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Q: Head Gasket Repair on 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Got my head gasket repaired 6 1/2 months ago. Was told that the bolts were not recommended to be replaced; therefore they weren't. The head gasket is blown again. In the interim, there has been 10000 miles put on car. Is it normal for a head gasket to blow within this time frame? In response to my asking why new bolts weren't put on, the owner of the shop said, "Sometimes we cut corners where we shouldn't - trying to save the customer some money." He is not willing to stand by his work. The car has NOT been overheating but we have had to put antifreeze in it over the past few months. The day it died, it overheated and quit almost immediately. The engine is not seized up.
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i would just about never do a Head Gasket with out new bolts. But, it may not be a broken bolt. It may be that the head was not machined correctly. They did machine the head when they replaced the blown gasket? You may have another cooling system problem that is stressing the head gasket i.e. a worn radiator, worn thermostat ( should have been replaced with the head work ) a malfunctioning cooling fan system etc. 6 1/2 months for a head gasket is way too short. Could the coolant be leaking out from somewhere else? Has anyone pressure tested your cooling system and I mean over night, to really see if there is an internal leak. If the head gasket is leaking, an over night test would usually put coolant in the cylinders and the car would misfire after such a test when started. Hope this sheds a little light. Good Luck!

If you don't machine the head, especially an aluminum head, your are basically assuring your self that the job will not last. This is a process that costs only about $100, not including valve work. Every head NEEDs to be pressure checked for cracks and then resurfaced. This is basic engine repair, or it isn't really a pro job.
Good Luck!
I don't believe they did machine the head when they replaced the gasket. Another instance of cutting corners?
If the bolts are torque-to-yield, like they are in my 1995 Cavalier, then they NEED to be replaced each time they are removed. If they don't replace them the gasket will fail again.
not only should the bolts be changed the head should have been checked for any warp age. if the head was not flat enough it was going to blow another head gasket with or without new bolts. the only way to b sure of a good surface is to have the head milled.
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