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3800 Series III Coolant Leak – 2008 Buick Lacrosse

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here 3800 Series III Coolant Leak – 2008 Buick Lacrosse

This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by EricTheCarGuy 1 EricTheCarGuy 9 years, 1 month ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #545087
    Vlad2
    Vlad2
    Participant

    I am having a coolant leak on my Buick. There are no signs of dipping coolant and the signs of a bad head gasket aren’t there either (no white smoke, and no coolant in the oil (no chocolate milkshake…mmmm chocolate milkshake…) This is an 08 and has the metal intake so this shouldn’t be the “EGR stove pipe” found up to 2003. The only other thing I need to check again is the coolant elbows coming off the belt tensioner into the intake manifold.

    Basically what I am asking is 1: How can you diagnose that it is a intake manifold gasket or a head gasket?

    2: Does anyone know if the series 3 is known for this issue?

    thanks everyone for your help.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #545139
    college man
    college man
    Moderator

    You could pressure test the cooling system to see if it holds
    pressure or shows the leak. You could also do a block test.
    also pull the transmission dip stick to check the trans fluid condition.
    This will check the radiator trans cooler did not break internal.

    #550083
    Vlad2
    Vlad2
    Participant

    I found the leak, its a typical 3800 series leak. It appears my leak is the back coolant elbow on the backside of the belt tensioner. I got the set of metal elbows and plan to toss them in soon. I plan on removing the Dexcool too when I do this and use universal coolant, tired to Dexcool clogging things up.

    #550091
    college man
    college man
    Moderator

    Glad you found the leak. keep us posted on your progress.

    #550125
    Bill
    Bill
    Participant

    Nothing wrong with Dexcool. It’s the water that’s mixed with it that’s bad.

    #550178
    Kevin Criswell
    Kevin Criswell
    Participant

    [quote=”wysetech” post=75593]Nothing wrong with Dexcool. It’s the water that’s mixed with it that’s bad.[/quote]

    True, but Dexcool has an issue if it become aerated or contaminated with tap water. Since most customers top up with the wrong water, I often recommend switching to an quality long life alternative.

    Funny story, once some techs from a shop in town were over to discuss using me as their “diagnostic” consultant for driveability issues their guys were not trained for. They saw my 3 10 gallon containers of distilled water (I take ’em into town and fill up at the grocery store (BYOB)) asked me what they were for and I explained cooling system repairs. They thought that was the funniest thing in the world “dude, we just use what comes out of the hose”
    :pinch:

    #550179
    Bill
    Bill
    Participant

    I guess they needed training in cooling system repairs as well as driveability repairs.

    #550939
    Vlad2
    Vlad2
    Participant

    Yea, I know enough to use distilled water when doing coolant work, I I used about 10 gallons when I changed the Dexcool last year, mostly to flush the system with distilled water and then used it to mix with the coolant. But when Dexcool gets air in it, like it has now, it becomes oatmeal as you know.

    With a car with 105k on it, I figure it might leak again (like a water pump or something) and I would rather not have to flush the system yet again. so I am going with regular universal coolant. 🙂

    #550954
    Kevin Criswell
    Kevin Criswell
    Participant

    yup, once dexcool gets aerated it gets acidic ph wise and has to be changed. I have seen thousands of failed intake gaskets on 4.3s just from contaminated Dexcool.

    It was a bad choice for GM to make as it was touted as the “forget it for 100,000 miles” coolant.

    #552172
    EricTheCarGuy 1
    EricTheCarGuy
    Keymaster

    Glad you were able to find the leak. If you run into issues like this again, or need diagnostic help (checking for head gasket problems or stuff like that), the information you’re looking for can be found here.

    http://www.ericthecarguy.com/faq/what-to-do-when-your-engine-overheats

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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