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Old 03-12-2008, 11:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
3400 coolant problems...again

Hey everyone. My mother has a 99 Montana. 13 months ago, both gaskets, two hoses, water pump, and thermostat were replaced. Now the van is overheating again. I haven't had a chance to look at it myself because I'm currently stationed in Germany.

I had her bring it to a GM dealership to have the work done. They replaced the radiator. The dealership claims they let the van run for 2 hours with no problems after they installed the new radiator. When my mother went to pick it up (after I paid $589 for the new radiator), she went 5 miles down the road and ALL of the symptoms came back. The temp gauge will shoot up, coolant light will come on, and there's no heat. This is the same thing that happened a year ago.

Rumor has it that in these vehicles, the heater core could cause this problem. Does anyone have any advice on this for me?

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Old 03-13-2008, 12:36 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: new york
Posts: 582
not sure if heater core could cause this. I would have the oil checked to make sure there's no coolant in it. likewise, check the antifreeze. if it is down on antifreeze, you know it is going somewhere and it is probably burning it. if the antifreeze is full and it is overheating it could possibly be the heater core.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:07 AM   #3
My mom says I'm cool
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Western Mass.
Posts: 1,274
These engines have a problem with gaskets. I have an Olds Alero with the same engine, and my headgasket is going. I used some sealant though, and it doesn't leak anymore. It can be bought at any autostore, probably for under $10. On a similar note, the intake manifold gasket tends to go more often on these motors than the head gasket, although I haven't had a problem yet. If the system is losing coolant it may be worthwhile to spend a few bucks on the sealant and try it out. You probably know that gaskets are usually big $ to have a shop replace.

I'd think a decent shop should be able to diagnose the problem in the first place. I know some of them run a special liquid in the system and then take a special light all around the system to be able to find the small leaks. If the system isn't losing coolant, that's another story.

You're mom doesn't seem too mechanically enclined, and you can't do crap in Germany. I'd say try to get the shop to fix the problem for free (or get your money back for the radiator), and then bring your the car to a different shop.
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