the car tuned after the intake is repaired, print out this estimate and see if your mechanic will perform this repair for $500
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