Mechanics

CHEVY LEAKING COOLANT, BUT WHERE IS IT GOING?

2006 Chevrolet Impala

Engine Cooling problem
2006 Chevy Impala 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 73000 miles

2006 Impala with 73K miles. Has started leaking cooling, the wife says it gets hot, even to the point of over temp. We let it cool off and add water/coolant and the problem goes away. Happened 3 times already, I would say the last time before today was ~2-3 months ago. Last time I rented a pressure tester and the system pressure tested good so I'm at a loss. Today the car had cooled down for about an hour before I got a chance to look at it, it was very low on coolant. I added almost a full gallon, brought engine to operating temp with cap removed and the car just puked a bunch of hot (steaming) water out of the filler neck. This was not a small overflow but a major loss of water/coolant. Not sure where to turn at this point, my mechanic is booked up until at least Monday. I'm not seeing any water on the dipstick nor coming out of the exhaust, so I don't think it's a head gasket. Leaning towards thermostat and then water pump in that order, but need someone with more expertise to help me narrow this down post haste.
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Jeauxkewl
December 30, 2009.




Hello

To better assist you is your model the LS, LT, LTZ, or SS and what is the engine size in liter.

Based off of what you are saying my first thing is still a head gasket if you cannot see any leak anywhere.

I would check the battery/alternator just because you are there and this is preventative maintenance.

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We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and have a safe New Year

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ImpalaSS
Dec 30, 2009.
The vehicle is an LT model and has the 3.5L engine.

At this point I'm thinking of just taking it to my mechanic on Monday as a head gasket is more than I'm willing to bite off as a garage mechanic. Any idea what a reasonable price is for head gasket job for this vehicle?

Tiny
Jeauxkewl
Dec 31, 2009.
Hello -

Thanks for the info...........

MMMMM.....they have it here that is why I recommended going there. I apologize they didn't and your inconvenience.

Totally understand about biting off more.

You might still consider getting it and doing the test just so you have a good idea.

If I were going to do this I would do both sides, make sure the heads are surfaced and they check the valves, and replace any seals etc since it is all apart.

It seems that the 3.5L possible has a difference if your VIN, 8th digit is a K or an N but should be able to get close.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248015_Picture1_108.jpg



From what I see possible between $2000-$2600. Now if it is a little more that is okay as long as it is close. They may run into some things, more bent valves, etc....other shop stock used. Just discuss the cost and what they do ahead of time.

Also, make sure they surface the heads. I am working with another that it appears that they had a head gasket repair and 8 months later the same problem. Most likely the head was warped, it wasn't surfaced and all they did was gasket off and new on.

Hope this helps.........let us know.

Thank you very much for the donation

We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and have a safe New Year

Please let us know if what the final fix was for your car so we can better assist others. Thanks!

Find a car repair manual for your car repair questions.

ImpalaSS
Dec 31, 2009.
Hello -

Also, it looks like you may have some recalls on your vehicle. The dealer may fix these for free. Please contact the dealer service department, give them the VIN number of your car and have them check on these to see if they apply to you.

SEATS
NHTSA RECALL BULLETIN
Reference Number(s): 06V215000
Related Ref Number(s): 06V215000
ARTICLE BEGINNING
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION
Model(s): 2006 CHEVROLET IMPALA (GMX 211)
Campaign No: 06V215000
Number of Affected Vehicles: 2023
Beginning Date of Manufacture: 2005 OCT
Ending Date of Manufacture: 2005 OCT
SYSTEM
SEATS
DESCRIPTION OF DEFECT
CERTAIN VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A MANUAL PASSENGER SEAT ADJUSTER FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210, SEAT BELT ASSEMBLY ANCHORAGES.&Quot; THE LEFT FLOOR MOUNTING BRACKET MAY BE MISLOCATED.
CONSEQUENCE OF DEFECT
IN A SEVERE VEHICLE CRASH, THE SEAT ADJUSTER MAY SEPARATE FROM THE MOUNTING BRACKET, INCREASING THE RISK OF OCCUPANT INJURY.
CORRECTIVE ACTION
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE SEAT ADJUSTER AND REPLACE IT IF NECESSARY FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON JULY 5, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CHEVROLET AT 1-800-630-2438.

STEERING
NHTSA RECALL BULLETIN
Reference Number(s): 09E005000
Related Ref Number(s): 09E005000
ARTICLE BEGINNING
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION
Model(s): 1997 BUICK CENTURY
1997 BUICK REGAL
1997 CHEVROLET VENTURE
1997 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
1997 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
1998 BUICK CENTURY
1998 BUICK REGAL
1998 CHEVROLET VENTURE
1998 OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE
1998 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
1998 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
1999 BUICK CENTURY
1999 BUICK REGAL
1999 CHEVROLET VENTURE
1999 OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE
1999 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
1999 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
1999 PONTIAC MONTANA
2000 BUICK CENTURY
2000 BUICK REGAL
2000 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2000 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2000 CHEVROLET VENTURE
2000 OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE
2000 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
2000 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2000 PONTIAC MONTANA
2001 BUICK CENTURY
2001 BUICK REGAL
2001 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2001 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2001 CHEVROLET VENTURE
2001 OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE
2001 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
2001 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2001 PONTIAC MONTANA
2002 BUICK CENTURY
2002 BUICK REGAL
2002 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2002 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2002 CHEVROLET VENTURE
2002 OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE
2002 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
2002 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2002 PONTIAC MONTANA
2003 BUICK CENTURY
2003 BUICK REGAL
2003 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2003 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2003 CHEVROLET VENTURE
2003 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
2003 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2003 PONTIAC MONTANA
2004 BUICK CENTURY
2004 BUICK REGAL
2004 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2004 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2004 CHEVROLET VENTURE
2004 OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE
2004 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2004 PONTIAC MONTANA
2005 BUICK CENTURY
2005 BUICK LACROSSE
2005 BUICK TERRAZA
2005 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2005 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2005 CHEVROLET UPLANDER
2005 CHEVROLET VENTURE
2005 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2005 PONTIAC MONTANA
2005 SATURN RELAY
2005 SATURN RELAY
2006 BUICK LACROSSE
2006 BUICK TERRAZA
2006 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2006 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2006 CHEVROLET UPLANDER
2006 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2006 SATURN RELAY
2007 BUICK LACROSSE
2007 BUICK TERRAZA
2007 CHEVROLET IMPALA
2007 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
2007 CHEVROLET UPLANDER
2007 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
2007 SATURN RELAY
Campaign No: 09E005000
Number of Affected Vehicles: 979
Beginning Date of Manufacture: NO DATE
Ending Date of Manufacture: NO DATE
SYSTEM
STEERING
DESCRIPTION OF DEFECT
DORMAN IS RECALLING 979 STEERING KNUCKLES, DORMAN P/NOS. 697-902 AND 697-903, SOLD UNDER DORMAN'S " OE SOLUTIONS" BRAND NAME, AND NAPA P/NOS. 7-8502 AND 7-8503 WHICH WERE SOLD FOR REPLACEMENT USE ON THE VARIOUS VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. A POTENTIAL MATERIAL OR DESIGN DEFECT COULD RESULT IN THE STEERING KNUCKLE BREAKING IN THE HUB AREA.
CONSEQUENCE OF DEFECT
A BROKEN STEERING KNUCKLE COULD RESULT IN LOSS OF STEERING CONTROL AND A POSSIBLE CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.
CORRECTIVE ACTION
DORMAN WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPLACE THE DEFECTIVE STEERING KNUCKLES FREE OF CHARGE AND REIMBURSE THE REPAIR FACILITY OR OWNER FOR LABOR. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT MARCH 20, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DORMAN'S TOLL-FREE HOTLINE AT 1-800-523-2492.

Thank you very much for the donation

We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and have a safe New Year

Please let us know if what the final fix was for your car so we can better assist others. Thanks!

Find a car repair manual for your car repair questions.

ImpalaSS
Dec 31, 2009.
I saw your post and think I can help, although you may not like the prognosis.

You don't need to get a exhaust gas tester to find out if you have a blown head gasket. (There's no doubt that you have a blown head gasket)

A quick and easy way to check is to remove the surge tank cap (NOT when hot) and start your engine. Throttle the motor to at least 1,500 r.P.M.S and look for air bubbles in the surge tank. (Make sure to look as the throttle is actually being opened, as the bubbles will stop quickly)

If there's bubbles, there's a blown head gasket. And another symptom would be your heater. If after driving for a while you turn your heater on but only get cold or warm air at idle, but as you rev your motor past 1,500 r.P.M.'S you finally get some hot air, then that's caused by the blown head gasket.

Also, a blown head gasket won't put coolant in your oil like on other motors. Only a blown intake gasket will do that. And you won't always see coolant coming out of the tail pipe either.

What's actually happening is, as the engine is under load, it's blowing hot exhaust gases into the cooling system. Because yours is a " reverse flow" cooling system, these bubbles collect inside of your heater core because it's the highest point in the system. If there's enough bubbles, then your radiator and coolant passages inside the block will also trap these bubbles.

Your water pump will then go into cavitation and stop circulating coolant, thus the over heating.

Only when you turn the engine off will the coolant then leak into the cylinders. It'll stay there until you start your engine, and they'll quickly turn to steam and exit your exhaust. Sometimes you may notice an excessive amount of white smoke at start up, but it'll clear in a couple of minutes.

And finally, whenever you're experiencing a loss of coolant, if it's not going onto the ground, then it's going into the motor. (It has to be going somewhere, right?)

And you'd be better served by purchasing a used motor. It'll cost you less than replacing the gaskets. You should be able to find one with about 20-30 K miles on it for about a thousand. Then it'll cost you another 5-6 hundred for an install. And this will come with a 12 month/12 thousand mile warranty.
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Ernest Clark
Jan 15, 2010.

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