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#1095385 - 02/28/08 10:04 AM GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks
robl Offline


Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 197
Loc: Minnesota
Hello. I have a current GM, 3.1L engine, which of course I have fixed twice now (finally for good) the intake gasket leak, now it is great and works fine. I knew of this issue, but I get parts cheap and can fix in in no time myself.....However, I was now wondering, if I purchase a new vehicle, say Chevy Equinox or the Pontiac Torrent, their base engine is the 3.4 L, which I hear was also similar with the leak issue as my 3.1 L was. Question is, has this been fixed/addressed? I mean if I purchase a new 08, etc. with the 3.4 will this occur again in a year like before? Or has GM fixed this issue ( like with a new Fel-Pro ) metal, not plastic?? I just don't want to deal with this again if they still have not learned from their poor design

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#1095392 - 02/28/08 10:12 AM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: robl]
WishIhadatruck Offline


Registered: 05/09/06
Posts: 1251
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
This might be one of the few vehicles if not the only one they still sell with this old engine design. It is a made in China motor as well. I'd recommend if you get the Equinox you upgrade to the 3.6L DOHC motor.

The other vehicles have moved on to a newer design motor (3.5L/3.9L with VVT). There were a few years where they sold some vehicles with a non-VVT 3.5L that was still based on the old design. I think the 3.6L V6 available in the Equinox is only available on the sport model. The Saturn Vue is a nicer vehicle in my opinion on a newer chassis that the Equinox will move to in a couple of years. You can get a 2.4L 4cyl, 3.5L VVT V6 or the 3.6L DOHC motor in the Vue. A mild hybrid is also available. Plus in the Vue both V6 models get the 6-speed auto. The Equinox only has the 6-speed with the 3.6L motor.
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#1095536 - 02/28/08 01:37 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: WishIhadatruck]
Squishy Offline


Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Orillia, Ontario
I haven't really kept up with the intake gasket problems, although I probably should with the 3.4 in our minivan. Has it been confirmed that Dex-Cool is at least a leading contributor to the failure? If so, is it possible to completely flush it out and replace with conventional coolant, or will deposits still form?
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#1095573 - 02/28/08 02:22 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: Squishy]
smithph Offline


Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 259
Loc: USA
The link below contains a compelling example that there may be a relationship between the original formulation of Dex-Cool and nylon based gaskets that GM used on many V6 engines in the mid 1990's thru mid 2000's.

http://www.zillamotorsports.com/DEX/
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#1095911 - 02/28/08 11:18 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: smithph]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8313
Loc: Upstate NY
I have a 99 Buick LeSabre (3800 Series II) with very low miles and the original factory Dex. The motor is sipping coolant, and not through an external leak. It's going into the shop for a very expensive gasket replacement.

There is a new metal gasket out for the 3800's, so it's likely they have something similar for their other engines.
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#1096329 - 02/29/08 05:32 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: sciphi]
MGregoir Offline


Registered: 08/30/07
Posts: 1784
Loc: Bonnyville, AB
The upgraded gaskets are not a factory part for the 3100/3400, but they are for the 3800. I believe for the 60 degree motor Fel-Pro makes an aluminum gasket kit.

I had to get head and intake gaskets done on my 1999 Malibu and it had a slight coolant issue from as early as 22,000 miles, gunge in the bottom of the tank and a slow steady loss.

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#1099747 - 03/05/08 10:35 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: MGregoir]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11092
Loc: apple valley, ca
Had a guy roll into the shop today with a 30K 3.4l with leaky intake gaskets.
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#1099809 - 03/06/08 02:21 AM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: Chris142]
Steve S Offline


Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 18449
Loc: East of IGO
G.M.cars are great.
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#1103380 - 03/10/08 10:52 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: Squishy]
Rock_Hudstone Offline


Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 1067
Loc: New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: Squishy
I haven't really kept up with the intake gasket problems, although I probably should with the 3.4 in our minivan. Has it been confirmed that Dex-Cool is at least a leading contributor to the failure? If so, is it possible to completely flush it out and replace with conventional coolant, or will deposits still form?

"Deathcool" is definetly a contributing factor to the intake gasket failures in these motors, although it's not the only problem. Loose lower intake manifold bolts are often found upon disassembly as well. In fact, GM offers replacement intake manifold bolts with Thread-locker impregnated threads as part of the fix for this issue plus a redesigned intake gasket.

Despite persistant myths to contrary, Dexcool equipped vehicles can be converted to conventional green coolant after a through flushing with no adverse effects. Far easier to flush out clean Dexcool before it turns into a red muck and takes the radiator with it.

Mind you, converting to green coolant does not necessarily guaranteed the intake gasket won't fail anyway. However, the chances are much better that it will happen at 150,000 miles rather than 60,000 miles, (or less in some cases). Just remember to monitor the overflow tank for any suspicous drop in the coolant level.


Aside from the intake gasket problems they are pretty decent engines otherwise.
Ford had it's share of defective intake manifolds with the 4.6 engine, and Toyota has their well known sludging problems.

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#1104101 - 03/11/08 08:52 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: Rock_Hudstone]
rocketman Offline


Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Ontario, Canada
My wife and I have looked and test drove a 2005 Chevy Equinox with only 37,000 km on it last week. Popped the hood and checked out a few things a few kms away from the car lot. It was leaking something around the engine area, could hear it hit the hot metal and hiss, a drop every 30 seconds or so. Told the guy I knew very well who owns the lot, said he would have a mechanic check it out. My buddy who owns the car lot literally just got the car a day or two before from a dealership before we took it for a drive (know this for a fact), so he hadn't even had it cleaned or checked out by his mechanic. After all, what could be wrong with a vehicle that new and low km's? As it turns out, there was a gasket leak (not sure which one) that was causing coolant to leak externally. I was assured that it was only an external leak, and that they were going to see if GM could repair this under warranty. So, as the original post asked, has the gasket problem not been addressed on newer GM vehicles? Also, if I have my mechanic check this vehicle out thoroughly (pressure test, various coolant related tests, etc.), would you buy this vehicle? My buddy is giving me one heck of a deal, and this was discussed before he knew of the leak.

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#1104234 - 03/11/08 11:07 PM Re: GM 3.4L engine (new) Coolant Leaks [Re: rocketman]
Rock_Hudstone Offline


Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 1067
Loc: New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: rocketman
My wife and I have looked and test drove a 2005 Chevy Equinox as the original post asked, has the gasket problem not been addressed on newer GM vehicles? Also, if I have my mechanic check this vehicle out thoroughly (pressure test, various coolant related tests, etc.), would you buy this vehicle? My buddy is giving me one heck of a deal, and this was discussed before he knew of the leak.

I believe 2003 GM introduced the redesigned intake gaskets on new vehicles. Whether it solved the problem I don't know, but I do know they are still using Dexcool and that stuff has been know to erode the impellers off water pumps, so anything is possible I suppose.

As for buying the Chevy, for me it would depend on the outcome of the coolant leak you spotted. If simply the common intake gasket failure with no coolant contaminating the motor oil I might consider it, if the price was right and had a decent warranty.

However, if the culprit were a head gasket or something more serious I'd think twice. Perhaps that is why the dealership got rid of it in the first place.

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