Turns out the price was just the beginning. The car has had overheating problems from the first week I bought it.
I took the car back to get a new thermostat installed (free – under “warranty.”) This help for a few weeks and then the overheating began again. The coolant was leaving the car for parts unknown by a path unknown. Eventually I realized that topping off the radiator every 2-3 days with coolant was not cost efficient.
Before we had visitors our running around was just to Atenas and back home – about 8 miles total. Not ever enough to get the car overheated. Then our visitors arrived and we made a little sight-seeing run.
As we were returning from our destination, the heat gauge began to rise. Never got to full hot – but close enough I was sweating it. The first mechanic said it was a blown head gasket. Not willing to take the first opinion, I got a second.
He said the car had the wrong radiator!
The second mechanic, Freddy, said the radiator was clogged. When he sent it to the radiator specialist, they told him the radiator was original equipment for a 4 cylinder Montero. Our Effin’ Car is a 6 cylinder.
See the difference? Yes, it was that obvious when I saw the rebuilt radiator. The radiator that was in the car was woefully short of cooling capacity. Downhill on a cool day wasn’t a big deal. Uphill on a hot day was a different matter.
The first mechanic suggested that I could probably drive for quite a while if I just kept filling the radiator every 2-3 days and carried some extra water in a jug.
Nah. My luck, it would overheat when we were 50 miles from home with a car full of dogs. You ever smell a sweaty dog?
400,000 Colones later, I have a rebuilt radiator for a 6 cylinder car, a new fan belt, a new tensor, and some fluids.
That’s the price you pay for piece of mind. Now I can send Nancy on the road when her friends come to visit and feel fairly comfortable the car won’t overheat.
I wonder how long it would have been before I blew up the car if I was just using water every 2-3 days.
Keep your fingers crossed that I can drive this Effin’ car for a bunch more miles before I have to replace something else that shouldn’t need replacing.