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Hello -

I recently (8 months ago) purchased a used Tribeca with 80k on the engine. Last weekend we took it into the local shop and they noted that we had major external head gasket leaks (now at 90k miles). We are into the Head Gasket work now when then mechanic pulled the oil pan and stated that there is an aluminum shaving about the size and shape of "your pinky nail" in the bottom of the oil pan. Told us that it would be $15k to replace the engine, but if it was him he would just put it back together and let it be. And stated it could have been there a very long time based upon if the oil pan was ever removed. That being the case without spending thousands to figure out what it may be, I felt it would be good to ask some of the experts here.

I appreciate any and all guidance and help in the matter. In the meantime I will pulling the warranty I purchased to find out what may be covered by it...

Edit; Let me clarify a couple items, it's an 07 Tribeca. In the 8 months we've owned it we have had no issues with this car it has been very reliable and no sounds from the engine whatsoever.

Nathan
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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1. was the oil leak absolutely verified to be a headgasket?
*** did they clean and specifically identify the exact location/source?
or did they just see oil everywhere and guess it was the headgsaket?

It's easy to confuse oil leaks when the bottom is saturated with oil. I would wonder if they misdiagnosed it in the first place?

2. why did they pull the oil pan? that's weird. i've never pulled an oil pan on a headgasket job, that's not normal.

the aluminum part is strange - no idea. metal in the oil is bad - but at the same time aluminum isn't bearing material, maybe you're lucky and it was just casting flash or something benign.

just to discuss with others - wouldn't it probably be a recent occurence since it should just come out with an oil change normally?

OP - do you know if the aluminum piece was big enough to fit through the oil drain hole?
or if it was on the bottom or wedged in a baffle somewhere?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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were you seeing a lot of fluid drips under the car or losing a lot of fluid when you checked levels?

anyway, if the metal found is a one-off occurrence, used oil analysis would come back 'good'(but, doesn't mean some piston skirt or w'ever wasn't damaged). If there is continuing wear, used oil analysis would show it as 'bad'.

not sure I trust your shop, but, I'd put it back together, send in some used oil to Blackstone or other lab for analysis. make your decision about an engine swap after viewing the report.


$40-$50 to determine if you need to spend $5000 doesn't seem bad to me.

(does the pan come off for HG work on that engine?)
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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For $15k you can get another Tribeca with that or lesser mileage. Again, another 3.0 H6 engine with possible HG issues.
this thread is like 18 months old.

 
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