Q: Should a warped cylinder be caught in a diagnostic inspection?

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I recently had my 2007 RAV4 worked on for multiple issues. First, the alternator needed to be replaced. Then the water pump blew up and had to be replaced. Finally, the car was shuttering and a coil needed to be replaced. Followed all of these repairs (costing over 1k), the car breaks down within a couple of weeks. I come to find out that the engine has a warped cylinder, causing water to mix with the gas and (from what i'm told) essentially rendering the engine beyond saving. The cost to replace the entire engine would be more than the car is worth. What I need to know is whether this issue should have been caught in the original diagnostic inspection before my mechanic did all of that work? I'm concerned that they knew the engine was shot but continued to do work anyways, knowing that the engine was beyond repair.

My car has 147000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. It sounds like you had an alternator problem and it was replaced. Then the water pump went out and you overheated the engine. When you blew the water pump, the mechanic could not check to see if the head got warped unless there was water in the oil at that time unless an engine compression and cylinder pressure test was done before the water pump was replaced. When a water pump goes bad it does not always warp the cylinder head. You may be able to have the head removed and head checked and resurfaced and gasket replaced. It would cost a lot less than replacing the motor.

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