Recommend oil for my brothers newer GM.

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Hey Guys. I know pretty much nothing about GM motors, my brother is 19 years old, he is a lotboy for the local chevy dealer. He picked up a 2000 grand am se with the 3.4L V6 motor, he got a real good deal on it, it was a trade in vehicle. The car has like 70k miles on it, and it carries a 5w30 oil recommendation. I took a peek in the crankcase, its pretty clean but it shows a little varnish. We are going to clean it up with autorx. After we clean it up with autorx, what oil do you guys recommend? I was thinking Motorcraft 5w30 (semi syn).
 

JustinH

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my uncle is a master mechanic in ohio, i called him about that motor, and he said the exact same thing. He said to flush the dex cool out right away and replace it with regular green prestone and distilled water. I took a look at the dexcool and it looks a little sludgey. JH
 

Al

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Yea do yourself a favor and do an oil analysis. The odds are well over 50% that if it has not had the manifold gasket replaced yet it needs it by now. By 100K its 100% that its history. Flushing out the DexCool is not likely to help, In fact the DexCool was GM's way at delaying the problem(It didn't work)
 

pbm

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I have a couple of questions about the i-m gasket leak problem with these GM V6 motors. Is the 3.1 as prone as the 3.4. Is there a permanent solution to the problem.(In other words will the new gasket eventually leak.) Do the newer models have an improved gasket or are they susecptible to the problem too?
 

Patman

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The other day I saw a newer Grand Am that was spewing out the biggest cloud of white smoke! As the lady drove by, all I could smell was coolant. I couldn't believe she was even driving this thing, she should've had it towed to the nearest mechanic and shut the engine down before she damages it any further!
 
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All of the 60 deg V6s have the problem. However, within the past few years, they redesigned the gasket. Have not heard much about the newer models having the problem. Place I recommend doing a search on it at is http://www.gaownersclub.com/ There are TONS of people here that have had the problem. I just bought an 04 Grand Am, and am very paranoid as well about this problem.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JustinH: I was thinking Motorcraft 5w30 (semi syn).
The Motorcraft 5w-30 is not a semi-syn, only the 5w-20 is and you shouldn't use that weight in that motor. I would use 5w-30 Mobil 1 and just go by the Oil Life Indicator for changes. I used that on my wife's old '99 Grand Am, admittedly a 4 cyl, and got great UOA's. I agree, try to find out if the intake gaskets have been changed, if not then he's on borrowed time.
 
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Maybe in a Pontiac, but don't dare flush coolant in a Cadillac without the pellets. Don't get me started on Northstars...good running engine but leaks and oil burning.... [Roll Eyes]
 
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Yes, the 3.1 V6 have a intake manifold problem also. The 94-97 5.7L V8 (LT1) also had a intake manifold problem. With the V8, the solution was to replace the gaskets and RTV sealant and allow to cure for 24 hours before starting/running the engine. For you GM mechanics, is that the same solution for the V6's?
 
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There is nothing "inherently" wrong with DEXCOOL, its problems are more related to cooling system maintenance. If neglected, or if air is allowed into the system (coolant run low), it turns into a sludge that is very difficult to remove. Check out this link for more info...one of the things it recommends is keeping the coolant level in the overflow bottle at the HOT mark, even when cold...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by RF Overlord: There is nothing "inherently" wrong with DEXCOOL, its problems are more related to cooling system maintenance.
I keep hearing this repeated ad naseum, but that is not my experience. Two different vehicles, a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, and a 1993 Olds Ciera. The Impala came with Dexcool and suffered from several clogged heater cores. After the first one, a flush was done and no sealing pellets were used. It still clogged again. This vehicle had excellent maintenance with the coolant concentration being kept at 50% and the surge tank being kept filled as per the manufacturer suggestion. I switched it over to Toyota Red after the third clogged core. Still doing fine a year later. The Ciera came with conventional coolant and was switched over to Dex at 80k. The car had problems with "weeping" from the hoses and waterpump mounting bolts and the "weep" would crystalize. Very odd... I added the sealing pellets and no more problem. Coolant concentration was kept at 50% and tank was kept full, but maintenance was not as anal as with the Impala. At 95k and 7 years on the coolant, I flushed the old Dex out and replaced it with new Dex. There was some sludge in the tank, but not even a solid coating, and the inside of the radiator and cooling pipes still look like new. It works well in some vehicles and not in others. [ September 08, 2004, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: VaderSS ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JustinH: Hey Guys. I know pretty much nothing about GM motors, my brother is 19 years old, he is a lotboy for the local chevy dealer. He picked up a 2000 grand am se with the 3.4L V6 motor... it carries a 5w30 oil recommendation. [W]hat oil do you guys recommend? I was thinking Motorcraft 5w30 (semi syn).
After doing some research into this, and deciding to follow the GM recommendation of 5w-30, I will be running Kendall GT-1 full synthetic with a K&N oil filter. Best of luck. Bob W.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by VaderSS:
quote:
Originally posted by RF Overlord: There is nothing "inherently" wrong with DEXCOOL, its problems are more related to cooling system maintenance.
I keep hearing this repeated ad naseum, but that is not my experience. Two different vehicles, a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, and a 1993 Olds Ciera. The Impala came with Dexcool and suffered from several clogged heater cores. After the first one, a flush was done and no sealing pellets were used. It still clogged again. This vehicle had excellent maintenance with the coolant concentration being kept at 50% and the surge tank being kept filled as per the manufacturer suggestion. I switched it over to Toyota Red after the third clogged core. Still doing fine a year later. The Ciera came with conventional coolant and was switched over to Dex at 80k. The car had problems with "weeping" from the hoses and waterpump mounting bolts and the "weep" would crystalize. Very odd... I added the sealing pellets and no more problem. Coolant concentration was kept at 50% and tank was kept full, but maintenance was not as anal as with the Impala. At 95k and 7 years on the coolant, I flushed the old Dex out and replaced it with new Dex. There was some sludge in the tank, but not even a solid coating, and the inside of the radiator and cooling pipes still look like new. It works well in some vehicles and not in others.

I hear you Vader, but then again there are 2 '96 Impala's in the family both have run DexCool since day one with NO issues. 96K and 140K on the clocks.
 
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quote:
my uncle is a master mechanic in ohio, i called him about that motor, and he said the exact same thing. He said to flush the dex cool out right away and replace it with regular green prestone and distilled water. I took a look at the dexcool and it looks a little sludgey.
Is there anything wrong with using toyota or honda coolant? Those I/M gaskets are a really big issue on those cars/as it's been mentioned previously. I really wish GM would fess up and issue a recall or something. Also the power steering seems to have issues sometimes, not on every car.
 
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As far as oil goes, Mobil is the factory fill. Notice I did not say Mobil1, but just plain dino. I can also wholeheartedly recommend Havoline 5W-30. It is made by ChevronTexaco and seems to be more readily available than Chevron Supreme. It also rates higher on the "seat-o-the-pantsometer". As far as the Dexcool is concerned, it is still ethylene glycol, just doesn't have the silicates in it like the green stuff. If you are running an all aluminum block (and heads) like the Northstar...the dexcool is a must. With cast iron, the block can take the hot spots created by the silicate compounds formed in low flow areas. Problem with aluminum block engine is you can't tell how old or bad the coolant is by looking! No rust will darken the coolant when the corrosion protection is gone. Change it every 5/50,000 and use the sealant tabs if the manufacturer recomends them. Remember to ALWAYS use distilled water, unlike some GM dealerships. I have yet to qualify myself as smart enough to re-engineer a GM engine, or cooling system, aparently unlike some here.
 
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