Damn That Dexcool...sprung another leak

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97 pontiac GA 3.1, 131k miles. I must say this car has held up and runs pretty damn good to be honest...but the coolant leaks do to Dexcool have caused an Intake gasket failure at 80k costing me $800, and yesterday at
131k miles just dished out over $700 to repair a coolant leak at my timing chain cover. Also replaced chain while cover was off since I had it apart. Doing an internet search I noticed several class action suits against GM regarding gasket failures do to the 150k mile Dexcool coolant. The gasket repairs are unneccesary and GM has been using Dexcool since 1996 and may still be using it. In any case I have decided to get in on the class action suit to make GM pay for my repairs.
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Dexcool doesn't spring leaks, gaskets do.

Why did it cost 700 bucks while "you" had it apart? The chain would of outlasted the body of the car btw.

Some people get about half their money reinversed. Still they place fault in the wrong place.
I have a beater with a 3800 that has had dexcool in it for no less than 7-8 years and had dexcool in it about 6-7 years before that. The intake gaskets seep a little bit but the coolant is as clear as orange soda. The seepage is do to the intake gaskets being 14 years old and not really well designed, not because it has dexcool in it. Oh and all other hoses and gaskets are 14 years old as well. Finding a stock car that doesnt leak or seep after 80k miles and 6 years is hard to do.
(3100's/3400's are good running engines but they dont seal worth a damn. They are copied from a 1980's 6cyl ford engine which could explain a few things.)
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Bonneville wrote:

Your standards are low. Leaking or seeping after only 6 years is not only pathetic but unacceptable in a vehicle costing $20K new (as pretty much any car does nowadays.)
nate
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HAHAHA ok yeah my standards are low or you didnt read what I wrote.
Finding a stock car (that means untouched and never been fixed) that doesnt leak or seep (that means any fluid) after 80k miles and 6 years is hard to do ("hard to do", not impossible but very very far from average).
Either everyone washes the underside of their cars before they bring them in to you or you are not in automotive repair. Find me a car that age that has NEVER had a leaking or seeping oil pressure sensor, a leaking or seeping oil pans, a leaking or seeping valve cover, a leaking or seeping axle seal, or any other countless area's including porous castings even in Honda 3.0's and other aluminum engines. My standards are from experience, how about yours.
In article <nonelson-48F14D.15565427082006

Pretty much sums it up.
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Bonneville wrote:

Hmm, I've had several VW's in the 15-20 year old range and well over 100K miles - in some cases 200K miles - that didn't leak. Now they did receive routine maintenance and I can't swear that there weren't some gaskets replaced, but 80K miles for the lifespan of a gasket indicates shoddy design or construction. Also the OP indicated that the seepage was an intake gasket, not something that would normally be replaced as part of normal PM like a hose connection etc. which is unacceptable.
nate
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says...

Hmm, I've had several VW's in the 15-20 year old range and well over 100K miles - in some cases 200K miles - that didn't leak. Now they did receive routine maintenance and I can't swear that there weren't some gaskets replaced, but 80K miles for the lifespan of a gasket indicates shoddy design or construction. Also the OP indicated that the seepage was an intake gasket, not something that would normally be replaced as part of normal PM like a hose connection etc. which is unacceptable.
nate
If you can't say that there weren't gaskets replaced then what's the point about the VW's? Once a gasket is replaced most cars won't leak for awhile...or ever again. Unless you've had the car since new, your comparison is meaningless.
Lee
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Lee C. Carpenter wrote:

It's very meaningful. First of all, there weren't any water passages in the intake manifold of a VW. In fact, other than the optional oil cooler, there is nowhere on a VW engine where coolant could leak into the oil were *any* joint or gasket to fail. Second, I can't recall ever replacing any gasket on a VW engine except as part of maintenance (i.e. valve adjustment) or some other kind of internal repair (e.g. the rod bearings that I replaced on an old G60 motor.) It's very doubtful that an intake manifold would ever be removed UNLESS the gasket were leaking (which it never did) or the head needed to be worked on. Third, Chevy small-block V-8s have had the same "questionable" water passage in the intake manifold since 1955, and those engines never seemed to have this problem. When was the last time you saw a SBC intake gasket fail before the whole engine was slap wore out and due for a rebuild?
So, as I said before, if you consider the GM V-6 intake manifold gasket failures to be "acceptable" at only 80K miles, you need to expect more from your vehicles. Heck, GM itself managed to produce a whole mess of vehicles whose intake manifold gaskets didn't fail, and so has just about every other manufacturer. Although I'm sure that GM would rather you didn't raise your standards and just kept buying their "modern" shite.
nate
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says...

It's very meaningful. First of all, there weren't any water passages in the intake manifold of a VW. In fact, other than the optional oil cooler, there is nowhere on a VW engine where coolant could leak into the oil were *any* joint or gasket to fail. Second, I can't recall ever replacing any gasket on a VW engine except as part of maintenance (i.e. valve adjustment) or some other kind of internal repair (e.g. the rod bearings that I replaced on an old G60 motor.) It's very doubtful that an intake manifold would ever be removed UNLESS the gasket were leaking (which it never did) or the head needed to be worked on. Third, Chevy small-block V-8s have had the same "questionable" water passage in the intake manifold since 1955, and those engines never seemed to have this problem. When was the last time you saw a SBC intake gasket fail before the whole engine was slap wore out and due for a rebuild?
So, as I said before, if you consider the GM V-6 intake manifold gasket failures to be "acceptable" at only 80K miles, you need to expect more from your vehicles. Heck, GM itself managed to produce a whole mess of vehicles whose intake manifold gaskets didn't fail, and so has just about every other manufacturer. Although I'm sure that GM would rather you didn't raise your standards and just kept buying their "modern" shite.
nate
You and I are just two opinions. The bulk of the people think that the VW is actually the "modern shite". Not one of the classic GM divisions is as low as the bottom feeder of the German auto ladder (VW) in the rankings. Too many people think that because something is made in Europe it is inherantly better. The below web site shows just what people with lower standards really need to buy.
http://www.jdpower.com/autos/brand-ratings /
Lee
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Lee C. Carpenter wrote:

The people who pay attention to JD Power surveys are not the same people who drive their cars half a million miles. The latter tend to pick brands like VW, Subaru, Volvo (older) Mercedes-Benz (older Diesels) etc. That also prompts the question as to which car you'd rather *spend* half a million miles in...
nate
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The people who pay attention to JD Power surveys are not the same people who drive their cars half a million miles. The latter tend to pick brands like VW, Subaru, Volvo (older) Mercedes-Benz (older Diesels) etc. That also prompts the question as to which car you'd rather *spend* half a million miles in...
Very good point. You always see the term "initial quality". From that, I translate to me as within the first few months of driving. Very few cars today make unhappy buyers from the start. Even if it is mediocre, consumers will often still be in favor of their purchase rather than admit a big screw up in their choice.
Yep, that Yugo sure get good mileage. Glad I bought it.
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From what you have been posting we had already figured you for the kind of guy that would have purchased a Yugo. Anybody with a bit of automotive sense would not have thought a Fiat, made in a Communists factory, as a wise vehicle to buy ;)
mike
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N8N wrote:

Really! What about those pesky head gaskets?
Second, I can't recall

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Rob wrote:

wasn't thinking about the head gaskets, but I've never heard of one failing save for cases of modified engines running ludicrous amounts of boost.
nate
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Have you seen all the muddy crud that DexCool produces in your engine?
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Have you seen all the ones that didn't have muddy crud?
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Neat trick considering that engine debuted in the 1980 model year GM 'X' bodies which were released in early 1979.
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In article <nonelson-D957C7.15502127082006

Relaying what I heard. Old ford 2.8's and GM 2.8's arent dissimilar. So it was copied from ford in the late 70's. Either way the engine design should of been scrapped long ago. Instead they kept it and made it worse every chance they got. They made a few improvements with the 3500 and 3900. However neither is a worthy replacement for the 3800.
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"Bonneville" wrote

Oh my god! The basic designs of the engines are "similar" so that must mean that GM copied Ford? Give me a break. By the way, if you are simply "relaying what you heard"....wouldn't it make sense to mention this in your original post so that we wouldn't automatically assume that it's "you" that is stupid?

The 3800 isn't that great of an engine. And I think you ought to wait a bit before passing judgement on the 35 and 39. I think they will turn out to be not a bad engine.
Ian
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shiden_kai wrote:

We shall see. In the 20+ years that GM made the 2.8-3.4 engine family it is questionable if they ever got the intake sealing problem fixed. I know that it was still a problem with our 2002 model.
John
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"John Horner" wrote

John...you need to do a bit more research on the design of the 3500 code N and the 3900 engine. Intake gasket designs will have nothing to do with the longevity of these engines. They no longer have "wet" manifolds.
Ian
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