The other day, as I was doing a routine oil check on my son's 94 Grand
Am, 3.1 V6 (which was recently featured here for a different problem), I
found that the oil was way over the max mark -- probably about a quart
over. And that it was no longer just oil -- it was a reddish muddy
color. I've read several horror stories online already, that once the
oil is contaminated with antifreeze, whatever you do is too little, too
late -- the engine needs -- or will shortly need -- to be replaced or
I could use the advice of users that have already dealt with this problem.
These engines have a history of leaks at the intake manifold. Most of the
guys here will say that you have to replace the gaskets. When my '93 started
to leak, I re-torqued the bolts (some were very loose) and have had no
It seems to me that some one in one of these news groups said that GM did a
recall to re-torque the manifold bolts.
It is best not to drive it until you change the oil.
I fully agree, antifreeze tends to react badly with oil and act as a
frictional cohesive when mixed with oil and ruin a engine if left in
too long. Years ago my father inlaw destroyed a diesel engine in a
John Deere farm tractor because it had defective cylinder sleeve seals
from factory and leaked into oil while working ground and given the
normal noise of the engine he did not hear that anything was wrong
until it lost power and had eaten the crank beyond repair. Their is a
flushing agent availible to remove all traces of anitfreeze from a
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When that happened to my '86 6000LE, it was a blown head gasket. Since
it was an '86 with 187,000+ miles on it and had a wide variety of other
problems*, it was dealt with by replacing it with a '97 GA.
*other problems included: bad heater core, broken bolts in the engine,
broken driver's side door latch (inside), inoperative driver's side
window, etc ... still miss it, though.
"Did Father shoot him? I will eat Grandfather for dinner."
- Helen Keller, on learning of the death of her grandfather
If it is the 3.1 engine....and it's not making any abnormal noise,
I'd replace the intake gasket, change the oil, drive it a few days
and change the oil again. If there is engine damage, it will show
up eventually, but if there is no bottom end noise, you may get
I'm in the process of replacing the intake gaskets, to try and correct
the problem. Both gaskets came off in two-three pieces, and had areas
that looked heavily damaged.
Question: The manual lists the torque specs for the lower intake
mounting bolts at 120 in/lb. That seems/feels too low, and I get this
urge to go over. Bad idea?
For the benefit of those that will research this problem after me, I'd
say that replacing the intake gaskets appears to have fixed the problem.
While working on that, I also replaced the spark plugs and ignition
wires -- couldn't resist it, for once I had good access to those ;) I
changed the oil a few days after the repair, and everything seems to be
in order now: The oil stays clean, the car runs fine -- no abnormal
noise or behavior. Hope it stays that way.
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