Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:24 pm Post subject: Slow coolant leak, what to check for?
I have a 04 SS, and have noticed that I still don't seem to have my slow coolant problem solved. Maybe about 6 months ago I had the coolant elbows replaced, my mechanic claimed that was the problem and they were cracked and leaking. Now maybe a couple months ago I took a quick peak in the reservoir tank and low and behold it was just about bone dry. Added some to bring it back up to cold level and now today rechecked it and it's low yet again. What should I be checking for? I wouldn't think that those elbows are cracked again already, would they? Of course I do have the stainless ones ready to go in if that is the problem ( I bought them with the intention of using them but the mechanic used the plastic ones before I knew what the problem was). Anyway let me know what you guys think. Thanks.
Is the exhaust white at all when running? Give it a quick sniff. If it's sweet smelling, the coolant is being burned which means internal leaks in the engine.
A visual inspection of the passenger side of the motor will tell you wether the coolant is leaking out and burning/evaporating/dripping on the block.
You may also want to look all the way around the engine where the upper intake manifold, lower intake manifold, and block meet. Any wetness would indicate a manifold gasket leak, which is really common on 2000-2003 ( maybe even 2004) 3.8L motors.
Also, check the coolant level in the radiator. Not just the overflow tank. When you're there, take a good look at the cap itself. Is it covered in some type of gunk? If yes, you probably have an intake leak.
yeah so i took a closer look today, bad news, it seems like i have all the symptoms:
how much would something like this cost at a decent garage? i've looked into doing it myself, but I don't think it's something I want to try and tackle just because of how labor intensive it is with how many steps/things you have to remember to do, and also THE RISK of messing something up permanently in the engine. I definitely think it's something I want to leave to a professional. I love doing stuff with my car, but if it is a gasket leak, I don't think this is something I wanna try.
I can't tell where the leak is from the picture BUT the gasket between the throttle body and the supercharger/upper intake manifold on the L67 is basically made out of paper and can go bad really easily. After mine blew, I scraped it off and replaced it with RTV silicone and haven't had any problems since.
_________________ 2001 Galaxy Silver 9C1 w/ L67 and 4T65E-HD...and a few other mods.
Yeah, it can be kind of labor intensive and nerve racking if you've never torn into your motor before. With parts and labor, to include a good coolant flush, expect to pay around $600. Never hurts to call around though.
Although you seem to have confirmed you have a problem, you can also send your oil to a laboratory for testing to see if a lot of coolant is in the oil. Of course, any coolant is no good. I send mine to Blackstone Labs. They will send you a free sample kit (plastic bottle and mailer package). I think it's about $25 per sample now.
ok so my girlfriend's dad might be doing the intake manifold job this weekend. he's done the job on a lesabre (3800) but never on a SC 3800. Any knowledge or advice would be helpful. Or if anyone has a good website or writeup/walkthrough for the job on the SC 3800 that would be good too. I've seen a few videos but to have it on paper would be better i think.
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