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Chrysler Repair/Water in oil


My sister has a 2002 Chrysler Concord has 125 K miles and
it is getting water in oil. It is a v-6
Someone told her that it was most likely the head gasket.

1.Now the questions, do these cars have problems with head gaskets

2. Can you just redo the gasket or should the head also be replaced, or at least taken to a machine shop and checked.

3. Should you redo both heads or just the one that has a problem.

4.Is a compression test the best way to check out the problem.

Hi Mike,
I am not aware of a more frequent head gasket issue with the 2.7, 3.2 or 3.5L engines.
The head in question wouldn't need to be replaced unless cracked or warped. It should be checked for how 'level' it is using a straight edge. It would be worth a machine shop visit to do that and otherwise inspect it for damage. But which head it is is the question. A compression test may reveal no cylinder is notably lower.
I would just do the head that has the leak, BUT if the issue is water in the oil then which head is the problem is not going to be obvious. If it were water in a combustion chamber and excessive white smoke coming out the tail pipe then you could check for a wet spark plug or do a compression test. But water in the oil generally means a gasket leak between an oil passageway and a water passageway which doesn't involve the combustion chambers. So you might have to remove both heads and inspect the gaskets (if the first head you chose to do seemed to be OK).
Another approach that might work (and involves less work) would be to simply loosen the head bolts on both heads to about 45 foot pounds (in the reverse order of tightening them). Then retighten the bolts in the tightening pattern to 65, and then again to 65, and finally add 1/4 turn using a breaker bar or ratchet (not a torque wrench). These are the specs for the 3.2/3.5L. Let me know if you have the 2.7L as its torque spec is different. I have had good luck in the case which you may have where the leak doesn't involve the compression chamber or a frankly torn gasket. It may well be that the leak is not due to a torn gasket but rather a too loose bolt(s).
So let me know what you choose to do and how it works out.
Please 'rate/nominate' this answer/me (see the PS below).

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Roland Finston


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