Is this the dreaded 3.1 head gasket problem

Hi, 2002 Buick Century with 3.1 V6 41000 miles
At my last oil change the GM technician reported: "coolant low, has some oily residue in rad. Top up rad
and recovery tank and monitor. Likely a rad problem"
How likely is this a rad problem? I have extended (Total Plus) warranty. What should I do. Thanks very much.
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Sounds like the gaskets to me. Just went through this last Dec with my low mileage '01 Grand Am 3.4. I had little pools of coolant visible also on top of the transmission where it attaches to the engine.

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It's likely that there are multiple problems. Possible transmission cooler leak in radiator. Possible coolant leak at intake manifold gaskets. Possible head gasket leak.

Have it checked more thoroughly. Read your warranty provisions.

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Fred Zeuss wrote:

Where would oil come from found in the radiator, except the engine? Leaking gasket would be a good bet.
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Transmission oil cooler.

Leaking gaskets on this engine are a given.
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Like Aarcuda says, you need to rule out the tranny cooler core in the radiator. If you get coolant back into the transmission (leaks are two ways, usually) and you will soon buy an tranny overhaul.
It may well be gaskets, but you need to be sure.
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Could very well be transmission fluid in the tank. The rad could be bad . Fluid could be leaking into th rad . Check transmission fluid and oil levels. I bet it is the rad.

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JRL wrote:

Considering the very high failure rate of intake manifold gaskets on those engines I wonder why you suspect the radiator first?
John
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All answers you get here are pure speculation. Get it to the dealer and have it diagnosed correctly.

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have
Dealers ass, dude... You are showing your innocence.
If 'dealer' is the only word in your vocabulary, your are on the wrong newsgroup.
But when you say 'have it diagnosed correctly', you have partially regained some credibility.
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Obviously you have the greater credibility. Why in the world would one want to take their $30,000 vehicle to a place that has all of the special tools, equipment, as well as factory trained technicians who have instant online access the manufactures engineering department to be diagnosed and repaired, when he can take it to a guy with an adjustable wrench, dwell meter, vacuum gauge and a generic manual that he got free when he completed two semesters at DeVry ten years ago? LOL
mike hunt

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Well spoken....

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Really?
I count at least 6 inaccuracies/exaggerations in his post.
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want
tools,
repaired,
vacuum
semesters
At least he has some credibility. You sir, have none.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
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Ya like I care what you think LOL
mike

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What do you mean by this....Top up rad and recovery tank and monitor.
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Does mommy know you're playing on her computer ? From this and at least one other response , you seem to be about 10 yrs old ...
Damn straight I'm a biker , what of it ?
--

Snag aka OSG #1
'76 FLH "Bag Lady"
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Fred Zeuss wrote:

You could very easily have the infamous leaking intake manifold gasket. Oily residue in the radiator can not be caused by a radiator problem.
John
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John Horner wrote:

Why would you say that? I've never seen "one" leaking intake manifold gasket on these engines contaminate the radiator with oil, but I've seen "tons" of transmission coolers within the radiator leak and cause oil contamination of the coolant.
Ian
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