Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:33 pm Post subject: Almost had it a month before a problem
Well actually a couple of problems; coolant loss and a MIL. The coolant loss is what I'm more concerned about right now. I was alerted with a low coolant level light, so I added some more to it. The light went off, and I was happy until a couple hours later I went outside to see a nice puddle by my car. Sure enough the low level light came on again. I've tried adding coolant directly in the radiator cap and the reserve tank, both give the same result. The previous owner had the lower intake manifold gasket changed according to the service schedule around 80,000 miles, it's now at 109,000. It appears to be at the front of the engine straight down, and from underneath I just see it dripping there. Any easy way to diagnose if it's the water pump or head gaskets? There's no smoke, and the temp is just a bit higher than before, but nowhere near the danger zone. And the MIL appears to be the P0420 code. Previous owner replaced cat at 90,000. So I'm thinking o2 sensor. Any help will be appreciated! Thank you!
The P0420 is probably the result of a non OEM cat replacement. Aftermarket units are notorious for tripping a P0420.
If you have a leak of that magnitude, you could probably top it off and sit and watch and see where it is coming from. Have you checked the coolant elbows near the belt tensioner? They are a common cause of a coolant leak.
Protip: If you don't know what you're doing, don't do it.
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:29 pm Post subject: Re: Almost had it a month before a problem
The previous owner had the lower intake manifold gasket changed according to the service schedule around 80,000 miles...
There's no service interval for manifold gaskets. Service records sure, service schedule no.
Cat replacement was probably due to coolant consumption from intake failure. Intake repair was probably a hack job if it happened at all. If they just popped in a cat, they treated a symptom and not a cause. Extremely common for used car sales.
On the topic of used cars - believe nothing you see on paper. Service records are about as useful as a Twilight novel. If you can't see it, touch it, or smell it, it didn't happen. With the advent of computer controls, nobody wants to adhere to the recommended service intervals anymore. Especially on cheap cars like Chevys, you're lucky if it even got a new air filter by 100k.
I see you have the 3.4 .. There are no Coolant Elbows on that engine.
If you can borrow a Raditor Pressure tester it would make it easier to look for a leak with the engine off.
.. check for Leaking raditor and heater hoses. the Coolant pipe that goes from the top of the water pump to the heater hose can leak .. There are 2 small hoses from the the Coolant pipe that connect to the Throttle body that can split and leak. Freeze plugs or a freeze plug block heat can fail or push out. Water pumps also tend to leak. The intake gasket if it fails can leak outside only, but check for coolant in the oil. Head gaskets are a rare thing but if the engine over heats, they will go.
Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:04 am Post subject: Re: Almost had it a month before a problem
Cat replacement was probably due to coolant consumption from intake failure.
Burning coolant will ruin the cat? I knew unburned fuel would ruin it, but I didn't expect it from coolant.
(I have a minor leak in my LIM again and will be changing it soon anyway)
Burning coolant ruins everything. We want the motor to just burn fuel, anything else is a problem.
I never even thought of doing this before.[/url]
I wouldn't put lacquer thinner in my fuel system, who knows what it'll do to the plastic fuel tank, poly lines and nylon seals? (It'll eat most plastics, that's why it comes in a metal can.) I'd say 95% or more of the Here's how to save money fast! videos on youtube are BS. May as well just do the Gangnam Style dance and pony up for a cat.
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