HELP!! Coolant leak problem turns into something MAJOR!! NOT good! Need help PLEASE [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

PDA

View Full Version : HELP!! Coolant leak problem turns into something MAJOR!! NOT good! Need help PLEASE


GRocks10
07-26-2005, 07:38 PM
Hi everyone,

This is a long post.. please bare with me and read it.

So as of recently I've been driving the 1999 Pontiac Grand AM SE 3.4L V6 with 77,180 miles.. I had noticed the "low coolant" light popping on here and there while I would drive to work. So anyhow, I went ahead later on in the day to go put coolant in the car because it was almost completely empty. I filled her up and the light hasn't come on.. mind you, the coolant light just started coming on recently and then stopped popping on after putting the coolant so I thought all was OK. About a week later the low coolant light magically POPPED ON AGAIN and this time WOULDN'T shut off! NOT only that but the "change oil" light starts coming on now too! I still have a good 600 miles to go until I hit the 3k mark for an oil change.

I decide I will go ahead and take the car to have it looked at from the place I last got my oil change at because now I believe that possibily they never did the oil change or fill up the fluids since I requested it and my engine could have some major problems because in my mind I think if the "change oil" light is coming on 2k within being last changed and it shouldn't be coming on since it hasn't hit the 3k mark.. I think its possible that maybe the oil change never took place and my car has been driving for 5K without an oil change now giving me these problems!! So I decide I will go ahead and take the car in the next day because the shop is closed now.. I'm driving the next day just before I plan to goto the shop and you ready for this?!? THE CAR temputure guage is going SUPER HIGH and the red light blinks for the FIRST time in the 2 years that I own this car! About a couple minutes later the car got overheated and just died on the road.. I put my emergency flashers and open the hood only to find that coolant is shooting out little drops through the serpentine belt when I tried to restart the car which it turned over perfectly fine after waiting it out a good 5 minutes.. I put some more coolant that I had left over and drove it to a parking lot that was nearby. Today, I went ahead and got a towing truck to tow the car to the car repair shop I had my oil change at to have them look at it and I didn't want to take the risk of messing anything up in the car by driving it even though its still drivable.

Straight to the point guys.. sorry for the loong post!! I had the guys check it out and they came up with something so crazy! I did do my research and figured that the problem seems to be either the water pump which I asked about and found out its not.. but found out its the head gaskets and it needs new engine heads.. VERY COSTLY! Its a common problem they said and I confirmed this by reading up on the board that it is indeed a common thing.. however, guy at the shop decided to lie straight through his teeth about what needed to be done and brought along a HUGE PRICE.. he said I was lucky and that it didn't need to be rebuilt.. he said however that it would cost roughly $2500 to fix!! They found a milkshake consitancy which I saw when they opened the oil cap, turns out the coolant has been going into the oil and mixing up! My car had overheated because of it.

This is what they say needs to be done which is pure BS, these prices..
1. 2 Engine Heads - $650.56 PARTS + $1,105 LABOR
2. 1 HEAD GASKET SET - $298.99

3. 1 Thermostat - $18.99

4. 1 Cooling Flush - $89.99

5. 1 Head Bolts - $49.99

6. 6 Spark Plugs - $13.99 X 6 = $83.94

PLUS Shop fees - $30.00
________________________________
$2,327.46
PLUS 7 % FL state sales tax - $162.92
________________________________
TOTAL: $2,490.38 - Written estimate


******************

Now, I think thats a bunch of BS.. I took the car over to my buddy whos an excellent mechanic thats been in the business for almost 10 years.. he wouldn't do me wrong! He looked over my car and told me pretty much the same stuff needs to be done like the other guy said except for some of a couple of other things that don't need to be done like the spark plugs being replaced ( I had them replaced about 10K miles ago and they were BRAND NEW AC DELCO.. the factory spark plugs that GM puts in ). Anyhow, my buddy will do the WHOLE job including good quality parts for $700. I wanted to ask you guys what you think of this situation? And if you think what I described might be another problem that shouldn't even cost what the other guy said or what my car mechanic buddy and could be something much less. Also, I read somewhere that GM might be able to cover most of the cost involved taken into consideration that their older gaskets design were bad and thats the reason its been causing SOO many bad gasket problems for GA owners? Maybe they can help front the bill?

PLEASE any help would be appreciated everyone! I'm SO sorry for such a HUGE post.. seriously. Just had to get this fustration out somehow.

iceman
07-26-2005, 09:32 PM
What did they determine that made them say you need new heads???

It's our LIM gasket that was no good, not the head gaskets.. are you positive you blew both head gaskets as well? somethin's fishy.. LIM gasket repair, if you do it on your own, should be about 50 dollars plus any additional side costs that may come up during repair (oil, coolant, etc..)


If it is indeed your LIM I think most people around here pay about $700. I don't see why you'd need new heads unless you cracked them both somehow..

GRocks10
07-26-2005, 10:20 PM
What did they determine that made them say you need new heads???

It's our LIM gasket that was no good, not the head gaskets.. are you positive you blew both head gaskets as well? somethin's fishy.. LIM gasket repair, if you do it on your own, should be about 50 dollars plus any additional side costs that may come up during repair (oil, coolant, etc..)


If it is indeed your LIM I think most people around here pay about $700. I don't see why you'd need new heads unless you cracked them both somehow..

Hi,

Thanks for the reply! :) They pretty much made it clear that because the oil and coolant ended up mixing together that it meant the head gaskets were shot and the 2 engine heads.. the top and the bottom one. I really have no idea how those things could be shot because I did so much research on this board noticing that alot of you folks have had this problem and its very common.. also the mechanics said the same thing that it was a very common problem with these engines. It was just said that because the milkshake like consitancy when they took the oil cap off and looking at the oil dipstick being really watery mixed with oil bascially meant that those are the common things that need to be done. Should I bring it to my mechanic buddies attention about it possibly JUST being the LIM gasket ( btw.. what is LIM? ) and that should only be replaced along with having a new oil changed and adding fresh coolant? Should fix the problem then? Please let me know. You have no idea how much I appreciate the advice. Thanks again!

badboy2451
07-26-2005, 11:13 PM
Hi,

Thanks for the reply! :) They pretty much made it clear that because the oil and coolant ended up mixing together that it meant the head gaskets were shot and the 2 engine heads.. the top and the bottom one. I really have no idea how those things could be shot because I did so much research on this board noticing that alot of you folks have had this problem and its very common.. also the mechanics said the same thing that it was a very common problem with these engines. It was just said that because the milkshake like consitancy when they took the oil cap off and looking at the oil dipstick being really watery mixed with oil bascially meant that those are the common things that need to be done. Should I bring it to my mechanic buddies attention about it possibly JUST being the LIM gasket ( btw.. what is LIM? ) and that should only be replaced along with having a new oil changed and adding fresh coolant? Should fix the problem then? Please let me know. You have no idea how much I appreciate the advice. Thanks again!



they are lyin to you...from what you described, your LIM (lower intake manifold) gaskets are bad and are what are causing the UIM (upper intake manifold) gaskets to need replaced, the milkshake under the cap, coolent on the drivers side of engine, and the watery dipstick

head gaskets are not common on our cars, but LIM gaskets gone bad are...


read this to see exactly how common it is..
http://www.grandamgt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14199&highlight=lower+intake+manifold+leak

Malaclypse
07-27-2005, 12:16 AM
The fact that you actually overheated the car to the point of it shutting off on you baffles me. When the red light comes on.. STOP IMMEDEATLY! You were probably at about 240* when the light came on and that's not very good for our engines.

I've seen this at work. Sometimes when 3400s get overheated, the heads expand to the point where the headbolts get stretched.. That's fine but when the motor cools back down the heads contract but the headbolts do not. This means less torque on the headgasket and a subsequent head gasket leak.

That being said, no you probably don't need to replace the heads.. They might be slightly warped but you can send them off to a machine shop to have them milled. If they're really bad though they will require replacement. A head gasket and bolt set is completely understandable if your headbolts have stretched in the manner I described.

brim
07-27-2005, 06:43 AM
slightly off topic but I think it's sad because I know the AC DELCO's standard line of plugs are $6 a piece tops, $4 and change for rapidfires.

and the highest felpro basic set is $162.99 locally, it's all about the markup x2! :clap:

GRocks10
07-27-2005, 08:40 AM
Quoting the mechanic.. "Running car to long.. blowing compression into the resolver tank.. everytime I start it It blows the coolant out."

He mentioned that the head gaskets got bad and need to be replaced because even at 30 - 1 hour of driving the car when that change oil and low coolant light coming on, that when I had kept driving the car the day I was going to drop by the shop but I had some things I needed to do before going there.. it got worst and driving it that period of time is what screwed it all up to the point that it needed to be replaced.

Input on this would be great.. thanks again! SERIOUSLY

GRocks10
07-27-2005, 08:47 AM
slightly off topic but I think it's sad because I know the AC DELCO's standard line of plugs are $6 a piece tops, $4 and change for rapidfires.

and the highest felpro basic set is $162.99 locally, it's all about the markup x2! :clap:

And yes, you're completely right! These guys seem to love marking up prices LIKE CRAZY.

Just for the future.. the company quoting me the $2500 is Tire Kingdom. Its REALLY sad and I'm disgusted how they can lie so bad through their teeth like that.

GRocks10
07-27-2005, 09:55 AM
Hey,

What does TSB stand for? I read that a TSB was called from GM about the LIM gasket.. what does it mean and can it help me in anyway if I brought this to GM's attention? If so, what should I do in this case? Because, I already have my mechanic buddy doing the work on my car because I NEED my car for driving purposes obviously.. I can't let it just sit here while I'm out of a car.

XMBlackGT1
07-27-2005, 11:58 AM
Dont feel bad- I had the same problem with my 96 se v6 3.1. It had 25,000 miles and did the same thing. I took it in, low and behold, 2 of the heads were cracked and also the block. $6,000 later, I had a working car again. Your problem sounds exactly like what happened to mine. Good luck!

Malaclypse
07-27-2005, 12:49 PM
The TSB for lower intake manifold degredation has nothing to do with your problems, sorry to say. That's just reminding the techs that the lower intakes -can- become porous.. Obviously if you start the car and you blow coolant out of the resevoir in short order then you have a headgasket problem.

jeffescortlx
07-28-2005, 01:43 PM
GRocks10, welcome to the Grand AM.
The LIM happends all the time, I'm on my 3rd set of LIM gaskets and there is a huge post about this problem with the 3100 and 3400's on this forum. And the milky oil and coolent going every where it's not suppose to be, is the LIM gone bad.
The head gaskets are solid and hardly need replaceing...unless you allow the motor to over heat, like you did. So yea, you very well could need new heads and gaskets. If you would of shut the car off as soon as it started to over heat, the repair bill would of been a lot less.

Have them run a compression check, that will help tell you if it's just the LIM or the heads.

GRocks10
07-28-2005, 11:56 PM
Thanks for all your help everyone. You have all been extremely helpful.

GRocks10
07-28-2005, 11:59 PM
Btw.. what does TSB stand for?

Thanks

Malaclypse
07-29-2005, 12:21 AM
Technical Service Bulletin

GRocks10
07-30-2005, 02:07 PM
Technical Service Bulletin

Thank you. :)

sicc
07-30-2005, 07:10 PM
My GA was as bad as you are describing. The first time, I had to refill the coolant everytime I drove it until I could afford to pay for the repair. I had it repaired twice [$1,000 and $800] and it never ran right afterwards. I would suggest looking into another car NOW because as much as it sucks to hear, it will probably happen again, and again. Not saying it's that serious with every GA, but not everybody's problem got as bad as your's and mine. There's a video of mine floating around here somewhere where you can hear how bad it got. If I knew the outcome before I had it fixed the first time, I would not have bothered.

Also, the first time, they said I needed a new head gasket as well so there may be some credibility to that.

[edit] Here's the thread with the video I mentioned. http://grandamgt.com/forum/showthread.php?p=519048