Cutlass Cierra 1994 Leaking Coolant from Engine

Tiny
ABURGHART
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 OLDSMOBILE
Hi!

My car was overheating a few days ago. The mechanic unplugged some sealer from the radiator and it has been working great since, however, according to the mechanic, the Intake Gasket is leaking. He quoted me about $700. My coolant levels haven't changed since I got the car back 2 weeks ago (I marked the overflow tank) and the car has been running cool ever since. I see some wet spots on the right side of my engine but I'm not sure if those were there from before or not. Could I use a coolant sealer on it? Or should I replace the intake gasket? Or should I leave it alone? I basically need the car to run for at least a year longer. It is an Oldsmobile Cutlass Cierra 1994 with 28,000 miles on the engine (the car also has a Salvage title). Thanks for the help!
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Thursday, August 24th, 2006 AT 4:52 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
MIKEYBDMAN
  • MEMBER
I personally would not use a sealer in the radiator. I have seen those clog the system and actually create an overheating condition.
If you have some wet stains, they are either fresh, or not radiator fluid. Radiator fluid will dry out pretty quick, especially when the engine is warm.
As long as the car is running good, and there is no radiator fluid getting into the oil, the repair can wait a little while. Whether I would wait a year is really rolling the dice. The worst case senerio is the intake gasket blows out and allows raditor fluid into the oil, and destroys the bearing that should be lubricated with oil.
As for the job. If you have a 3.1L v6, then the labor to replace the gasket is 5.5 hours. For the 3.8L v6 is should be 3.8 hours. I would ask for a break down of charges on the estimate, and if they are quoting more hours than this, I would ask them to explain.
I would normally charge around $500 for the 3.1L and $400 for the 3.8L. Maybe my shop rate is lower, or they are going to do more work. I would find out for your own knowledge.
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Thursday, August 24th, 2006 AT 5:13 PM
Tiny
ABURGHART
  • MEMBER
This is true, according to the mechanic, the previous sealer did cause the last overheating problem. At least I have a good idea of how much it should cost now. I'll try another shop and get a second opinion. Your shop wouldn't happen to be located anywhere in Northwest Ohio, would it? _

At any rate, it doesn't seem to be leaking very much if at all. I check the fluids every few days just to make sure. My other question is, if it is leaking from the intake gasket, is there anything in particular I should watch out for aside from making sure the coolant is in there?

Thank you for your help, I very much appreciate it!
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Thursday, August 24th, 2006 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
MIKEYBDMAN
  • MEMBER
I would check the oil level daily. If you see a sudden drop, or rise, suspect the coolant is getting in the oil, or the oil is getting in the coolant. In both cases, that would be the time to stop using the car and get it fixed.
As for my location, I think Georgia is a long way from Ohio. ?
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Saturday, August 26th, 2006 AT 12:39 PM

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