Question about 2000 Chevrolet Astro

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Gasket woes Okay, here goes... For probably a year now I've been dealing with leaking coolant and an overheating engine. I never saw any coolant on ground and therefore concluded I had a bad engine gasket. So, I added chemicals (pellet based additive) to the engine and to my amazement it actually appeared to work and kept my engine from losing fluid and overheating. When it happened again maybe 6 months later, I added more chemicals and it worked again. Now a year later I have a big time problem. My wife called me after getting stranded by this very vehicle and said the engine started to stutter, lose power and finally stopped running. I immediate met up with her and noticed that the engine cranked fine but never started. Naturally I thought it was the fuel pump, but after coming back to the vehicle about 3 hours later, it started up but idled rough and mucher higher than before. We were able to make it home only to have it die on the driveway. I left it alone until the next day when I had time to look at it. I noticed a lot of fluid in the oil pan (Milky creamy mess) and figured I had officially blown my gasket! I went to the autoparts store and bought a $59.00 bottle of blue devil leak sealer. I flush the coolant out of the engine and drained the bad oil. The oil pan drained out probably 2 additional quarts of oil and water mixed. It didn't even fit into my 5 quart container and started spilling over the edge... This has never happened to me before. I figure it was the added coolant. Anyway, I added 4 quarts of new oil so that I could run the engine. Blue Devil states I need to run the engine for 50 minutes so that it can work. The problem is, after 15 minutes the engine abruptly died. I was able to start it again but stopped after 30 seconds. I started it again, noticing a slight drain on the started, but it started. Ran for ~15 seconds and died. Started it again with much more drain on the started but started then died. One more try and once again, the starter was barely able to turn the motor. After running for just a couple seconds I felt a prominant thud in the engine and now it won't even crank. There is plently of power in the starter, because I can feel the car lurch a bit, but no cranking of the motor. That puts me current.. What has happened to my car! Is it even worth fixing? I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks, Darrell

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You have a blown head gasket, which lets coolant leak into the combustion chamber. Sealer is not a permanant solution and should only be used to get the car to a place where it can be repaired correctly. Head gasket leaks only get worse. It sounds like your leak has gotten bad enough that it has hydrolocked the engine, possibly causing major problems. if you're lucky you haven't caused enough damage and can replace the head gaskets, but the engine needs to be inspected to be sure that no other parts have been damaged. weather or not it is worth fixing, i cannot answer, it depends on how much it will cost vs. the value of the vehicle when it is correctly repaired.

Posted on May 28, 2009

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You've most likely had a blown head gasket from the beginning of the coolant leak. It's now so bad the engine won't run and has probably been severely damaged from running coolant through the oil galleys.

You'll have to transport it to a garage to get diagnostics and an estimate to determine if it's worth fixing. My guess is it's going to be very expensive.

Posted on May 28, 2009

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