I think I have a major problem with my engine - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 06-21-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy I think I have a major problem with my engine

I have a 1995 bonneville and 2 days ago I turned off the engine for a bit, and when I tried to start it again all I got was a click. I put a new starter in December and a new battery at the same time. I took the starter back to the auto parts store and they replaced it for me. Still nothing but a click. I had the battery tested and it'* fine. I took the radiator cap off and I had sludge around the rubber gasket on the cap. I noticed that my recovery bottle for coolant was empty. It wasn't a week ago. My oil looks fine though.
When I tried to start the car my dash lights and amp gauge would dim to nothing and the starter would get hot fast. Do you think that the engine freeze up? (my worse nightmare) It is a se 3.8L with 145,000 mi. on it. I am the second owner.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:46 PM   #2
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If hydro lock is the suspect, remove all the spark plugs and attempt to turn over again.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:22 AM   #3
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:56 AM   #4
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A common problem with our cars is the Upper Intake Manifold breaking down. There are two coolant ports, a send and a return going through it to the throttle body. These coolant ports have the EGR sandwiched between them, which as you can imagine is incredibly hot. GM, in all their infinite wisdom, decided nylon was a great material and since it eventually gets porous and breaks down, the coolant then leaks into your engine and BAM, eventually it'll lead to hydrolock (though you'll get the typical steam out of the exhaust for a while before usually). The Lower Intake Manifold gaskets also eventually break down, and it'* always advisable to replace them when your upper intake starts to fail with the new revised aluminum-framed revision ones. You'd have to tear off the Lower and Upper intake, get new gaskets for Lower, get a new Upper Intake kit (with revised smaller EGR Stovepipe)...I'd recommend pouring a quart or two of dino oil down and all over the crank with the pan open to clean the motor out of any residual antifreeze and then put back together. This is if this IS your problem, but it'* quite common..infact enough to say it'* not a matter of if but WHEN.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:19 AM   #5
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Yea, what Mike and Justin said.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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Scary. I know of a service writer at a tire place that can literally smell a Pontiac with a bad intake manifold/gasket on the lift, as he walks by.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:37 PM   #8
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I am the same way myself. I can smell'em
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:36 AM   #9
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thanks guys, i need to get the car towed home before repairs start, but I think you hit it on the head. Hydrolock sounds like the problem. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:21 AM   #10
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Default It may be more then I thought with the engine...

The plugs are out, NO water(anti-freeze) in any of the cylinders. The starter strains to move the engine and it only moves a very little bit. Put a socket and breaker bar on the harmonic to turn the engine by hand. I can get it to turn backwards, but turning it the right way proves to be next to impossible. This is with the plugs out! The battery load tests fine. The starter is new(re- manufactured). I just put it in when it wouldn't start. I should almost be able to turnover the engine by the fanbelt with the plugs out, shouldn't I? The oil is fine and the car never overheated.
What should be my next move, 'cause right now I'm at a loss....
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