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Now engine oil in coolant.

 
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9C3
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject:  Now engine oil in coolant. Reply with quote

In a previous post, I was having [or thought I was] ATF in the coolant. Replaced the rad, & ATF filter, & ATF. No coolant got in the ATF. But now there's oil in the coolant in the new rad. The oil on the dipstick is not going down, but somehow oil is getting into the coolant. I really don't want to get rid of the car, but most of my car experience is with older Mopars & Oldsmobiles of the RWD persuasion. The head gaskets are fine as the car seems to run perfectly. Any ideas here? Is coolant anywhere near the oil cooler adapter that the oil filter screws into on the 9C3 cars? Thanks for any help, but please no comments about wholesaling the car. GARY Embarassed

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil is usually a sign of bad intake manifold gaskets. It's not a difficult job, but it's time consuming and expensive if you pay someone to do it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

IffyG wrote:
Oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil is usually a sign of bad intake manifold gaskets. It's not a difficult job, but it's time consuming and expensive if you pay someone to do it.

Oil in coolant is like Nickleback - you just can't get away from it. GM gasket and manifold replacement is a temporary solution, and can be pricey, but there is no real guarantee it won't happen again.

You can trade the car, then somebody like me will look at it and send it off to an auction company, and someone else will buy it, and another evaluator will send it back to auction, and so on and on until all the money falls out of the car and finally it winds up on some crook lot and it gets a band-aid and it's a problem for some poor kid who joins NAIOA and asks why there is oil in his coolant and his cat is clogged and there's no power because the car looked so clean at Buy Here Pay Here.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
IffyG wrote:
Oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil is usually a sign of bad intake manifold gaskets. It's not a difficult job, but it's time consuming and expensive if you pay someone to do it.

Oil in coolant is like Nickleback - you just can't get away from it. GM gasket and manifold replacement is a temporary solution, and can be pricey, but there is no real guarantee it won't happen again.

You can trade the car, then somebody like me will look at it and send it off to an auction company, and someone else will buy it, and another evaluator will send it back to auction, and so on and on until all the money falls out of the car and finally it winds up on some crook lot and it gets a band-aid and it's a problem for some poor kid who joins NAIOA and asks why there is oil in his coolant and his cat is clogged and there's no power because the car looked so clean at Buy Here Pay Here.
So what are you trying to say? There's no fix for the car? All 3800 cars could possibly have the same problem? Everyone who owns a GM car with a 3800 engine should turn it in? Should I have my car "stolen" or drive it off a cliff to be done with it? I'm not a poor kid, & I paid cash for the car, & I'm here simply to ask how people who might have had the same problem remedied it? Not stupid remarks especially since I asked that you don't add any like you did on my last post. It's amazing to me how there's always someone who likes to dance on other peoples bad luck, while others offer good advice. GARY

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Last edited by 9C3 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Gary;

Oil in the coolant is due to a bad gasket design by GM on some years of the 3800 motor. You can replace the Upper and Lower Intake Manifold gaskets in about 6 hours if you've got somewhere to do it. The parts and fluids are about 200 dollars, but the dealer will charge approximately 600 dollars in labor to change them for you.

There's not guarantee that the gaskets won't develop a leak again sometime in the future, requiring another replacement. I changed the factory ones out about 2 years ago, and am now aware that the gaskets are leaking again. I will have to do mine before winter comes (last time I had to change them in December and that's not a good time to work on your car in Canada).

Good luck! I believe Dorman sells aluminum or otherwise upgraded gaskets - I will probably use those this time around: I suggest you give the Dorman gaskets consideration if you're going to do this repair.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Lingenfelter wrote:
Gary;

Oil in the coolant is due to a bad gasket design by GM on some years of the 3800 motor. You can replace the Upper and Lower Intake Manifold gaskets in about 6 hours if you've got somewhere to do it. The parts and fluids are about 200 dollars, but the dealer will charge approximately 600 dollars in labor to change them for you.

There's not guarantee that the gaskets won't develop a leak again sometime in the future, requiring another replacement. I changed the factory ones out about 2 years ago, and am now aware that the gaskets are leaking again. I will have to do mine before winter comes (last time I had to change them in December and that's not a good time to work on your car in Canada).

Good luck! I believe Dorman sells aluminum or otherwise upgraded gaskets - I will probably use those this time around: I suggest you give the Dorman gaskets consideration if you're going to do this repair.
Thanks for the advice. I used to work for a Chevy/Buick dealer, so I get parts at cost + 10%. They are open on Saturdays, & by noon, they are caught up with the cars, but they must stay until 5pm. So I can give the engine tech $100 to do the job instead of playing cards. Thanks for the helpful advice. GARY

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Don't listen to Dan... He's like the annoying class clown here.

I am all about not sending a 3800 to the junker, and I would advise that you should start with the lower intake manifold gasket, like stated before it is a very common issue for these to fail. You should pick up the revised gasket, actually you shoukd probably pick up a whole gasket kit. I am typing this on my phone right now so I am limited to do a bunch of searches, but a top end gasket kit is offered at zzperformance.com I believe. It will be more benificial to replace all the gaskets.

I am assuming you can do the work yourself, it's actually very easy if your organized and have common sense. But I think that about all car work.

Also, you should flush your coolant and a oil change. There's a lot that needs to be said and I will revise this for you when I get to a computer.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Gary, I forgot to mention that it is common to change the coolant elbows on the 3800 as well. They are another common weak point which is conveniently accessible while the car is opened up for gasket work.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

9C3 wrote:
So what are you trying to say? There's no fix for the car? All 3800 cars could possibly have the same problem?


That's correct, pretty much all GM V6 motors are timebombs. The V8s suffer from a similar affliction. Sorry you got a Buy Here Pay Here used mallcop mobile, but if you want to fix it yourself there's a guide in the how-to and if you don't that super deal from Backdoor Chevrolet sounds great.

They really oughta put hour meters as required standard equipment in police vehicles. Service intervals don't mean anything for a car that idles ten hours a day.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Thanks Dan. My GM tech friend who has worked at the dealer for 20+ years will do the job for $200 parts & labor. I do hope this solves the problem. GARY

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Hey man good luck, I hope it holds together for ya as long as you want to have it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject:  oil in coolant Reply with quote

While in there you may want to invest in a new upper intake manifold. Many have failed, EGR port wears thru to coolant passage. Dorman from Rockauto. Good luck. Cool

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I will check it out when I go to the dealer next Saturday. GARY

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

All fixed yesterday. Turns out the oil was the leftover ATF from the leaking ATF cooler in the rad. Because of the limited time to change the rad, there was residual ATF in the cooling system. Not enough time to flush the engine more than 2 minutes. So yesterday, at the Chevy dealer, my friend did change the gaskets, coolant elbows, & turns out the plastic manifold was on the way out. I left the car for the day, so he flushed the cooling system, flushed the ATF [the proper way with the engine running], changed the oil twice [ although it wasn't contaminated], flushed the brake fluid, & cleaned the throttle body since it was off the manifold. The GM manifold cost me $85, so I look at yesterday's repair as preventative maintenance. $200 labor, & $150 in parts. All is good now. Again, thanks for all the help. GARY

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Last edited by 9C3 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject:  oil in coolant Reply with quote

Now that's a buck worth spending, good deal. Cool

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