Coolant in Synthetic Oil...Symptoms? GM 3400 motor

Joined
Jul 15, 2009
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MI
Hi everyone, I also did post in the general oil forum. I have an 04 Aztek running Pennzoil synthetic. I had blackstone check my oil on the last change and they confirmed coolant in the oil. Anyone familiar with the 3400 engine knows of all the gasket issues with this engine. I've been to the dealer twice regarding this issue and they are disputing that there is anything wrong and they do not see coolant in the oil. The dealer says that an INDEPENDENT lab analysis will not hold up with GM or GMPP(extended warranty)which makes no sense to me. The dealership was looking for some visual signs vs a scientific analysis. They rechecked and could not find a problem. They added a dye to find the leak. I took it in yesterday and again, no problem. Does anyone happen to know if coolant affects synthetic oil differently than conventional? I have been using synthetic. I was curious if it still shows the same symptoms such as white milky consistency and whatever else? I have noted though that since I picked it back up this past Friday, the temperature has been flutuating much more. The needed normally has always held at the normal position just below the half-way mark. Now, when I've been at a stop for a short period of time or idiling, the gauge rises above the hlf-way mark and towards the mark in between half and hot. I am not sure if during their "testing" such as a pressue test if it affected the thermostat or another sensing unit? By the way, the coolant resovoir is full to normal level.
 
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Joined
Nov 11, 2008
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Las Vegas
These engines are famous for having problems with Dexcool and the lower intake manifold gasket. Also, the lower intake manifold bolts loosen over time, and have to be retorqued properly with threadlocker applied to the bolts. Either of these very common problems could cause coolant leaks into the oil. This problem is so widespread with these engines, I believe your dealer is being very deceptive. They know about the problem. By not taking care of it now, they are risking having to replace your entire engine because of the damage done. If I were you, I'd demand to see the manager of the dealership. Ask him to put in writing what they told you. Ask him to confirm he refuses to test the system for a coolant leak into the oil system. Then go to the Pontiac field representitive and ask for his assistance. This is about an $800 fix for them now. It's going to end up a $4000 fix if they don't do something about it. As to the heating problem, I'm guessing they may have introduced air into the system. I'd treat the overheating as a real problem. P.S. The pressure test they performed would reveal external leaks. It might not reveal an intermittant leak of coolant into the oil passages.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
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I don't see the problem from their standpoint. GMPP is paying, there's no money out of their pocket. Are you having to add coolant or seeing a loss of coolant in the overflow?
 

Angelia

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
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MI
That's what I thought... isn't service there to make $$$ We have added about 1 1/2 gallons over 6 months. Well my husband went this morning and rec'd the same result. He was pretty mad afterwards. He took the oil cap off and showed the service manager what was on it. He said because the dye reacts to UV, you can notice it in the sun. When you look at the oil cap, he said you could see green speckles! The dealer was trying to tell him it was condensation and that any coolant would immediately turn the oil to sludge. I guess they went backl and forth with no result. So I don't know much about engines but if I saw green speckles in brown oil... wouldn't you be concerned!! So at this point, I'm going to have to have to get it fixed somehow and continue fighting with GMPP to let me take it somewhere else.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
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Austin, TX
What does the Blackstone report look like? A friend's BIL owns a Chevy dealership and he said GM has been trying very hard to turn down warranty claims recently. So the dealership may be forced to [censored] you. On the other hand, I would not be caught dead driving an Aztek, hehehe, but, beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder.
 
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they are gambling and hoping a failure happens after the 5 year warranty? or did GM have a 5 yr warranty back in 04?
 
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 Originally Posted By: oilyriser
The Subaru dealer I used said he only gets paid half rate for warranty work. Government Motors is there to help you.
This has been going on for years and with most makes. So the dealer has to figure out how to profit at $50/hr instead of $100/hr private pay, while paying their techs $20/hr. OP: My 97 silhouette has the same motor and on mine at least there are two air bleeds that have to be opened on high spots in the system. Otherwise air bubbles persist and make for funky temperatures, bad heat, etc. There is even a warning label about the "special procedure". I would get a lawyer today who can write a nasty letter for $75 and deliver said letter tomorrow.
 
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