Question about 2003 Chevrolet Malibu

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I have oil in the antifreeze. Checked spark plugs to see if head gasket leak. Doesn't seem to be that. Maybe Intake Manifold gasket? How to check that?

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There is no oil in the intake manifold. Assuming you have overhead cams, oil can leak into a coolant jacket past the head gasket or a crack in the head without getting into the combustion chamber. This is likely what has happened. If you need more help, please reply.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010

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My 1998 mitsibishi mirage is leaking antifreeze around the oil filter.


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Hello, Probably the easiest thing to do is drain the oil and see what it looks like. If it is okay, then invest in a new oil pressure sending unit and change the oil filter. For awhile there were bad Fram filters and others with bad relief valving in the oil filter.

If the oil has Antifreeze in it, then it is pretty much a given that a head gasket is bad. You should check your sparkplugs anyway for signs of water/antifreeze contamination if the engine is blowing the Antifreeze out of the exhaust. This can help show you if only one head gasket is bad or if both are bad.

I hope you either bypassed the heater core or fixed it. Another gasket that can get Antifreeze into a cylinder is the Intake manifold gasket. The newer cars usually have only air coming into the engine through this manifold. You need to look at where the top Radiator hose enters the engine. If the hose enters on the block, you are probably good for the Intake gasket.

But if the top Radiator hose attaches to the Intake manifold, a loose Intake can leak Antifreeze into the heads through the ports on the Intake. It can also cause a lack of power and poor idle. If the Intake gasket IS your problem, the head gaskets can be fine. The Intake gasket is reasonably inexpensive.

I can tell you that a loose Intake can be checked for air leaks by running the engine and spraying a water mist from an old detergent bottle around the seams of the Intake. The engine speed will change or stall if the water is drawn in. The Antifreeze leak can not be checked by this method.

I hope my solution helps you find your problem.

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If you have white smoke coming out your exhaust, it has to be a head gasket. The symptoms of an intake manifold leak are either and external leak (leaking on the ground) or water in the crank case (mixing with the oil and making it look like chocolate milk-shake) A leaking intake gasket will not cause the antifreeze to enter the combution chambers.

To diagnose which head is leaking, you can remove the valve covers and remove all the rocker arms then put compressed air into each spark plug hole and watch the radiator for bubbles. Looking at the spark plugs may also tell you without having to do this...The spark plug in the leaking cylinder will be very white on the electrode.

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If you have the V-8 Engine, just totally disregard this post.

If you have the 3.8L V-6 engine, your oil consumption problem is most likely to be caused by the PCV Valve if you cannot find any external leaks. These are also known for the upper intake plenum leaking antifreeze. The ports in the manifold that go to the throttle body are made of very thin plastic. The EGR tube, with its hot exhaust gasses, goes right between them. This causes the plastic to heat up and crack, causing an antifreeze leak that goes directly into the intake and gets burned in the combustion chambers.

DORMAN makes a replacement upper plenum kit to fix this problem. The kit includes the upper plenum with thicker coolant passage walls, an intake manifold gasket set, a smaller-diameter EGR orifice, and a new PCV Valve. This kit will probably fix BOTH of your problems.

The DORMAN part number for your car is 615-180 Shop around...prices vary considerably.

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SOUND LIKE INTAKE MANIFOLD LEAK.ANTIFREEZE WILL GET IN CRANK CASE DILUTE ENGINE OIL CAUSE VALVE LIFTER NOISE.TAKE VECHICLE TO RADIATOR SHOP OR GARAGE.LET THEM PRESSURISE COOLANT SYSTEM CHECK FOR INTAKE MANIFOLD LEAK AND HEAD GASKET LEAK.

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