Neon with a Drinking Problem

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Hi Bob,
I own a Neon. The current mileage 47,200. I started having a problem with about 15000 miles and still under warranty and my dealer could not find the cause.

When I drive in the rain, it still happens now. Sporadically, my car sounds as if it's sucking water, literally! My engine rumbles, I lose some power to accelerate, and I can actually feel the vibration of the engine through the floor. It stops when I stop the car or slow down or I just keep driving and eventually (the longest I ever drove was about 7-8 miles with the rumbling and does stop.

I took it to them at least 4 times and they told me unless the could replicate the problem and causes, or I took it in as it was happening, there was nothing they could do.

Now that I am out of the warranty, I started to develop an oil leak. I took it to the dealer yesterday and from that, the determined that I have a cracked head gasket and to get it fixed, I will be out $600+.

Finally, the question. Do you think that my problem that I have been having is related to my head gasket, perhaps it had just slipped and now has cracked? Could it have been fixed before it cracked? Could the mechanics have overlooked the rain problem and basically caused this by doing nothing?
Andrea C.

Dear Andrea,
No, I don't think that your initial situation was related to the head gasket. To me, it sounds like your initial problem might have been caused my too much moisture in the air. One way to see if that is the case, is when it is happening stop the car and remove the air filter. I want you to look and see if there is any water inside the filter box or in the hose on the way to the engine.... If your car has a mass air flow sensor, and a drop of water gets on it, the problem that you are experiencing would be a possible outcome. As for your headgasket problem, you might want to shop that price around a little. It seems a little on the high side.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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