My van wouldn't start the other day first thing in the morning...it was fine
the night before, no noises, decent performance.
It has the 3.4 litre engine with 190,000 kms (115,000 miles). I had it towed
to a shop and they report back that the camshaft is damaged (broken), no
compression. They further advise that this is a throwaway engine and needs
replacement at a cost of $5900.00 CDN ($4300.00 USD).
Rather than fix or replace the camshaft they claim that the engine is fully
contaminated with metal. My question is how can there be metal throughout if
the camshaft simply broke on startup...In any case, I think his price is
high and need to meet with him tomorrow to discuss his findings...
I have a few questions for the group:
1. Do these engines have a history of camshaft problems?
2. When this camshaft problem occurs, should we throw the engine away?
3. What should I be asking the service manager at our meeting tomorrow?
Thanks one and all,
My guess is that you have been loosing coolant from a lower intake manifold
gasket leak. Coolant has been ending up in your oil. Dexcool is not a good
lubricant and your camshaft bearings didn't like it. Your camshaft is
hollow too. You will need to read as many of the names on the GM lower
intake manifold gasket leak petition as you can stomach tonight and try to
base a claim on this faulty part. Your milage will no doubt be working
against you, but be calm and firm. These links have many good refrences and
here is a picture of your camshaft .
http://www.gmintakeleak.com/TheProblem.htm Good luck Steve!
There is a reason that a camshaft breaks. They don't just break in
normal use. On these engines, the camshafts break because the
engine oil has been contaminated with coolant for an extended
period of time and it destroys the camshaft bearings which in
turn often weld themselves to the camshaft, spin in the block,
and eventually stop the back half of the cam from moving and
the front half keeps going. In every instance of this that I've
seen, the cam bearings have spun in the cylinder block which
renders it unusable. If the block is no good, you need a
new motor. It's as simple as that.
The vehicle is too old now for GM to participate in any
of the repairs. You might get lucky, but I doubt it.
I think you will have to bite the bullet and get a new
engine for the van. And then either get rid of it, or
moniter your coolant levels closely and change the
oil regularly....I'd go every 3-4000 kilometres on these
Sounds like a minor design issue here from the info I have seen. My Dad just
bought a 2003 Montana with 3.4 litre engine, has this problem with intake
gaskets been corrected or should he be changing oil every 3 to 4000 kms.
If his motor was built after November of 2002 he has the "redesigned" part.
Just have him watch the coolant level and bring it to the Pontiac dealer the
moment he notices a drop in the level. Very important to catch this during
the warranty period. Good luck with your engine.
I have not seen that answer on this NG yet. My guess is they are not going
to have assembled motors just laying around more than a few weeks before the
cars are built, and this may be stretching it a bit with America's corporate
"just in time" mentality.
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