Question about 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE

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Leaking I was told that i have coolant leaking into the oil. What manifold gaskets do i need to change. My friend changed one of the upper gaskets but thats it.

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  • Melanie Centis Oct 09, 2008

    well i bought the whole intake manifold gasket set and he only put changed one gasket near the top. Should all of them be changed?

  • angieputnam Dec 14, 2008

    I am having the same issue with my car. I filled the engine coolant last week and it is empty today. How much does it cost to get this kind of thing fixed. I just spent 800 getting the fuel pump replaced...I am just sick!!

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The intake manifold gaskets are the ones you need to be concerned with.

Posted on Oct 08, 2008

  • samson-1
    samson-1 Oct 09, 2008

    All of the gaskets should have been changed as you were not sure which was leaking.

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If the leaking gasket was a long term problem, the bearings may have been ready to fail. A standard procedure when replacing any gasket that has possibly been leaking anything into the engine is to do an oil change. If I read your question right, sounds like this wasn't done, if it was, then it would be hard to fault the shop. Any coolant or fuel that leaks into the oil will degrade the lubrication properties of the oil possibly to the point of metal to metal contact causing the bearings to fail.

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Check you oil for signs of coolant contamination. If coolant is present in the oil, you may have a leaking head gasket or intake manifold gasket. If there is no sign of coolant in the oil, the antifreeze could be leaking past the intake gaskets and into the combustion chamber. It could also be a leak that only shows up when the engine is running, and you are losing the coolant as you drive. This kind of leak is very difficult to locate. You will have to look for signs of antifreeze around the upper and lower intake gasket area with a strong flashlight. Also check for signs of leakage at the upper and lower radiator hose connections and the drain valve at the bottom of the radiator. If you smell antifreeze inside the car, check the carpet for dampness caused by a heater core leak. Sounds like a lot of work, but these mystery leaks as I like to call them, can take repeated inspections before you finally locate them. I hope I have been of some help. Good luck and let me know what you find.

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Yes it is possible it could just be the intake manifold and you would have to remove the intake manifold to get to the heads so either way you need to pull the intake off when you do then you will know if it is the intake manifold gaskets by inspecting the gaskets if they are bad then you will not need to pull the heads but if they look ok by visually inspecting them then you will need to go further and pull the heads so not pulling the intake manifold is not an option it has to come off anyway.

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Hey, that's pretty good logic. Why you asking us? Just the same, I would verify the gasket leak by spraying carb cleaner on the gaskets while the engine is running. If the speed changes, there is your leak. You will have to remove the upper manifold first anyway. Be careful not to tear up the gaskets when you pull the manifold off, so you can inspect to see where the leak was--validate the issue, you know. OK?

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What would cause oil in coolant and leak near intake manifold?


Head gasket, if you have a V6 or a V8, can't tell which one is at fault, so both will might as well be changed.
If the leak near the maifold is oil, the valve cover gaskets are leaking.
When head gaskets are changed, all the necessary gaskets come in the gasket kit.

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Loosing coolant no visible leaks about 1/2 gallon every 100 miles


How To Find & Fix Coolant Leaks

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WHERE COOLANT LEAKS OCCUR
Coolant leaks can occur anywhere in the cooling system. Nine out of ten times, coolant leaks are easy to find because the coolant can be seen dripping, spraying, seeping or bubbling from the leaky component. Open the hood and visually inspect the engine and cooling system for any sign of liquid leaking from the engine, radiator or hoses. The color of the coolant may be green, orange or yellow depending on the type of antifreeze in the system. The most common places where coolant may be leaking are:
Water pump -- A bad shaft seal will allow coolant to dribble out of the vent hole just under the water pump pulley shaft. If the water pump is a two-piece unit with a backing plate, the gasket between the housing and back cover may be leaking. The gasket or o-ring that seals the pump to the engine front cover on cover-mounted water pumps can also leak coolant. Look for stains, discoloration or liquid coolant on the outside of the water pump or engine.

Radiator -- Radiators can develop leaks around upper or loser hose connections as a result of vibration. The seams where the core is mated to the end tanks is another place where leaks frequently develop, especially on aluminum radiators with plastic end tanks. On copper/brass radiators, leaks typically occur where the cooling tubes in the core are connected or soldered to the core headers. The core itself is also vulnerable to stone damage. Internal corrosion caused by old coolant that has never been changed can also eat through the metal in the radiator, causing it to leak.

Most cooling systems today are designed to operate at 8 to 14 psi. If the radiator can't hold pressure, your engine will overheat and lose coolant.

Hoses -- Cracks, pinholes or splits in a radiator hose or heater hose will leak coolant. A hose leak will usually send a stream of hot coolant spraying out of the hose. A corroded hose connection or a loose or damaged hose clamp may also allow coolant to leak from the end of a hose. Sometimes the leak may only occur once the hose gets hot and the pinhole or crack opens up.

Freeze plugs -- These are the casting plugs or expansion plugs in the sides of the engine block and/or cylinder head. The flat steel plugs corroded from the inside out, and may develop leaks that are hard to see because of the plug's location behind the exhaust manifold, engine mount or other engine accessories. On V6 and V8 blocks, the plugs are most easily inspected from underneath the vehicle.

Heater Core -- The heater core is located inside the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit under the dash. It is out of sight so you cannot see a leak directly. But if the heater core is leaking (or a hose connection to the heater core is leaking), coolant will be seeping out of the bottom of the HVAC unit and dripping on the floor inside the passenger compartment. Look for stains or wet spots on the bottom of the plastic HVAC case, or on the passenger side floor.

Intake Manifold gasket -- The gasket that seals the intake manifold to the cylinder heads may leak and allow coolant to enter the intake port, crankcase or dribble down the outside of the engine. Some engines such as General Motors 3.1L and 3.4L V6 engines as well as 4.3L, 5.0L and 5.7L V8s are notorious for leaky intake manifold gaskets. The intake manifold gaskets on these engines are plastic and often fail at 50,000 to 80,000 miles. Other troublesome applications include the intake manifold gaskets on Buick 3800 V6 and Ford 4.0L V6 engines.

INTERNAL COOLANT LEAKS
There are the worst kind of coolant leaks for two reasons. One is that they are impossible to see because they are hidden inside the engine. The other is that internal coolant leaks can be very expensive to repair.

Bad head gasket --Internal coolant leaks are most often due to a bad head gasket. The head gasket may leak coolant into a cylinder, or into the crankcase. Coolant leaks into the crankcase dilute the oil and can damage the bearings in your engine. A head gasket leaking coolant into a cylinder can foul the spark plug, and create a lot of white smoke in the exhaust. Adding sealer to the cooling system may plug the leak if it is not too bad, but eventually the head gasket will have to be replaced.

If you suspect a head gasket leak, have the cooling system pressure tested. If it fails to hold pressure, there is an internal leak. A "block tester" can also be used to diagnose a leaky head gasket. This device draws air from the cooling system into a chamber that contains a special blue colored leak detection liquid. Combustion gases will react with the liquid and cause it to change color from blue to green if the head gasket is leaking.

Head gasket failures are often the result of engine overheating (which may have occurred because of a coolant leak elsewhere in the cooling system, a bad thermostat, or an electric cooling fan not working). When the engine overheats, thermal expansion can crush and damage portions of the head gasket. This damaged areas may then start to leak combustion pressure and/or coolant.

Cracked Head or Block -- Internal coolant leaks can also occur if the cylinder head or engine block has a crack in a cooling jacket. A combustion chamber leak in the cylinder head or block will leak coolant into the cylinder. This dilutes the oil on the cylinder walls and can damage the piston and rings. If the coolant contains silicates (conventional green antifreeze), it can also foul the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter. If enough coolant leaks into the cylinder (as when the engine is sitting overnight), it may even hydro-lock the engine and prevent it from cranking when you try to start it. Internal leaks such as these can be diagnosed by pressure testing the cooling system or using a block checker.

A coolant leak into the crankcase is also bad news because it can damage the bearings. Coolant leaking into the crankcase will make the oil level on the dipstick appear to be higher than normal. The oil may also appear frothy, muddy or discolored because of the coolant contamination.

Leaky ATF oil cooler -- Internal coolant leakage can also occur in the automatic transmission fluid oil cooler inside the radiator. On most vehicles with automatic transmissions, ATF is routed through an oil cooler inside the radiator. If the tubing leaks, coolant can enter the transmission lines, contaminate the fluid and ruin the transmission. Red or brown drops of oil in the coolant would be a symptom of such a leak. Because the oil cooler is inside the radiator, the radiator must be replaced to eliminate the problem. The transmission fluid should also be changed.

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Mar 12, 2010 | 1998 Oldsmobile 88

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