Question about 2001 Chevrolet Venture

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Have a head gasket problem. Combustion gases in my cooling system. Over 200,000 miles. Expensive to fix. Any quick fix suggestions. i.e. antifreeze plugging additive ?

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Their is a couple of temporary fix products you can try like one called Barr's head gasket repair from Advanced, etc. Might work long enough to gather some money or sell the vehicle. But the best way to fix it is to have the gasket replaced. There's always the unknowing of a blown head gasket or is it a hairline crack in the block. You also might want to check if their is any antifreeze getting into the oil. If I remember right if you take the plug out of the oil pan the antifreeze sits on the bottom and will drain out first. Antifreeze in the oil will cause many more problems.

P.S. Any antifreeze sealer additives I've used has caused the thermostat to stop working and have to be replaced shortly after.

Posted on Sep 12, 2009

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No Quick fixes here. If you have that is is either the head gasket or a cracked head or Cracked block. None of these is pleasant or cheap. The head Gasket or Head itself you could repair on your own but it will take some time. You should get this repaired as quick as possible before it does more damage to the engine.

Posted on Sep 12, 2009

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Not to scare you but it could be something as bad as a cracked head or head gasket allowing combustion gases to enter the cooling system. The best way to tell is with a combustion gas leak detector. They look like a dual chamber turkey baster with a colored fluid in one chamber. You remove the radiator cap and fit the rubber cork-like portion of the tester into the neck of the radiatior and take a sample of the air in the radiator. The fluid in the tester will change color by a chemical reaction if there are combustion gases in the cooling system.

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My 2001 Ford Taurus keeps running too hot to safely drive. Whenever the car is started fluid immediately gushes out of the plastic resevior that you put the water/antifreeze leading to the radiator. I...


You have an air bubble at the top of the engine.
The antifreeze spewing out of the overflow happens due to your perfectly functional radiator cap
passing the overheated coolant/air mixture out of the system into the reservior (in an attempt
to relieve overpressurization of the cooling system)
The sudden nature of your overheating comes from the boiling of the inadequate amount of
coolant/antifreeze in your engine, since it cant properly cool the engine, so it boils (overheats quickly), and pressure rises immediately within the cooling system.
The Fix is free: locate and open the (air) bleeder port at the top of the engine, and add the usual
50% coolant/50% water mixture to the radiator until the radiator is full to the level indicated in
your owner's manual (or the "Full" line). Then close the bleeder port and replace the rad (radiator)
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The air bleeder port is normally located near the thermostat, and should be opened each time
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50/50 coolant to the reservior, since the rad cap is going to be closed while adding coolant
to this part of the cooling system.
Warning: driving beyond the point where your engine temperature gauge indicates overheating will
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1 Answer

Okay. I have an 03 grand am, v6. Have had zero probs with til a few weeks ago. My car slightly overheated and had either oil or tranny fluid in the coolant resevoir. It was also leaking coolant. I had the...


Oil in the coolant is certainly one sign of a leaking head gasket, and a leaky head gasket would permit hot exhaust gases into your cooling system, causing elevated temperatures and possible overheating. A visible inspection of the exterior of the engine probably won't give you any useful information, as the gasket tends to be thinnest between cylinders, so the break would most likely be at an internal point. Also, you can have a problem in one bank of your V-6, while the other bank is still fine. I think you'd need to do a leak-down test or otherwise pressurize the cylinders to see if you detect any bubbling in the antifreeze. That would indicate that gases from ignition are leaking into the cooling system.

I think the information you were given about the intake manifold gaskets was correct in theory, but incorrect as applied to your car. Those gaskets have failed regularly (and expensively) in vehicles using Dexcool coolant (the orange stuff now used in GM vehicles), but beginning in model year 2002, GM changed the gasket material it used in building its 4.3 and 3.8(?) liter V-6 engines. Prior to that, the Dexcool antifreeze would gradually eat away the gaskets until they failed. Once that happened, antifreeze would contaminate the oil in the crankcase. In extreme cases, so much antifreeze would rush in that the oil in the crankcase would become cloudy and chocolate-milk colored. However, the reverse would not happen--the antifreeze went into the oil; the oil wouldn't particularly leach into the cooling system.

I'm not saying that you necessarily have a head gasket leak, but if you do, you may be able to nurse the car along for a period of time if you drive it gently. I know people who have driven with a weak head gasket for 10,000 miles after they discovered the problem. They drove gently, changed their oil every 3,000 miles or less, and kept a close eye on their coolant levels. However, it's not the way I'd prefer to operate my own car, since a small gasket break can quickly worsen and strand you by the side of the road (or simply trash your engine).

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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2 Answers

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