Dealer Trying To Screw Me, Please Help! [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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82-T/A
06-23-2005, 06:03 AM
Hey guys,

I brought my 97 Grand Am in with a slight coolant leak coming from the heater core. I asked them to bypass it. When I got the car back, there was absolutely NO coolant in the radiator (it had been leaking 3 days while it sat in the dealership parking lot before they worked on it). When I drove away from the dealer after they told me it was ready, the car overheated immediately.

I pulled over less than a mile from the dealership and put almost 3 gallons of water into the cooling system.


I think I have a blown head gasket.

I do not have a milkshake consitancy in the oil, but I think it's a gasket leak into one of the water jackets.


This is my SECOND 1997 Grand Am with the 2.4 TwinCam.

Under NORMAL driving conditions, the engine USED to always run at the 1/4 mark (with my other 97 Grand Am SE and now my 97 Grand Am GT also with teh 2.4).

NOW... when I drive the car, the car heats up almost immediately (like in less than 1/2 a minute). Driving around EXTREMELY conservatively with almost no traffic, the temperature sits at the 3/4 mark. It'll even get a little bit hotter than that at times. It never gets into the red, but even with the car cruising at say 35 miles an hour, the temperature sits at the 3/4 mark. It never used to do this.... it always sat at the 1/4 mark.

The dealer is now trying to say.. "We don't know how it was before we got it..."

But bottom line, there was almost no coolant in the car when I got it.

Also, steam escapes from the radiator cap.... and I know that it never did this before.



Please.. anyone with a 2.4 TwinCam, can you tell me what the normal driving temperature is on the gauge?

For me, it was ALWAYS at the 1/4 mark unless i was sitting in traffic.



Thanks...

pyro
06-23-2005, 06:09 AM
NO OFFENSE but first off, when you left the dealer, why didnt you check the cooant level if you knew they were working on it, i dont mean to be off topic and flame you but you shouldnt have looked at it and if you noticed it wasnt ok then they should have filled it for you.

82-T/A
06-23-2005, 06:34 AM
NO OFFENSE but first off, when you left the dealer, why didnt you check the cooant level if you knew they were working on it, i dont mean to be off topic and flame you but you shouldnt have looked at it and if you noticed it wasnt ok then they should have filled it for you.


No offense taken. I normally do all the work on my cars myself... but if you take your car in to the stealership and you tell them to fix something which involves the cooling system. Isn't it expected of them to automatically fill up the cooling system of everything that had drained while they were working on it?


I mean, that's like asking them to rebuild your transmission, and then they forget to put transmission fluid in it. And you're telling me that I should have checked it.


The average person who takes their car to the dealership is not like you and I... most people who take their car to the dealership doesn't know a pitman arm from a core support. Would you expect a soccer mom in her Buick Rondevouz to pop the hood and check the coolant level and say... "Oh... you guys forgot to put coolant in my car... "


Oh, and I don't know if you misunderstood me. I didn't check the coolant level until after i saw it overheating. I just assumed it was filled up. It wasn't until after I left the dealership that I noticed it had started overheating. It was at that point that I pulled off the road and filled it up.

pyro
06-23-2005, 06:38 AM
No offense taken. I normally do all the work on my cars myself... but if you take your car in to the stealership and you tell them to fix something which involves the cooling system. Isn't it expected of them to automatically fill up the cooling system of everything that had drained while they were working on it?


I mean, that's like asking them to rebuild your transmission, and then they forget to put transmission fluid in it. And you're telling me that I should have checked it.


The average person who takes their car to the dealership is not like you and I... most people who take their car to the dealership doesn't know a pitman arm from a core support. Would you expect a soccer mom in her Buick Rondevouz to pop the hood and check the coolant level and say... "Oh... you guys forgot to put coolant in my car... "


Oh, and I don't know if you misunderstood me. I didn't check the coolant level until after i saw it overheating. I just assumed it was filled up. It wasn't until after I left the dealership that I noticed it had started overheating. It was at that point that I pulled off the road and filled it up.
i see, i thought you had gm dealers like the ones around me that half ass everything. i saw a guy in one of those electric wheelchairs checking his tire pressure after they rotated them for him.

82-T/A
06-23-2005, 06:57 AM
i see, i thought you had gm dealers like the ones around me that half ass everything. i saw a guy in one of those electric wheelchairs checking his tire pressure after they rotated them for him.


Well... maybe you're right. Maybe we do...

I guess I should never assume. Damn, I'm soo upset.


What should I do? They keep trying to give me a run around.


Do you know what's the normal temperature range for your car? when you're conservatively cruising on the highway, does your car's temperature sit at the 3/4 mark? It never used to for me. What does it do for you?

pyro
06-23-2005, 07:41 AM
i got a 99 and it runs at 1/2 all the time, if your talaking about oil temp, sometime a little over when ive been moving swiftly on the highway for awhile. your talking about oil temp right? cuz i dont have any other temp gauges... :iconfused

action
06-23-2005, 07:48 AM
First, you should have had them do the proper repair and not bypass the leak.

I'd say you have a bad thermostat and or air in the system. Install a new thermostat and bleed the system according to the repair manual and you should be in good shape.

82-T/A
06-23-2005, 02:34 PM
First, you should have had them do the proper repair and not bypass the leak.

I'd say you have a bad thermostat and or air in the system. Install a new thermostat and bleed the system according to the repair manual and you should be in good shape.


So even though I'm getting a cloudy coolant, you think it's still the thermostat?

The thought had crossed my mind, but I had just replaced it less than two months ago.


Of course, it WAS a cheap one from Discount Auto Parts...

Sprucegagt
06-23-2005, 03:03 PM
Do a pressure check on the coolant system. That will tell you real quick if the head gasket or something else is gone.

GrandAmGT1996
06-23-2005, 08:55 PM
Well, if the dealership keeps pushing you around, just tell them there options, A) You wan't a complete refund of the car B) You tell them your calling the better buisness boureo (sp?) C) Tell them your getting a lawer (sp?)

Also check your sensor for the fan, is the fan kicking on? If not...that could be part of the problem.

82-T/A
06-24-2005, 04:42 AM
Well, this is the biggest issue I have. The car's coolant level goes up to 3/4ths while it's on the highway. The mechanic says this is normal. He says the fan comes on at 215, and then it cools down. (on the HIGHWAY he says it does this).

I don't know about you guys, but on the highway, the fan should NOT need to come on. The cooling from the air hitting the radiator is greater than what the fan is even capable of suctioning.

As a matter of fact, back in the 70s, clutch fans wouldn't even allow the radiator fans to come on at that speed....


The car's temperature sits RIGHT SMACK at the middle while it's idling.

This is just NOT normal for this car.... this is my second one and I never had it do this.

Plus I'm getting a brownish cloud in the cooling system which to me is a sure sign of a blown head gasket.


And then the guy continues to argue with me that I don't know what I'm talking about and that I need to stop listening to my "friend" who's giving me the information. And I'm like.... dude, there's no friend... It's a hobby, I like working on cars. And then he tells me... "Then you don't know about modern cars.." and I just didn't respond to that... I probably should have told him that I wrote my own OBD-1 scanning software in Borland Delphi, but what would have been the point?


For a normal car with a 195 degree thermostat, the car would be acting similar to how it is.. but that still doesn't explain how or why the car heats up to operating temperature in 30 seconds....

action
06-24-2005, 04:45 AM
Think you may have a bad temperature guage sending unit??? I doubt the car is actually heating up that quick, but its not uncommon for the sending unit to fail. There's usually 2, one for the guage, and one that goes to the computer.

82-T/A
06-24-2005, 05:31 AM
Think you may have a bad temperature guage sending unit??? I doubt the car is actually heating up that quick, but its not uncommon for the sending unit to fail. There's usually 2, one for the guage, and one that goes to the computer.


Hmm... I hope you're right. Could it have gone bad if the car overheated?


Thanks for responding to my posts by the way, I appreciate it.

82-T/A
06-24-2005, 05:39 AM
Hey, quick question, you seem convinced that I don't have a blown head gasket. I really really hope you're right. Why is it that you think I don't have a blown head gasket?


Thanks!!!

Malaclypse
06-24-2005, 10:32 AM
Yes your coolant temp sensor could have gone bad since the car overheated. The wax pellet in the sensor could've melted causing resistances to be off.

action
06-24-2005, 11:15 AM
Well oil doenst mix with coolant, so unless you have oil droplets in the coolant, water in the oil, bubbles in the radiator (usually air from the cumbustion chamber) then i wouldn't suspect a head gasket.

Plus, have you added any coolant since??? If not, the dealer was negligent and forgot to fill the system after fixing your leak. To be sure, before you start your car, haul the plugs out and see if any of them are wet with coolant. If it were leaking coolant into the cumbustion chamber, you would have hydroloked the engine by now.

I just reread your first post. Stick a new rad cap on. You said there was steam comming from that area, it could be 2 things, spille coolant eveporating or a bad rad cap. Cap usually keeps 16 lbs pressure in the system. If it fails there is not enough pressure to circulate coolant through the passages and your engine runs warmer then normal.

pfofit
06-24-2005, 06:07 PM
Dealerships. :nervous:

A couple of things.

Is the cars coolant getting hot. get her up to 3/4 and grab the hose coming off the thermostat housing. If it's stinking hot and you can't hold it then the cars getting hot and the guage sensor probably doing its thing. If it isn't getting hot to the touch then either the thermo is toast or you have an airlock under it or somewhere causing no or limited circulation.

If the car got hot then your new thermostst could be whacked.

I've had numerous GMs that get air locked and just will not circulate properly. Normally from a massive coolant loss. One guy had a hose replaced at a dealer and they bleed it with there fancy suck machine. He gets down the road and his normally stuck in the middle needle is now riding at 3/4 mark. He beats it back and they tell him, you guessed it, thats normal. He tells them it has been in the middle for over four years and after they played with it its reading high. No dice, they say its normal. Just like they are doing to you.

He came to me ticked and after trying numerous things to bleed it out, I solved this by lossening the rad cap a tad to let the air rise up and vent out. Take a bottle of coolant /water with you, check it often and keep enough water in the resovoir to take up the space that the air was using or you'll just suck more air in. If the level in the resovoir goes down, then you had an airlock. Add some more and keep going. It can be a trial and takes several attempts.

Do not let the neddle get into the red. The fan will come on near the 3/4 mark and should stay on until its pulled down below half or so.

Is the core still bypassed?

The crud your seeing may be the result of running dry, doing the bypass and overheating causing all kinds of junk being set free.

take care.