It figures that something like this would wait for the cold weather to
arrive. I just noticed a leak on the driver's side of the vehicle near the
left side of the transmission.
At first, I thought that it was transmission fluid and suspected the cooling
lines that run to the radiator. Barring that, all sorts of questions started
racing through my head, such as how long had it been leaking, how much
damage, if any, had been done so far, and ultimately, how much was it going
to cost to fix when they tell me that a new transmission was needed?
Anyway, after walking away from the problem for a while, I took a closer
look only to discover that it is actually coolant that is leaking from the
area that I described. I tried finding the source, but could only see that
it was coming down the side of the bell housing. I couldn't see anything
from the engine compartment either.
At this point, I'm guessing that its either a coolant hose or a freeze plug.
Does anyone here know if these vehicles have any of these in that part of
the engine? Any other things to look for or check?
Thanks in advance to those who post a reply to the group.
The vehicle currently has 149k plus miles on it and to the best of my
knowledge the intake manifold gaskets have never been replaced. We are the
second owners. It had 97k when we bought it. Not sure if there are any
mileage milestones where specific repairs should be performed.
I'd suspect the intake manifold gaskets - especially if you're still using
Dex-cool. Best thing to do is have it pressure tested and you'll know
exactly where its leaking......My intake gaskets started leaking at around
160,000 in a '96, S10, 4.3 L. I smelled AF and within a day it was pouring
I replaced my own manifold gaskets - and I'm a DP analyst, not a mechanic -
without problems. When you get down to where the injectors are, look for
'clean streaks' on the manifold. If they are there, it means your injector
assembly is leaking. If it is leaking, fix it while you have it apart. I
used a replacement 'mini injector' from Linder Techincal Services
(http://www.lindertech.com /), as they seemed to have the best solution for
my injector problem.
Due to the cold weather, I opted to take it to a "mechanic". I was told that
indeed the intake manifold gasket was to blame for the leak. Ballpark $500 -
$600 to repair. A day goes by and I was told that they needed some more
parts. Second day goes by and I was told that something broke and they had
to get another part.
Now for the clincher! Today, I was informed that they stayed late last night
to fix the vehicle after getting the part that they needed. Then, when they
started the vehicle, it leaked again and the engine began to knock. Long
story short, the enginge is blown and they want $2000 - $3000 to install
either a used or rebuilt one. I'm not sure because it was hard to
concentrate after hearing the news. No way to prove that they were
negligent. Granted the engine had 149k miles on it, but the oil had been
changed regularly and there were no indications of any noise or knocking
coming from it.
So, what recourse do I have? Better Business Bureau? Even if they can be of
any help, that won't solve the immediate problem of not having a vehicle.
Any good sources for rebuilt engines? Keep in mind that due to the cold
weather I can't really take on this job at present, so I'd be looking for
installation info as well.
Thanks to those who have replied and those who post a reply here to the
I didn't study what engine they had...but maybe a bunch of coolant dropped
into the crankcase and they didn't change the oil after.
That's what happened to a buddy of mine....dealer bought him a new engine.
tick, tick, tick.....goner.
There is a good change your 'mechanic' caused your engine to go bad. I
have changed many intake gaskets on 4.3s for the fleet of cars I help
maintain. IT IS CLEARLY WARNED IN GM REPAIR MANUALS THAT IF THE EXACT
TORQUE PROCEEDURE IS NOT FOLLOWED, SEVERE ENGINE DAMAGE WILL OCCUR. I
know of several people that changed their own intake gaskets only have
their engine knock or lock-up within 5 miles after the repair. A
co-worker has 4.3 sitting on the garage floor at home right now because
he didn't read the GM manual before replacing the intake gaskets.
I highly doubt that! The torque on the intake manifold bolts on
these engines is extremely low. That's why it's necessary to
use loctite on the bolts when re-installing. The most common
reason why these engines blow up after having an intake gasket
replaced is that tech's will use the 3m grinding pads to clean
the surfaces of the cylinder heads. They will usually not take care
to make sure that no crap gets into the engine, and sometimes they
will not change the oil and filter after the repair. It's too bad really,
as the 4.3 is a very strong engine and will usually last the lifetime
of the vehicle if the intake manifold is replaced "on time" and the
job is done correctly.
Just wanted to post some follow-up to my original post.
I originally thought that the engine had not only started knocking, but had
also seized in the process. As it turns out, it hadn't. So, after looking
into a few options, it was decided to have the vehicle towed back to the
house. That was last Friday and the towing service couldn't get to the shop
until at least 5 PM, so it was put off until yesterday, Monday.
However, on Saturday, I received a surprise phone call from the "mechanic",
indicating that he was trying to open up the oil flow to the top of the
engine and asking that towing the vehicle be held off. At that point there
wasn't much else to do.
Monday came and went. Then, today the "mechanic" called to give his final
report. The vehicle was drivable, but was knocking. There's no telling how
long it will last. It could be a week, a month, a year. No one knows for
sure. In any case, the vehicle was driven home.
I've heard of attempts at trying to reduce the noise from the knocking by
draining a quart of oil from the engine and adding one of those engine oil
flush type additives. Couldn't make it any worse at this point, but I have
my doubts that it'll really make that much of a difference. Has anyone here
had any success with clearing up a similar problem? If so, any particular
brand of additive that was used?
Bottom line is that, if the engine does go, a remanufactured engine can be
purchased and installed for around $4k. Not sure if that's the way to go
right now or not.
On a similar note, how does one know that if the manifold gasket repair is
done at the proper time (not sure exactly when that is), that the engine
still won't fail later on? At least that's the "mechanic's" position, that
it could happen at any time after the repair. My point to him was that if he
had suspected an internal leak, as well, due to his experience, shouldn't he
have drained the oil first to see if it contained anti-freeze? At that
point, if it did, he could have asked if the manifold repair should still be
performed with the caveat that there could be a potential problem with the
With regard to a remanufactured engine, would the same time frame apply or
would it be safe to assume that the "problem" manifold gasket has been
replaced with a new and improved version that won't fail?
Thanks for the replies. Appreciate any other words of wisdom.
If the engine was not knocking when it went in to the shop, it's
highly unlikely that it would be knocking before it made it out
of the shop, unless someone was incompetent.
As for your above scenario..yes, that's the way it should be
done. We always mention that there is a good possibility
that engine damage may have already been done by the
presence of coolant in the oil. But to be honest, it's far
and few between that we actually see many engines fail
from having intake gaskets leak coolant.
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