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Chevrolet Venture, Engine, Van
#1 of 19 Loosing Antifreeze, may have ruined engine
Feb 14, 2003 (6:43 pm)
Bought 1999 Venture Minivan used with 7400 miles on it almost three years ago now. Up until now it has been a pretty good vehicle with only some minor warranty repairs. However it now has almost 60,000 miles and about 2 months ago it started loosing antifreeze out of the reservoir and during this time period added almost 1 gallon. Since we could see nor find no leaks we took it to the shop to see if problem could be located. Alas the coolant has been seeping into the engine,(evidence by white gunk on oil cap, but no sign of water in the oil) suspect through intake or head gasket and it appears the engine may be gone if bearings are wiped. Don't know yet because had it towed to Chevrolet dealer who is going to check it out on Monday. Since the 36,000 mile 36 month warranty is out we are worried we will have to pay for new engine. Anyone else had this problem? Discussion with shop and Chevrolet dealer indicated this engine is known for this. I called the consumer service number but have to have it evaluated by Chevrolet dealer before they will tell me anything.
#2 of 19 hang on a minute, there...
Feb 14, 2003 (7:51 pm)
white gunk under the oil filler cap is so often plain old condensation from the engine never getting warmed up fully in stop-and-go driving that seeing it is no sign of anything. if you have water in the oil, it's a serious milky and/or blobby mixture.
having said that, it seems like every carmaker is trying to hide some head gasket or manifold failure problems in at least one of their engines now, and they should all be roasted on a spit for that until they have made good every single bloody bad engine they put out there. purely no excuse for it.
good luck on yours... try for a customer satisfaction payment from the chevy zone office if it turns out you, too, are hosed by a gutless gasket on an insufficiently-cooled engine.
#3 of 19 What engine?
Feb 14, 2003 (10:11 pm)
As was stated, the milky color on the cap may be from condensation.
If it is the V-6, then I'd put money on the intake gasket leaking externally down the side of the block. This will only be evident by presure testing the cooling system and checking the rear of the engine where the bell housing meets the engine. It will either leak down onto the starter or the side of the block. Or it will leak down the front of the engine. Also check the weep hole of the water pump.
All of these leaks are barely visible under pressure, let alone with the vehicle sitting.
If the gasket lets loose and leaks internally, the oil in the pan will be milky.
Feb 16, 2003 (3:18 pm)
I have spent the last week and a half with the same problem (leaking intake manifold gasket). After many phone calls to GM customer service they finally agreed to pay for half of the repair bill seeing that my van is out of warranty (45,000 miles). The women I was talking to didn't even know what an intake manifold gasket was. I have searched other sites and found this to be a re-occuring problem and feel GM should step up to the plate and pay for the full cost of this problem.
#5 of 19 Intake manifold gasket problem
Mar 06, 2003 (7:39 pm)
Can you believe a 99 Suburban with less than 30,000 miles on the engine would have a bad intake manifold gasket? A mechanic told me they are replacing 3 or 4 of these per week and yet GM is not notifying owners and extending the warranty to cover it. Is it any wonder they have to discount their vehicles so much to compete? My vehicle has a 5.7 liter engine, is not even 4 years old but exceeds the 36 months so is out of warranty according to GM. Unbelievable.
#6 of 19 they obviously want your repeat business
Mar 06, 2003 (9:53 pm)
for holding the failure out until the warranty went away.
#7 of 19 alero leaky gasket
Mar 07, 2003 (4:11 am)
My 99 Alero has the same problem and I only have 39,000 miles. My reseearch tells me that this is common on GM's 3.1/3.4 V6 engines. You need to see this guys story about his 99 Chevy Venture at www.gm-v6lemons.com
#8 of 19 have seen a few posts about the 3800 V6, too
Mar 07, 2003 (6:14 pm)
guess engines are considered a service-replaceable item now, folks, just like turn signal bulbs and air filters. so be sure they take the cost of the engine off the price when you buy a new one next time.
Mar 07, 2003 (7:07 pm)
I have to tell you, while the problem is true and I have personally been affected by it twice, if I were the dealership that this person has flamed on his site, I would be seeking legal action against this person. While this person's intentions are good, he is going about it all wrong. First off, the dealer's hands are tied.
If the manufacturer will not reimburse them for the repair, why should the dealer repair it for free? The answer is, they shouldn't.
Don't get me wrong, I am one of the strongest consumer advocates you witll find for honest automotive repair, but put the blame on this one where it belongs.
I have had the intake manifold replaced on my wife's 99 Lumina 3 times. All 3 under warranty.
The first one under the manufacturer's warranty at 33,000 miles, the second one under manufacturer's warranty at 48,000 miles, as an ongoing problem. The third one a 68,000 miles on the extended warranty I paid for.
#10 of 19 it continues to bother me seriously that we have all these gasket fails
Mar 07, 2003 (9:29 pm)
when we presumably know more about sealing technology than we did in the 1950s. I have a sneaking suspicion that gasket and sealer improvements are being used to cover engineering to a certain mile marker, say 95 thousand just to start discussion, and the fails are because there is no margin for any production errors or seedy sealant.
it would be the old so-called GM 350 "diesel" all over again, in which two more head bolts on a gas engine supposedly made it possible to burn diesel in the chevy short block. didn't work. couldn't work. but they sure tried to stonewall through.