I am thinking about buying a used 97 Chevy Lumina LS...in fact I would
have already, had the mechanic not told me that the car has a leaking
intake manifold (a common problem with these engines as I have found
out looking on the web). She said that this might eventually cause
coolant leaking into the oil.
My question is: how safe is it to drive around with that without fixing
it (it would cost $600, quite a lot compared to the $1.800 purchase
price)? I only need the car for 4 months (I am an exchange student and
going back to my country after that) and am probably going to drive
some 10.000 miles. The mechanic told me that it is fine to drive around
without fixing it, she could just check, every time she performs an oil
change, if the coolant had already started mixing with the oil.
However, she told me before going on a longer trip, I should definetely
get it done, because it could leave me stranded on the road.
What would happen if the engine locked up? Would that ruin the engine
for good, or could I still just get the manifold replaced?
I am reluctant to doing this repair, since the previous owner was/is
driving around with the car without problems. Also the mechanic was a
little contradictory in her arguments. On the one hand she said, I
don't need to get it fixed, it's fine if she just checks the oil. On
the other hand, I should do it before going on long trips. But what's
the difference? If my engine is ruined I don't really care if it
happens in my town or somewhere else.
Thanks for any help you can give me!