[Head Gasket issues]
Assalaam o alaikum
I went to Nathiagali in my 1999 baleno a couple of days back. Before leaving I checked oil and coolant levels. When I checked coolant on reaching Nathiagali, the reserve bottle was empty, and so was the radiator. I was surprised because I had replaced the coolant only 10 days ago. Also, I had been checking the temperature indicator regularly on the way up but it never went above halfway mark. Anyway I poured almost one litre of water in the radiator and it got filled. I started the car but there was no leakage from radiator or water body pump or hoses. When I reached Changla gali on the way down I checked the water position. There was gurgling sound from the reserve bottle and water was boiling and coming out of the small exit hose. The temperature indicator was at half and the fan was not operating. I filled in the reserve bottle and continued. I stopped at Barian and got the fan checked from an electrician. He said that the fan operates when the temperature indicator goes above halfway. He opened up the radiator cap and revved the engine. After a while a fountain of water emerged from the radiator. The guy told me that the gasket was gone and I need to replace it immediately. I told him the car was running smoothly and it was not heating up at all. He affirmed that for whatever reason the gasket is in bad condition and could make the car stop any time. He then put a direct war to the fan and I came back to pindi. On the way down I checked the water level in the reserve bottle many times but it stayed full and did not boil either. In pindi I went to another mechanic who checked the engine oil dipstick and said it did not have any vapours. He also checked the water in the radiator but it did not have any traces of oil. He removed the direct wire for fan, told me that the gasket is saved and asked me only to get the radiator serviced (which I have never done before).
Now was that was a long story; many thanks if you've reached this far My question is: Should I get the radiator opened and serviced or should I go for gasket change? Does the radiator need servicing after long usage? If yes, who is the best mechanic because I am scared that if someone opened the radiator once then it'll be opened every season! At least that's my experience with Pakistani mechanic bradry. If I need to change the gasket, how long is the process and what other issues can come up? (like facing, boring etc.) I'll be extremely grateful for a sincere advice because I don't want to ruin this beautiful and trusted car of mine.