Engine Cooling problem
2000 Buick Lesabre 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 138000 miles
So about a week and a half ago my Buick LeSabre started shaking while idling. When I tried to start moving the car, the vibration increased to the point where it was obvious that something was wrong and the check engine light came on.
After checking with a computer, the error message was Cylinder 5 misfire detected. So I went and towed my car home and checked spark plugs and all. As soon as I pulled them off, anti-freeze started leaking out, so the next step would have been to replace head gaskets. As a mechanic friend of mine recommended, though he also did suggest to swap the cables and spark plugs while at it, which I did.
After taking the upper intake manifold off, I saw that the entire upper part of the engine was flooded with coolant. Anti-freeze in this case. First thought that occurred was that the upper intake manifold gasket was bad and that's why it was leaking coolant there. Replaced it, changed the oil and put the engine back together. Car ran fine until today. When I tried to start it again, the vibration returned and when checking the coolant level, it was way under the level I had left it at the previous day, which was at full cold. Additionally, white smoke was coming out of the exhaust. Wondering if this would be a head gasket issue or something else at this point. Even though I haven't replaced the head gasket, it still seems a bit fishy for coolant to be leaking in the upper intake manifold and not the cylinder itself, which would be the case if it were a head gasket issue.
Looking at a repair manual for the make and model gives even more options from a broken cylinder to just spark plugs, though a head gasket isn't even mentioned there as a possible cause. Any advice on the matter will be appreciated.
Monday, November 23rd, 2009 AT 12:34 PM