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Old 03-31-2007, 12:55 PM   #1
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Default 2000 SSEI upper/lower intake manifold - ENGINE BLEW!

i just had my upper & lower intake replaced 3 weeks ago. i drove my car up to the wisconsin dells this last weekend & the engine was knocking.
we looked under the hood to see a milky oil mixture, like antifreeze mixed with oil. it had a sweet smell with a peanut buttery look to it.

we drove it that day as we needed to get home & the engine blew 45 minutes onto the interstate. the car just shut off completely.

i had it towed to the repair shop that did the work on it, as it did cost almost 1000.00 to have the intake, gaskets, etc replaced and the ultimate result was catistophic.

the mechanic is telling me that he does not think the work that they did on my vehicle had anything to do with the explosion. he checked the oil & said that there was absolutely no antifreeze in it at all. he also said that if there was going to be a problem after the work, it would have been sooner than 3 weeks later, however, i dont drive my car much, especially on the interstate.

i dont know what to think...coincidence? did it finally get enough pressure with being on the interstate to finally go?? i dont want to accuse anyone of not getting the job done right, but, this is my engine we are talking about

my husband went the next day to look at the oil again & said it had a completely different look to it. no sweet smell, no peanut buttery look to it. he said it looked like regular oil that had about 1,000 miles on it. he was extremely confused. we had 4 different men looking at the oil the night before & all agreed that antifreeze was definately mixed in with the oil. what gives???

please help!!! thank you
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:05 PM   #2
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I'm going to split your topic out of this one as a totally new issue.

Your mechanic is either ignorant or deliberately scamming you so he doesn't have to take the hit. Only the upper and lower intakes have the ability to put coolant in the oil, and that is what causes the milky look.

He is responsible. Clearly and completely.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:46 PM   #3
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<<we looked under the hood to see a milky oil mixture, like antifreeze mixed with oil. it had a sweet smell with a peanut buttery look to it. >>

I assume you are talking about "on the dipstick", right? If so how hard would it be for you to get written affidavits from each person who saw that goo? Without "knowing all the facts" (as my barrister son would say) I think I smell a rat.

You guys know what you saw. If you do not see the goo now then someone hid the evidence. This would be easy to do.

Was your car out of your sight for a few hours after to took it back to the mechanic? Also, did you see goo before taking it to the mechanic, and was it making noise then?

I think you may have a good case here if you have a witness or two.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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this is exactly what happened...

we drove the car to the dells & parked it for the night. the next day we were driving it around the city when the car started making a knocking sound. i had my husband, father, and brother look under the hood to see what the problem was.

after pulling the dipstick out, they seen that the oil was much lighter in color, milky, and thin in texture. it had a sweet smell to it. my father is a mechanic & said that there is clearly antifreeze in the oil. he asked how this could have happened & thats when i told him that i had the upper & lower manifold replaced. i asked him if that could have anything to do with the antifreeze being in the oil.

he responded with a definate yes saying that if the upper intake is not tightened well that the repair can definately fail.

he told me that with the knocking sound it was making that the engine could go at anytime. we drove the car home anyways, as we needed to get it home as well as the children.

we were not even 45 minutes onto the interstate when the car made a loud noise & turned off completely. my husband put the car in neutral & pulled over to the side of the road. we had a tow truck pick up the car & had it taken to the mechanic that did the work prior to the explosion.

it was after business hours when the car had been dropped off, so, there was noone to look at the vehicle at that time.

the next day i phoned the mechanic to let him know what had happened and that the car was there in his parking lot. he told me that he checked the oil along and also had 3 of his other mechanics check the oil. he said all had confimed that there was no antifreeze in it. he also said that there was no puddle of oil under the car, even after sitting all night.

that is sooooo unbelievable to me as the tow truck had puddles & puddles of it on his bed.

later that day, my husband stopped by there as well. he rechecked the oil & said that it looked completely different than the previous day. he said that it looked like used oil with metal flakes in it. he couldnt believe it!! he knew what he & the others had seen the night before.

at this point the mechanic had said that he still didnt know what was wrong with the vehicle. a few days later, he put the car up on the rack, took the oil pan and gasket off & phoned me to advise the the engine completely exploded. he said that there was pieces of caps, rods, metal everywhere. he recommended i get the engine replaced.

he also said once again that he didnt believe that the explosion had anything to do with the work they did.

again, the tow truck driver, my husband, my brother, and father seen the oil the previous day. there was no question as to what they had seen & smelled...after all, who would think antifreeze could be in oil anyways?? lol

i dont know what to do??? thanks for the responses willwren & compyelc4. any suggestions and/or advise is greatly appreciated from this end
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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We have over 7500 members here. Over the last 5 years of this Forum, we have seen dozens of complete engine failures due to coolant mixing with oil. It'* a common occurence on the L36.

The only possible causes of it are in the very area your mechanic recently worked in. The new UIM could not have structurally failed in that short amount of time. The only interfaces where coolant can be ingested and combusted, or mix with the oil, is either at the interface between the upper and lower intake manifolds, or at the interface between the lower intake manifold and the cylinder heads.

He was the last person to work in that very area. You have a clear-cut case, and I advise you to push it to every extent. Start mild with suggestions, then get progressively firmer. Your final step should be small claims court if it comes to that. He should know that by the 2nd or 3rd conversation between you.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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What may have happened is that the coolant, which is much heavier than oil, may have separated from the oil and settled to the bottom of the oil pan overnight. This is quite possible. This would leave the oil looking good when you check it on the dipstick the next day, because the dipstick does not reach to the bottom of the oil pan where the coolant would lay. If coolant is mixed with the oil and you were to remove the oil pan drain plug, you would see pure coolant run out of the pan, followed by oil and coolant and finally pure oil. If you were able to start the car, you would observe the oil/coolant mixture emulsify into the opaque fluid you saw when you looked soon after the failure.

I can imagine three possibilities. 1. The shop replaced the LIM gaskets, UIM gasket and UIM, but never changed the oil that was contaminated when you took it to the shop. - incompetent. 2. The shop somehow improperly installed the components (hard to imagine), perhaps forgetting to tighten some of the LIM or UIM bolts. - incompetent. 3. The shop never did the work. - dishonest. (2 or 3 should be pretty easy to confirm by a tear-down examination by a third party.)

While possibilities 2 and 3 are not likely, I can readily imagine many circumstances where the shop may have failed to change the originally contaminated oil. (Perhaps a helper was assigned to do it and simply forgot. ) The contaminated oil destroyed the bearings and resulted in the spun rod bearing and engine seizure you suffered. I cannot imagine a reasonable possibility where the shop is not responsible for the damage.

By draining the oil and pulling the pan, the mechanic has, of course, removed the evidence that there was coolant in the oil. There may be one small chance of remaining evidence. The oil filter may contain coolant at the bottom if the shop did not think to remove and dump it too.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:05 PM   #7
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thank you for your replies. i am definately going to put your advise to good use. i cannot thank you enough! if there is anything else that you can add, none of your suggestions and/or opinions will go to waste. thanks again!!!
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:00 AM   #8
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<<While possibilities 2 and 3 are not likely, I can readily imagine many circumstances where the shop may have failed to change the originally contaminated oil. >>
I agree. Most likely scenario!

What specific work does your receipt show? There is an outside chance the receipt may not show new oil and filter. Man, would that be a dead give-a-way.

I still say the tow driver'* statement could hold up better in court than the shop mechanics' statements if push comes to shove...........and I think it will.
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:53 AM   #9
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Is there any other sings that antifeeze could be in the oil like dis-coloration on the spark plugs or on the oil cap. Just tring to get more info before presenting my case. Thank you guys.
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:49 PM   #10
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the receipt shows this...

PART DESCRIPTION
oil filter - 4.95
mobil drive clean motor oil - 12.50
lower intake gasket set - 142.96
upper intake manifold set - 40.00
radiator anti freeze AFI - 16.00
radiator power flush kit - 13.50
valve cover gasket (supercharger) - 105.50
shop supplies hazardous materials - 12.00


LABOR DESCRIPTION
engine diagnostics (check engine light on & failed emission test) - 69.99

lube, oil, and filter - 8.50

lubricate & check chassis. change oil & oil filter. check air filter & breather filter. check all fluid levels & tire pressures. perform basic safety inspection.
check exhaust system. heater makes noise up at dash board.

intake manifold gasket - remove & replace - 3.8L eng,eng VIN 1 supercharger - both upper & lower - 265.00

labor - radiator power flush - 30.45

valve cover gasket - remove & replace (includes: camshaft covers on O.H.C. engines) both - 136.00
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