Just learned that my intake gasket is failing again on my 2000
Venture. This is the second time; GM changed it at 1/2 cost (500$
CND) 2 years ago. The dealer told my wife that there is nothing
that they will do for us, do and they will not help pay for this
crap. The service manager basically said: "Listen, this is a 6
year old van. It has 108 K Km (60 Kmiles), what do you expect?!"
Bloody GM. What can I do? We have been polite, respectful of the
service manager, explained that this is not normal, that we do
not abuse the van, it has been always maintained at the
dealership... so what can I do?
Any help wouold be appreciated.
No. The early stages of the gasket failure don't present big problems
though. Keep an eye on the coolant level and keep it topped off. Watch
your motor oil for any signs of water in the oil. You can actually go quite
a long time on these gaskets when they begin to fail.
BAD advice, change the gasket now. Gasket failures are not generally
catastrophic and give plenty of notice before they fail and cause future
damage from contaminated oil.
We in the fleet service business were first to encounter failing gaskets
back then because many fleet vehicles accumulate mileage quickly. The head
gasket failures we saw led to the engine manufactures becoming aware of the
problem before dealer warranty claims heated up. We noticed extraordinary
coolant consumption, tested the engines and changed head gaskets long before
any internal damage occurred. We soon noticed the replacement gaskets were
failing as well. It was at that point the non asbestos material; became
suspect and was changed.
The problem for engine manufactures and their customers was there were four
different materials use to replace asbestos initially, two worked and two
did not over time. One failed comparably quickly, in the 20/30 thousand
mile range like the material used in Toyota head gasket, resulting in
gaskets failing for customers while still in warranty. The other however
lasted much longer with failures occurring in the 60/80 thousands mile
range. Thus out of warranty and the reason the gasket manufacture were
taken to court by Ford and other engine manufactures, since the gasket
makers said the resulting damage causes by a failed gasket was the owner
neglect and poor preventive maintance in failing to replace the gasket.
I mean if there is something big that is likely to burn you after
warranty, make a different purchase choice. Applies to any particular
problem item, no matter the brand. The gasket failure that GM has had
is something that people should have just plain avoided buying
vehicles that have the affected engines. That's a LOT of vehicles to
avoid! GM doesn't DESERVE to have people spend good money on products
with such a serious problem. On the other hand, go ahead and buy
other GM products that don't have the big problems, and don't by rice
that has big problems either. Don't know for sure, but I have had
independent mechanics tell me there was a stretch not all that long
ago that a lot of Dodge (Chrysler) trannies were pure reliability
nightmares. Had I been considering one of their products at the time,
I would have checked into those claims much further before spending my
hard earned cash on one.
On Sat, 20 May 2006 10:30:28 -0400, "Mike Hunter"
Right. Some of them failed very early. Ford went through the same
situation on some of their transmissions, particularly in the minivans.
If you know about this sort of defect, you should probably avoid the car.
GM had some problems with their 440T4 Metric transmission, but they were
probably not as serious as the Ford and Chrysler issues. The 440T4 has
evolved and, I guess, is pretty dependable now.
Unfortunately, a lot of people bought this engine option not knowing the
problems that it carried with it.
I believe that both the design of this engine's sealing surfaces AND the
composition of the original gaskets both had a little to do with this, and
heard that new gaskets are available that are much better than the
Sgt Silicon is normally right, though. If it is out of warranty, you are
out of luck.
The dealership BS line (that it is a 6 year old van, what do you expect) is
That is no time at all, nor mileage either, for a modern vehicle.
I wouldn't buy anything from them anymore, even if just because of that
They KNOW there was a problem here, but legally they are not required to do
anything about it, nor are you likely to get any sympathy from GM.
There was nothing wrong with the gaskets design or the surface condition .
GM like most every other manufacture, Ford, Chrysler, Honda Toyota etal,
fell victim to the government ban on the use of asbestos without allowing
the companies that actually manufacture gaskets time to develop a proper
replacement material. All of the manufactures offered extended warranties
on 'gasket related problems, but like all warranties they have a limit.
Apparently that particular vehicle has exceed the warranty limit on time or
mileage. The person people should be mad at is their congressman
And the excuse for vehicles as recent at 2003, 2004 model years experiencing
this very same problem is exactly what Mike? Your tired explanation lost
its validity about 12 years ago. All of the manufacturers *except* GM have
gotten past the initial change over problems - years ago.
Strawman argument Mike. My point has been (for months now in response to
your canned line about gaskets) simply that GM cars still have gasket
problems and other manufacturers have long ago gotten around them. You can
put your head in the sand all you wish, but GM wears egg on their face for
You are indeed funny Mike. What do you do, close your eyes to what is going
on to this very day with GM motors? Do you actually read any of the posts
here about people with gasket problems? Can robots read?
We're talking a 3100 or 3400 V-6 I'm assuming? The first generation
of that family (iron block/iron head 2.8L) seemed to seal OK. The
worst issue I saw with those engines as far as leaks was rocker cover
From what I remember (and I'll admit it has been awhile since I've
worked on one - I avoid them like the plague) 1987 was the start of
the problems - when GM went to aluminum heads on that engine
family.(the Gen II version). Works on more than a few late 80s-early
90s cars with those engines with leaking intake manifolds.
When I bought my 1994 Regal I looked around to find one with the
3800 engine just because of the known sealing problems with the
3.1/3.4 engines. The 3800 in my Regal is the last year of the Gen. I
3800 - it has a plastic upper intake, but not of the same design as
the Gen. II 3800s that we all know and love until they decide to burn
antifreeze. I had a chance to buy a really cherry 1995 Regal, but I
passed it up only because I knew it had the Gen. II 3800.
To the original poster: all I can say is shop around for the best
price you can find on a repair, then ditch that van as quickly as you
can. If you need a van, you may have to look at the foreign stuff -
you know the problems with the GMs, the Ford Winstar is a known piece
of crap and Chrysler can't seem to keep transmissions together in
theirs. If you do go foreign, avoid Mazda (I could tell you some real
horror stories about the MPV).
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