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#1 of 21 1996 LeSabre
Feb 14, 2002 (1:25 pm)
How long can the engine last (typically?) with proper maintanance? 250 000kms?
My mechanic said that I needed to replace the seal around the engine oil pan because it was leaking. Is it a common problem for this engine/vehicle?
My coolant level is also low, at the 'COLD' level even though the engine is warmed up (driven for more than 15kms). No signs of leak on the ground. I have to fill it up everytime I change my engine oil.
#2 of 21 Intake Manifold
Feb 14, 2002 (2:12 pm)
They are known to leak on that engine. The upper intake is plastic and can warp.
#3 of 21 I'm not certain the 3.8 exhibits that problem..
Feb 14, 2002 (2:34 pm)
the 3.1 (for sure), and 3.4 (I believe) do. The 3.1 manifold is not plastic. The latest 3.1's have plastic valve covers which (drum roll) leak.
Feb 14, 2002 (2:35 pm)
We used to have an '87 Cutlass Ciera with the 3.8 before it became the 3800. It loved to eat alternators, and after it passed 60k miles it would stall on a regular basis.
Feb 14, 2002 (7:00 pm)
Has been getting fat eating alternators for years and years and years.......
Feb 14, 2002 (7:16 pm)
...between GM alternators and Chrysler starters, Detroit has been sitting pretty for quite some time now!
Feb 15, 2002 (9:47 am)
Thanks for the reply guys!
I think my alternator is starting to go down south. If I had the rear defroster on, my turn signals would slow down by about 1/2 a second between intervals. It couldn't be he battery because it was replaced about two years ago.
Feb 22, 2002 (12:36 pm)
The 3800 Series II engine is a very reliable, efficient, smooth, durable and reliable engine as pushrods go.
The alternator issues with the old 3.8L GM engines is no longer case. Now it seems the new host of chronic alternator eating is the Olds 3.5L DOHC V6 engine.
Current 3800 Series II V6 engines are ULEV certified since the 2000 model year.
With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to get out 200K+ miles out of your 3800.
#9 of 21 For what it's worth...
Feb 22, 2002 (7:56 pm)
I seem to recall someone rating the 'best' engine's of all time, and the 3.8 liter was on the list. It's been a real workhorse.
Feb 22, 2002 (9:47 pm)
I saw it somewhere on the net. I think it was Wards Autoworld's 10 best engines award.