Intake Failure 3800 Park Avenue

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Well group it havent been 2 weeks befor i thought i had saved my self some big bucks .. Sunday nite my park avenue quit on my while traveling down I-85. Started making rattling noise and died, Had car towed back to Sandy's
Service center which they broke donw the engine and calling me just to day to tell me I need a engine. They rechecked there work and went to the oil pan and discovered the bearing had spun. $4000.00 for a new engine or i could settle for a rebuilt. I did tune up and all last week an this is what happen . Thanks a lot GM.
Had my 99 park avenue 3800 II plenum and lower intake gaskets fix, cool with in two weeks my car had consumed a full resivor of coolant, no exterior leaks could be seen. but kept adding coolant. Did my research, and found all the talk bout the 3800 and 3.4 & 3.1 liter engine with dex cool and gaskets.. BUICK dealter told me $625 to replace both if needed, my mechanic she only charged me $358.. She showed me that there was a hole in the plenum also showed me in due time the gasket was bound to fail, with all the weak spots in it. She replaced it with a thicker gasket...
Thanks Sandy you are a awesome mechanic
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This may have been avoided, was the oil changed when this job was done, if not it should have been ,if so there would have signs of coolant in the oil, this would have signalled the shop to suspect possible bearing damage from the intermix and pull the pan down to look at the bearings, this is the standard procedure with this type of extreme internal coolant loss.

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Perhaps the $300 you didn't spend would have saved you 4 grand. Don't thank GM for your problems, thanks the cheap fast stupid mechanic you hired.
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No he needs to thank GM for the poor design because he really should not have had to be bothered with replacing the gasket in the first place, just like hundreds and thousands of others who have had the same problem. A great way for GM to build customer loyalty. After being a life long fan of GM, I am about to jump ship if they dont come out with something worth buying ...fast.

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Lil Rascal wrote:

This personally does also bother me. I'm in the market for a new or newer car right now(well when my refund comes - heh) and it's a real PITA that I have to avoid half of their entire lineup because of the proliferation of the same 3.x engines with the same nasty problem that they can't seem to manage to fix.
Chrysler is the same, too, with their gaskets and also their transmissions. 30K and a blown head gasket is impossible to believe. My 81 Buick was a complete piece of junk and yet the engine never had gasket problems(though just about everything else died, the engine still ran at 150K+)
Ford, well, they're Ford. Test drove a Contour a while back and it did nothing for a full second during an emergency downshift to avoid a car going through a red light. "Oh no! *stomp*...one thousand... *thunk!*"(audable slamming into gear)
Right now, a Vibe is near the top of the list. Toyota engine design, and GM pricing and incentives. Unfortunately, it's about the only GM product on the list.
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Yep, GM really cannot afford to be pissing off as many of their loyal customers as they have been, but the endless round of intake manifold gasket failures and the engines those failure often take with them are sure putting a bite on the General.
Honda has had some chronic problems with transmissions ... and responded by automatically extending the transmission warranty to 100,000 miles on the affected models. Do you think the General would ever be that smart?
It seems that the once strong US based auto industry is in the long painful process of killing itself.
John
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John Horner wrote:

Honda was smart - you'd rather loose money than customers anyday as it gives you plenty of time to fix your problems. Loose a customer and well, they 99% of the time won't come back thanks to the hundreds of cars to chose from.(not even counting used or classic ones - then it grows into over a thousand choices)
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just
I
gasket
putting
by
painful
And guess what...if GM had fixed my Intake gasket failure problem even though it was out of warranty for free..my next car would more than likely be another GM product. Even if they had picked up half of the $800 tab then GM would be highly considered as my next vehicle. But because of the cost and inconvenience and the negative patterns of GM, its highly unlikely my next vehicle will be from GM, they have now just established a very bad track record and there is just so much more available other than GM.

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some
Sandy's
what
with
all
mechanic
the
And problems like that are exactly why GM is in the position they are in today.

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You know that everything that goes "round and round" is going to brake down. I doesn't matter what brand it is it is going to brake sometime some where. GM trannys and the 3800 engine are probably it's strongest point. Granted their styling sucks but that's easily changed. I do think that if they had taken it to a GM repair facility GM would have done it correctly.
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You obviously have not researched the chronic intake manifold gasket problems of the 3.1-3.4l engines and the leaking plastic manifold of the late model 3.8l.
I have owned two well maintained GM 3.4l powered minivans .... both of which needed the intake manifold gaskets replaced within 3 years of purchase. This is common on these vehicles. Many times the failure is not caught early and the anti-freeze leakage into the oil causes massive problems.
John
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And I own a 91 Transport with 215k miles on a 3.1 and never had the gasket problem only timing chain and gears at 98k miles. Still has original exhaust and it's still quiet too. This thing has been rode hard and put away wet many times and never any major problem. My original comment has to do with his mechanic NOT checking the oil for contamination after a gasket change. The bad oil is what caused the failure of the rod bearing. Like I said, cheap mechanic equals incomplete job.
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In article
wrote:

Your 91 doesn't use the same design of intake manifold gaskets as the failure prone ones being discussed, it also didn't come with DexCool coolant which -may- play a role in the premature gasket failures.

Actually, this whole story stinks of contamination by 3M 'Roloc" pads.
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Interesting point. 3M should take those things off the market IMO.
Somewhere GM has a TSB out warning not to use them because of the abrasives which get left behind.
John
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Yup, and odds are that "Sandy" has never seen that TSB.
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John Horner wrote:

No, 3M should not take them off the market. They are quite useful "if you know what you are doing with them, and when to use them".
The problem is not the tool...it's the tech's that don't know how and when to use them properly.
Ian
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On 29 Apr 2005 14:27:06 -0700, "Da udder one ya dont know"

<snip>
Can you elaborate a bit more about your timing chain problem, please?
Did you simply replace it or did it break, or chip teeth on one or both of the gears?
If it broke, did it do damage to the valves and/or pistons? If so, how much did this add to the cost of the fix?
Also, what was the cost of repair? And was it done by you, a dealer, or an indy shop?
(Sorry if I sound like I'm asking too many questions!)
I ask because I have a 1996 3.1L Beretta with 130k miles, and I'm thinking of having the timing chain, gears, and water pump replaced as a preventative measure.
It's a combo of cash being tight (don't want the extra cost of valve or piston damage) plus I would like to avoid being totally stranded if the chain goes poof.
Many thanks for any and all info!
Rick
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Rutger6559 wrote:

I have a Buick with the 3.8. Same sort of design.

They grind down as the main cog has synthetic teeth instead of good old fashioned steel. Eventually the chain slips a tooth or two and the car is an instant doorstop until it is fixed.(won't start more than one time in ten)
Replaced with a steel cog, though, the assembly will probably outlast either one of us.
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The nylon sprocket is quieter and lighter and will wear a long time but not as well as streel. Mine jumped 2 teeth and did not want to start at all.
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Actually the timing chain problem was from wear not breakage. I had both sprockets replaced with steel ones and no problems after that. The water pump on that motor sits on the front side and is easy to see. You could do this yourself. I would change the serpentine belt and belt tensioner too after 130k miles. Costs for service vary as you can see from the original post.
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