Had someone look at it, he told me the leak was at the intake, tried to fix it but coolant was still leaking out. He said there were really so many problems i should get a new engine ($1200 is cost prohibitive at this time); he suggested using Blue Devil to see if that would stop the leaking. I haven't picked up the car yet but he said it didn't stop the leaking and the bloc might be cracked. Can you list any solutions, starting with the least expensive?
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Re: coolant leaking, engine starts to get hot
It is EXTREMELY common for the intakes of these cars to leak coolant, internally and externally. What i would reccomend to do is to replace the intake manifold with gm's updated version, which fixes the coolant leaking issue. also change the oil, as some of the coolant most likely found its way internally down to the crankcase. this is really the only way to repair this issue, and it is very common.
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I can not remember when they started putting extended life anti-freeze in, but the orange color anti-freeze will turn brown and sludge after awhile. The first thing is the coolant leak, 3.1l engines had a intake gasket problem, they were made of plastic with a seal in the middle. The plastic would become brittle and crack causing the coolant to leak externally and also internally. One way to check this is to look in the front and rear area of the intake were it meets the head and you should see some dried coolant. The other is for internal leak and you will need a coolant pressure tester with coolant system full. Install pressure tester on to radiator fill and leave it on at the pressure the cap says (any wheres from 10-16 psi.) for a while and watch gauge for any pressure loss, check for any hoses for leaks, if you do loss pressure with no hose leaks check around intake area for new wet spots, if none here is the problem. The car will have to sit for a day or two to give the coolant time to settle to the bottom of the oil. When you remove the oil drain plug the coolant will come out first then the oil. This also can be done with no engine oil in the pan and plug out, just remember not to start the engine. If coolant has been getting into engine for a long while it will ruin the engine bearings, including the cam bearings, which will cause running problems. Now as for head gasket blown, use the pressure tester to check this. Install pressure tester onto radiator fill ( do not pump pressure into radiator) have someone start engine and watch pressure gauge it will jump up the pressure very quickly. I hope this helps for now
When the motor heats up it is expanding thus stopping the leak. You need to have it checked by someone or put in some radiator dye from your local auto parts store and use a black light to determine where the leak is. Is is not hard to warp a hot engine lacking coolant and then we are talking major work to fix it. You could use some radiator stop leak found at your local auto part store such as a product called BARS LEAK which could cure the problem or make it worse by plugging the flow of coolant.You really need to know where the leak is at and get it fixed.
Never have seen a bad head gasket on a 3800. Your problem could be the upper intake manifold had gone bad and leaked all of the coolant into the combustion chamber. If you run any engine too hot, you will need to replace the engine as excessive heat will warp cylinder bores, heads , valves etc. Seek a good used engine and never drive a overheated engine unless you can afford a replacement engine.
not a complete history in your brief 'sentence', but water from the exhaust is either condensation whick is normal, or you have a blown head gasket or worse (cracked head or block) which is going to be very expensive to fix. If it is not overheating too, you have nothing to worry about, if it is you need to get the car to someone who can do a compression test and cylinder and/or coolant leakdown test to determine the extent of the damage.
adding antifreeze on its own can be bad for your motor.. it needs to be added with water.. does it leak from your radiator cap/ overflow hose or from the radiator core.. ckeck you thermostat as well. it stays closed when the water is cold and opens when it gets hot.. it sounds like it could be stuck shut..
It is surely a leak ,the coolant can go anywhere like apart from leaking,what is happening is when you are driving it leaks because there is more pressure in the radiator and it leaks somewhere ,why you don't see it,it is because the coolant is so hot and when the coolant when it leaks then hit the engine that is also hot,this make the leak coolant to evaporates very quickly that why you don't see it.Well what you have to do is top the coolant level,let someone start the engine you lift the bonnet standing in front of it,then tell the person inside the car to accelerate up 3000 rpm for near 10 minutes,then you watch carefully the radiator,hose and all the connection for the cooling system you will surely find the leaks where it comes from.Hope that clear your mind and solve it.
For the most part it sounds half way accurate. First of all telling you that it needs to be fixed within 5 to 6 months, in my opinion was a scare tactic used to try to get you to approve the work. Because no one can say it will last this long or that long, there just no way of knowing. I have personally never seen oil leaking into the coolant, in my experience it is always the coolant leaking into the oil. However this is a concern because if coolant is or starts leaking into the oil, it will mix and the oil will lose its ability to lubricate and the engine could seize up eventually (not "blow"). Now then on some model vehicles coolant does run through the intake manifold but I have never seen oil run through the intake. This is were they are indicating they are leaking together. My guess is you have a coolant leak in the intake manifold and the engine is burning the coolant when it runs. Now then my suggestion would be to take it into a different shop and get a second opinion. Tell them the other shop said it will cost 750.00 and that's to high. In these economic times 99% of shops will beat that price to do the work. Also this isn't work that a dealership needs to do, any half way decent shop can make the repairs. I wouldn't take it into a dealership because I feel there labor rates are too high. Any way good luck and I hoped this helped.
Head gasket. The reason for the cold then hot readings is the cooling system is getting gas bound by exhaust gases. A simple intake leak would just make you loose fluid, but wouldn't cause the other symptoms until the coolant was very low. Which leads me to, is the coolant full? The head gasket most of the time will not leak coolant into the oil, but instead coolant will go into the combustion chamber, and exhaust gasses will go into the coolant. You don't see any white smoke until the leak gets extreme. Then shortly after that the engine hydro locks from too much coolant in the combustion chamber. There is a tester that will test your coolant for CO gas. That is the proof of a head gasket leak.
If the fan isn't coming on when hot, check the 'cooling fan control' (which signals the engine control computer that the fan should go on at a certain temp, and check the 'cooling fan switch' which should turn the fan on when told to by the computer. Also check your radiator cap, hopefully one or a combination of these will fix the car. Let me know how u make out.