Engine Cooling problem
1997 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 208857 miles
I was told my oil was leaking by two auto shops. I took it to a 3rd and they told me also my oil was leaking and they fixed the intake manifold gasket. I drove it 30 miles, (they replaced the gasket, the cam sensor, thermostat, gave it a radiator flush, replaced the spark plugs) and the temp gage said it was getting hot, but never overheated, I pulled over, let it cool down for an hour, a savior put water in it to get me home (i was 1.5 miles from home) I got home and since it was a weekend the shop that fixed it was closed. The shop towed it to them, on Monday and they said now my head gasket was blown. Is this possible?
I know there are lots of miles on it but I took very good care of the car and it never overheated. The shop also told me that it wasnt my oil that was leaking it was the antifreeze, they changed their story. Is it possible they misdiagnosed the problem?
From what I have seen on these cars, the lower intake manifold gasket is made of mostly plastic. Once the car gets the miles on it, that gasket breaks down, and antifreeze starts to leak from it. It's very possible that the lower gasket needs replaced, not just the top, and your head gaskets both need changed. I've done two years of research on this car, yet haven't owned one yet. It's my next toy hehehe! But yes, they misdiagnosed your issue. Be sure you get both upper and lower manifold gaskets changed, as well as both head gaskets, and your 3.1 will give you another 100k. = ) This was a manufacturing defect direct from GM, and even if the vehicle was under factory warranty, they'd replace it with the same faulty factory intake gasket. A mechanic friend of mine said, and I have seen, a Fel-Pro gasket for the intake, and it'd do 300% better than the factory one. Hope this helps!
September, 24, 2008 AT 2:03 PM
The gaskets go bad from being over torqued. There is a updated gasket with metal inserts.