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Possible blown Head Gasket

This is a discussion on Possible blown Head Gasket within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Alright gents, here's the situation: Got a 1999 Pontiac Firebird with the 3.8L. I just had a lot replaced it ...

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    Possible blown Head Gasket

    Alright gents, here's the situation:

    Got a 1999 Pontiac Firebird with the 3.8L. I just had a lot replaced it in (friend drove it up and over a curb out here) to include: Coolant hoses, all new spark plugs and spark plug wires, oil pan, alternator, serpentine belt, heat tubes (best i can name them...transfer the heat into the cab), cadallatic (sp?) converter.

    Ok, so here's the problem: i'm leaking oil on the passenger side of the engine, behind the Oil intake nozzle. It doesn't leak a LOT, mind you, but its enough to where after a half hour or so it'll burn it and the smell leaks into the cab. Also, another note: every other time I turn on the car the Low Oil light comes on, however, if i turn the car off and turn the car back on it'll turn off.

    Any suggestions what exactly is it, though I feel its a head gasket, and approx how much it'll cost.

    Thanks for any and all feedback gents!

    ~Kent

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Besides engine running rough, loss of compression or acceleration there are two ways to tell if you have a head gasket leak:


    1) - look at your oil dip stick - does it look like chocolate milk? also check the oil fill cap, you may have the same residue on it too.

    2) Open radiator cap - look at the coolant, oil and coolant do not mix, just like oil and vinegar. You will see droplets of oil in the coolant.


    if you have either you have a high chance of a head gasket leak.


    (In regards to below; This is hard to tell for sure that is why I don't count it as a fool proof way to determine.)

    3) smoke in your exhaust, in cases of really bad leaks coolant can get into the exhaust. It will smell like burnt coolant.


    Smittro is our V6 motor god here. PM him and I'm sure he'll be willing to help.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 09-22-2011 at 12:54 PM.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    In addition to what Scott said, if you have a blown head gasket there is a possibility that:

    - car will run hot or overheat
    - white smoke will come out from the tailpipes.

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    well its hard to tell at the moment cause I'm still in Cali and the car is all the way in OH...but when i was driving it i never saw any white smoke and the only smell was that of burnt oil. The car has been staying in it's norm as far as temp wise (about 180 i do believe). it's never overheated since I had the repairs done, and before that it did once on me while I was driving and I pulled over and put fresh coolant in it. I'll be sure to check the dipstick and coolant when I get home....after I get the starter replaced since it decided to stop working this morning when my brother tried driving home from school in it.

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    Moved to General Help.

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    I posted in your other thread, but I'll post it here.

    3.8s are notorious for leaking oil out of the valve covers. My 2000 GTP looses over a quart between oil changes.

    The best thing you can do it remove the valve covers, remove the gaskets, clean both mating surfaces, install new gaskets, and torque the valve covers down using the PROPER torque sequence.

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    As far as the low oil light coming on, you could have a bad oil pressure switch. After a while, they can fail, can be broken while being installed(overtightening), and they crack where the plastic housing meets the metal threaded part and leak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1camino View Post
    I posted in your other thread, but I'll post it here.

    3.8s are notorious for leaking oil out of the valve covers. My 2000 GTP looses over a quart between oil changes.

    The best thing you can do it remove the valve covers, remove the gaskets, clean both mating surfaces, install new gaskets, and torque the valve covers down using the PROPER torque sequence.
    I had this issue on my 3.8 also.

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