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#2083 of 3674 Thrown rod.. and coolant tank must be refilled every 2 weeks
Mar 31, 2006 (5:43 pm)
Chevy Blazer 1999, 4 door 2wd, 92k miles
For the past year or so, after about every two weeks of driving, the coolant tank will be empty and the temp gauge will start to rise until I put more coolant in. I have had the problem "fixed" twice, one of those times at a GM dealer. I've also had a pressure test and it revealed that I don't have a leak.. but where does my coolant go? I can often smell what I assume is burned DexCool when I get out of the car after driving.
Since it was last "fixed", I hear a gurgling behind the dash, but was told by the mechanic that it was normal. Often, when I start up the car, I will hear a sound similar to a fan blade striking something as it rotates. This lasts for 30 seconds usually.
A couple of days ago, my mom was driving the car when, after about five minutes of driving, there was knocking and banging under the hood. She was on the interstate and got off after about a mile. A person helping her said there was very little oil and it was sludge. The dealer said I have a thrown rod and need a new engine.
I was about 1k miles past my scheduled 3k mile oil change, but have been consistent with keeping it changed in the past, and don't understand why there would be so little oil and so much sludge now.
Has anyone had similar problems? Anyone know what would cause these problems, and if the apparent coolant leak has anything to do with the engine problem? They are sending someone to take a look at the engine and determine whether it will be covered under warranty, and I want to be prepared in case they say it is my fault. Thanks for any input.
#2084 of 3674 Re: Thrown rod.. and coolant tank must be refilled every 2 weeks [mrrydia]
Apr 01, 2006 (4:40 am)
Glad you have an extended warranty but look up what your states small claims court limit is also cause I fear you may need it or have to threaten them with it.
The coolant was going somewhere and yes it was leaking out of the cooling system to somewhere or the level would not have dropped. Where is the question, so here I go:
1. Lower intake gasket - most common area on 4.3 engines and the Dex cool usually leaks out the front or back seal between the intake and block, often seeping into the engine in the valley and lifters. Or runs out the top between the intake and valve covers then down the block to drip on the ground (orange color). Smell was when it dripped on exhaust.
2. Head gasket and leaked into a cylinder then down into the bearings and oil - usually due to overheating so from the noise was the radiator hit by the fan (a hole/cut/fan marks on engine side, or a leak in any other part of rad), just rad clogged because never flushed (5yr/100k on Dex cool is NOT true - but causes cooling system sludge), bad fan clutch so not spinning, or water pump.
3. Water pump leaking, see water dripping out small weep holes on the body by the front bearings and often hear some grating noise.
4. Heater core - clogged was the gurgling noise and NO that is not normal but means restricted water flow and it may have leaked. In fact, that smell, like burned maple syrup ie Dex cool, may have been from that. Often a small hole is blown and it reseals over and over but that smell is always around.
5. Hoses may have a leak - upper and lower rad, believe 2 small bypass by water pump, and 2 heater hoses.
6.Block freeze plug rusted out - on side of engine block pressed in round plugs - not common on Blazer this new, mostly over 10 years old.
So, if a GM dealer did examine the Blazer and found nothing wrong but you told them coolant was dropping, they should have looked at all these and found one as the cause (think I covered them all - oh a hole in the reservior to be complete). With a new engine, you will need a heater core that requires the dash out so $500 plus, and also a new water pump (insist at this mileage), and have the fan clutch checked. Remember the dealer may defer to the Zone rep and it could take several days. Lawyers seldom help but small claims you can pull alot of the dealer crew in all day - ha ha and costs you little (lost work time for them). This is only my opinion on how to approach the problem. Maintain your cool in the talks and you will win.
Good luck and let us know the outcome.
#2085 of 3674 Re: Thrown rod.. and coolant tank must be refilled every 2 weeks [repairdog]
Apr 01, 2006 (2:38 pm)
repairdog, I will definitely use your response to seem more knowledgeable at the dealer.. thanks very much.
Your reply reminded me that I did have my heater core replaced about 7 or 8 months ago (after steam started coming through my air vents). It was after the heater core was replaced that I started hearing gurgling behind the dash and was told that it was normal, so I never did anything about it. The heater core being replaced didn't seem to have any affect on my consistently leaking coolant.
What I am still not sure of, is whether this on-going coolant problem had anything to do with my engine throwing a rod, and the oil level apparently being low. Is it normal for the oil level to be so low and sludgy after 4k miles since getting it changed? I am very worried that they will say it is my fault for not keeping up with maintenance, but I have been dilligent about it (despite being 1k past due this time). Or is it my fault? repairdog or anyone?
#2086 of 3674 Jumping Gas Gage
Apr 01, 2006 (6:52 pm)
I have a 97 Blazer 4 door with 4x4 and my gas gage jumps, it is not reliable, my tank my be empty and it will read half, full, or quarter tank. It just jumps back and forth. I was told that it could be a fuse or that a circuit board needs to be replaced but I'm not sure. Do anybody have any knowledge about this situation?
#2087 of 3674 Re: Thrown rod.. and coolant tank must be refilled every 2 weeks [mrrydia]
Apr 01, 2006 (9:13 pm)
Was the oil just low or sludgy (oil and water in a milky mix) cause these are two different things. If the oil was lower than showing on the dipstick but not mixed with water that could be your fault because I believe that GM still states about 600 miles per quart use is within their specs so at 4.5 qts when full oer their spec you where in the wrong - actually more realistic for a 99 would be burning about a qt per 2000 miles so you would still have been down 2 qts - only a guess from me on the last. All Blazers have remote oil cooler lines running to the radiator and all leak at the crimped pressure fittings and if one of them started leaking fast it could dump all your oil in a short time also - not their fault then either. Look under the Blazer for lots of oil covering the underside for this.
If it was a milky mix of Dex cool and oil that would throw a rod for sure as well as trash all engine internal bearings. That would be the contestable area if the dealer checked and never found where the coolant was going when you took it in.
Bottom line is you have to known specifically which condition occurred in the engine. Oh, that gurgling was definately not normal and the new heater core should have fixed that but if the coolant was still leaking then a low level would get air in the core and cause it and also may have overheated the engine, again the dealer should have found this if asked.
#2088 of 3674 Re: Jumping Gas Gage [zaay]
Apr 01, 2006 (9:23 pm)
Common problem and if the fuse or pump relay the engine would be stalling or not start normally. The pump and level sending unit are 1 piece and a search will shown you all the people that have had problems. The sender has contacts that slide with the level all internal to the tank. You can check the connectors at the top of the tank for corrosion and hope its there but if you are near 100k its time for a new unit or set your trip OD and get used to it. About $500 for the pump and install at most shops.
#2089 of 3674 00 Blazer: Steering binding in turn
Apr 02, 2006 (9:29 am)
2000 Chevy S10 Blazer LS:
Just last night my steering started to bind at every turn. If it's a slight turn the binding is almost not noticeable. In a sharp turn (pulling in to a parking space) the truck almost stops. It feels almost like the tires are hitting the inside of the wheel well, but there are no rub marks in the wells or wear on the tire. I assume it's a problem with the suspension binding somewhere. Any idea where I should begin looking?
#2090 of 3674 Re: Jumping Gas Gage [repairdog]
Apr 02, 2006 (10:22 am)
Can't that part be pulled from another vechicle instead of paying that?
#2091 of 3674 Re: 99 blazer fuel problems [wings7]
Apr 02, 2006 (10:31 am)
Can that part be pulled from another car?
#2092 of 3674 Re: 00 Blazer: Steering binding in turn [wavef0rm]
Apr 02, 2006 (11:01 am)
If 4wd sounds like you hit the 4Hi or Auto4Hi switch.
Otherwise could be ball joints or steering linkage based on mileage and how often it was greased. Hubs usually grate or grind. If 4wd cold be CV axles.