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Tech experts - Was about to buy a 2009 Santa Fe (V6 2.7 w/ 111K miles) today, when after the test drive and letting it sit for a bit, I realized I didn't opened the radiator cap - empty inside ... from what I could see anyways. This was at a dealer of all places. The manager was livid. Anyways, I saw no visual evidence of heat damage, no smoke or liquids from tail pipe, dipstick and underneath filler cap were clean (recently changed oil I'm sure), and there was nothing in the radiator for me to compare to. I told them the vehicle needed to have the head gasket tested before we would consider buying - either a compression test and/or leak down test.

My questions: Did I miss anything else to request? If they say they did a compression test, should I ask to see the techs notes on compression results, and if so, what range should they be (i.e. 165 - 185 psi)? I should note that during a brief test drive everything seemed fine. My son was driving though and he says "he" didn't notice anything odd in the temp gauge. Ugh - teenagers.

I trying to be careful and not inherit a major problem. Thanks in advance for your input.
 

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Watch them do testing,, 2.7L has (2) cylinder head... to do compression test, they have to remove upper plenum to get at Bank 1 for compression testing... very easy to "lets not,, and say we did"... who going to pay tech for the time, he sure aint paid hourly.....

Watch for bubbles at radiator,, plug in 1 of them big coolant funnel, and fill it,, let it run and go through a bumch of fan cycles and watch coolant in funnel for bubbles / fizz
 
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very easy to "lets not,, and say we did"
Absolutely! A big concern of mine and need to see how they convince me otherwise.
Watch for bubbles at radiator,, plug in 1 of them big coolant funnel, and fill it,
Just so happens I bought one of those this year and used it on my older Chevy. Good idea.

I also requested a coolant system pressure test. Thanks for the inputs.
 

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I personally would not go for a 2.7L anyway. Always the concern of the timing belt (3.3L has a timing chain). If there is an engine problem once you own it you may end up owning the problem. Even if it seems all is good after tests. I'd want to go for a very long drive (couple of hours and heat cool cycles to inspect the levels.) Although it may settle as air pockets come out of the block if some are in there. I'd be awake at night worrying about it.

2009 with a 3.3L is the best year for the SF especially if LTD and AWD. Should be plenty around. I'd move on if it were me, I might get caught running....
 

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Don't automatically assume a blown head gasket. It's much more possible there is a hose leaking with the most likely site at a clamp. In a car nearly nine years old, a leaking coolant hose or a bad pressure cap should be no surprise to anyone. Pressure testing the cooling system and the cap is the first step. It's much easier and cheaper than a compression test.

Once it's fixed, put half a Bar's Leaks tablet in the radiator filler neck for preventive maintenance. Don't use more since it can act as an abrasive in too-large quantities and wear down the water pump impeller. My experience is it will catch and prevent small leaks at non-flexible points, but don't expect it to work magic at places like hoses and plastic parts such as radiator tanks.

.
 

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Thanks guys for your replies. Today we opted to pull-out of that purchase and move on. Just too many "unknowns" on that vehicle. On a funny (sarcastic) note, I looked at a different vehicle on their site today (remember, a dealer). When I opened the radiator cap on that one - no sign of coolant either. Horrible management, service inspections, and/or a coolant ghost that drinks them dry at night. Either way, I'm never going back to that place - big name dealer in my area too.
 

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Probably a good move you made in the long run. Its tough to vet everything needed vetting but when you see something is wrong and left like that. You have to wonder what you can't verify or have confidence in.

3.3L V6 is never the less the way to go!!

good luck hunting.
 

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Got to remember that dealers need to sell cars to make money
So, where do they get the cars to sell?
Sometimes auctions and sometimes as trade-ins
At auto auctions, the cars are notorious for being major headaches
Which dealers try to fix or clean up for sale ... "try"

Unfortunately, I have never had a good car come from a used car dealer.
 
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