Question about 2000 Buick LeSabre

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Coolant disappears with no visable leaks.

After sitting overnight, resevoir is empty and engine struggles to turn over. When cranks, white smoke boils fron exhaust for five minutes.
I have been told that I have a hole rusted in the plenium, letting coolant into the engine. Is the plenium the same as a manifold? Where is it located?

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If you have either the 3.1L or 3.4L engine, these are common to have the intake manifold gaskets leak. You can check to see if this may be the problem by looking underneath the throttle body with a flashlight an you should see coolant on the engine block, or you can also look at the engine block on the sie where the power steering reservoir is located. You may also have a head gasket that is bad, you can tell if this is your problem by checking the oil, if it looks like chocolate milk on the oil dipstick, there is a good chance that coolant mixed with the oil. Also the 3.8L engines have problems with intake manifold gaskets leaking as well. Hope this helps.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009

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This is what they are talking about, a major problem for GM. Google it and you will see how big the problem is. Don't drive the car until you fix this.
coolant disappears with no visable leaks. - eab4538.jpg
The 3.8-liter V6 may leak coolant into the engine from the intake manifold. A new gasket kit, revised throttle body nuts, and sealing compound is available.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009


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3 Answers

What is the cause of white smoke from the exhaust and fuel smell?

Not knowing the age and mileage of the car my answer can only be a general one and as always if you are in any doubt get a good mechanic to look at it. Keep checking both the oil and coolant. The loss could be two separate issues.
You will need to check the smoke in a bit more detail. Does the smoke linger or does in disappear quickly? Thin smoke that disappears quickly is not something you need to worry about unless it gets worse and cold weather makes exhaust fumes more visible.
"White" smoke can actually be one of three colours. White, blue or grey. Get a helper to sit in the car and gently press the accelerator pedal steadily for 2 to 3 seconds then release. Repeat 2 or 3 times. Watch the smoke to see if has a blue or grey tint, or whether it is white. Each colour suggests a different problem. See the photo below.


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Smoke coming from engine

Where is the white smoke coming from? Under hood? Out tail pipe? If excessive white smoke from tail pipe, suspect a head gasket failure which in turn will fill the cooling system with exhaust pressure forcing the coolant to come out of the reservoir and resulting in an overheating problem

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1999 Buick Lesabre started idling rough yesterday and it overheated for about a miuite. Heat started blowing cold air. Checked coolant, almost empty, refilled, took several starts and accelerations to get...

You have damaged the engine, the smoke is from burning coolant in the engine due to a blown leaking cylinder head gasket or gaskets. Do not drive this or you will completely destroy the engine.

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Coolant disappearing

If you are adding coolant every week, and you don't see any external leaks, the coolant is probably being burned thru the engine.
You can burn a couple of quarts a week and not see any smoke.
At some point in time you could pull the spark plugs and find evidence from the burning coolant.
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I have a Mercedes 94 C280. Ran great until the other day. Radiator light came on and off. Then it took a few tries to start, then when it did, there was white smoke coming from exhaust. Stopped the car,...

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I have to add coolent every day, but i have no visable leak overflow bottle fills, but never empties

It appears that you have a minor leak at where a hose attaches to an engine or radiator pipe. When the engine is hot any leak will evaporate quickly and therefore not be seen. As the coolant heats up it will expand into the overflow tank but once the engine is stopped the extra heat build up will force the coolant out the leaking joint. As the engine cools, the leak prevents the coolant from being sucked back from the overflow tank.

The heater hoses and those pesky little bypass hoses in the cooling system tend to go hard and split if they are over 10 years old. Check all hoses and clamps for a good tight fit and replace any hoses that have gone hard or have become soft and stretched. Those spring type hose clamps tend to be less effective in clamping as the hoses age. Worm drive ones are the best to use.

If unsure take vehicle to a cooling system specialist and have them do a pressure test and more thorough diagnosis.

If problem persists, then it could indicate a problem with the head gasket (Usually caused by allowing engine to become excessively overheated when cooling system has run dry) allowing very hot high pressure combustion gases into the engine water jacket, which super heats the coolant in the engine block, which then boils off, and is released via the cap or any leaks. If the head gasket is really bad it will leak water into the cylinders and into the oil in the sump. This is indicated by an emulsion of water and oil mix on the dipstick. You will also see white smoke (water vapour) from the exhaust.

Oct 04, 2010 | 1998 GMC Jimmy

3 Answers

I am losing coolant, not from the radiator and not from the resevoir, where else could it be coming from. The resevoir is empty in 1 week after fillup

you could have a blown head gasket and coolant could be leaking into your combustion chamber.
rent a radiator pressure tester and see if the cooling system will stay at constant pressure. If the pressure drops you have a leak, and it could be your gaskets. pretty costly to repair.
make sure you have not blown the seals on the engines water pump. when they go out, the burst disc on the pump open and gush coolant everywhere.

Dec 19, 2009 | 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

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99 Grand Am was leaking coolant from the over flow?

could be that it was hot or could be that you have a blown head gasket. If the engine got hot once it could have been enough to blow the head gasket. Does it blow it out after it warms up every time?

Sep 09, 2009 | 1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT

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Fos the past five months unexplained coolant leak....Had pressure test twice, no white smoke from tailpipe,spark plugs look fine, never any spots under the car. It runs great. We decided to check the oil...

Thick black oil generally does not indicate coolant in oil...that appears as coffee coloured residue with a milkshake thickness to it. But, I'd let the car stand overnight and then drain oil. coolant will stay at the bottom of the pan and exit first, so watch carefully.
Next, have a shop dye check for leaks...often small leaks are in the form of seepage that is light enough to evaporate on the hot engine before reaching the ground. Another test you can do is to let it sit overnight with the radiator cap off. Sometimes a water pump seal will only leak when not under pressure. (like when you try to empty a can of dog food...punch a hole in the bottom of the can and it will fall right out!) Also, check the rug inside the car...any dampness indicates a leaking heater core.
I hope at least one item here will help. Obviously if you are loosing coolant, it has to be going somewhere. PS: use a good grade of synthetic oil and it should not break down as quickly as what you are using (regardless of if contaminated or not)

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Coolant dissappears with no visable leaks.

Yes...sort of the are getting coolant in the a hairline crack in the head.

Mar 10, 2009 | 2000 Buick LeSabre

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