How much life should I expect from the 3.8L engine - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-07-2008, 06:20 PM   #1
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Default How much life should I expect from the 3.8L engine

I have a 2000 bonneville that I just love. SE white w/ dark interior. Runs great and got 29mpg on last highway trip at -10f and into wind. I am at 146,000+ miles and wondering whether to keep my running jewel or trade in for a newer bonneville with much lower miles. How long has everyone else been running these engines. My only problems are the motors for both back windows are inoperable. The cables broke so I put a screw in the track to keep the window up and the gas guage is inaccurate after 1/2 tank. What would the rest of you do. Since there is no new replacement, I am going to be looking at 04 or 05 models.

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Popp
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:23 PM   #2
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Moved since this isn't really a mechanical question.

As for engine and car life? The engine will outlast the car if you take care of it. It'* not uncommon for people to get 300,000 out of the original engine with a little bit preventative maintenance. Don't expect the transmission to last that long, but the engine will. Be very watchful of the coolant levels. How old is your upper intake manifold and lower intake gaskets? If they're original you should consider replacing them very soon.

Read the articles in TechInfo regarding the UIM and LIM gasket issue. Also in there you will find help for fixing your broken window.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:41 PM   #3
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The 3800 is a really durable engine if it does not see the upper intake issue..

I had mine to the tune of 161K before I had to pull it.... But the deal with mine is that it had Massive City miles on it( stop go stop go ) and I pushed that motor hard all of the time.. With the way I drove it I never figured it would make 161K... But it did..

The 95 Bonnie is currently at 168K, the motor in it is at about 87K

The 91 LE is at 139K

the 91 SSE is at 250K

and the 95 Transport ( 3800 ) is at 175K

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Old 03-07-2008, 06:46 PM   #4
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I have a 1992 Buick Regal with around 300,000 miles with the original engine and tranny and it runs like brand new
It wouldnt pass emissions so checked spark plugs and previous owner had never replaced them
Car had origianl spark plugs
Like you said the mechanics will way outlast the body
Dings, Dents and LOTS OF RUST
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:19 PM   #5
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I just rolled 212,000 miles, original tranny. Still runs like new. Only problem is that there'* extensive body rust on my rocker panels due to the crappy metal they used in the 93 model year. Would put more money into preserving her if it wasn't for that damn rust.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:08 PM   #6
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I'm at 216000 on my 95. I pulled a compression test on it not long ago and surprisingly found it was a little over 150 to 160 between all cylinders. My engine has seen on two separate occasions a UIM and a LIM failure. When the UIM failed I was driving to work in the middle of the night on a call in. I noticed my engine temps getting hot, I didn't know what else to do but to turn the heater on to take some heat off the engine. I don't know if that really helped but I was lucky any way you look at it. I drove about 15 miles with it like that. I had know idea about this common problem with these cars, I thought like most, that the headgasket was gone. This happened at 130K. At or around 180K is when my LIM started leaking, had I known to do it at the same time that the upper went I would have saved myself from this happening.

My tranny is showing it'* age At 205K part of 4 gear'* thrust washer was in the pan. I just dropped the pan at 215K and found more It looks like more than half of it has fallen out and it is now noticeable sometimes as it shifts into 4th gear. Hopefully it will last a while longer, I really enjoy driving this car.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:18 PM   #7
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The previous owner of my 94 SSEi towed a large yacht with the car, and he put it through 2 engines and 2 transmissions in 278K miles from the 16K when he bought the car. The car is running pretty good at about 291K miles. I can start it and drive it a bit right now if I'd like, but I have it taken apart again, like I did here:
http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=84630
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