Question about 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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Coolant leak on 96 olds ciera 3.1

96 olds ciera 3.1 ...my temp gauge fluctuates from cold to overheating. hot air then cold air then hot,etc.i have noticed a small leak,but can not see it in the motor. the oil is not milky,no white smoke from the exhaust. had a pressure test done and has leaked more since that. was told intake gasket? any help?? thanks

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  • dmvparks Feb 11, 2009

    thanks for the tip...but
    it was an intake gasket leak. the mech. drained 5 gallons of sludy fluid from my oil pan,replaced the gastket and started right up. the only downfall is that i have a slower "take off" but other than that runs like a champ


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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.

Posted on Feb 09, 2009

  • Chris Iarocci Feb 11, 2009

    So the coolant was low then? As I stated, the problem with the gauge and heat was either a head gasket leak, or the coolant was low. The intake leak caused the coolant to go low which caused the other symptoms you were referring to.

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