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Old 05-08-2012, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2008 Impala LT 3.5L Head Gasket Leak

Hey all

Just wanted to say nice forum here. I believe this will be my first post...

Anyway, I'm having a problem with my 08 LT 3.5L. I've had an intake manifold oil leak for some time now, but I also discovered the head is leaking (one near the rear of the car) and I can smell oil burning. mileage is 66,000. I'm taking it in Monday to the dealer to have it fixed under the powertrain warranty but I was wondering if anyone else had this problem? I did a search on Google and saw more than a few that had it fixed, and it only came back again... Just wondering if this will re-occur, cause next time won't be under warranty again! Any info would be appreciated. I did search the forum, but I didn't find any 06+ threads for HG.

Mike

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Old 05-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Mike, it says you have 21 posts, so maybe you forgot a few... but anyway.

A little back story so I don't confuse you, I am a fleet manager for a security company, and I personally maintain 6 8th gen impalas, as well as a couple 7th gens, and some new chargers. Back when we first got our impalas, they all had head gasket failures, at roughly the same mileage you are at, or a little less, all of course under warranty. The problems were repaired, and now with not a one of them at less than 266k miles, there have been no head gasket issues since. So in all likelihood, it will get fixed right the first time, I'm thinking they used crappy gaskets from the factory as they did with many other things. So, get it fixed, and don't worry about it, you'll have plenty of problems with your transmission and brakes for that.

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Old 05-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Kingnutin you're right, not my first post. Before I bought my LT I registered on the SS site, and I thought it was different from this one. After posting I realized the it wasn't, my mistake.

Anyhow, I'm glad to hear the fix should be a lasting one. I am a little concerned with your transmission comment though, can you tell me more? Glad to hear they go the distance though. What kind of repairs did they require? My trans shifts a little hard for me, not sure if that is normal or a bad sign. I did drop the pan and change it around 55K though. My brakes need work (planning on upgrading to slotted rotors) and my radio has been going nuts lately trying to pick a station for me. I'm at a cross roads...either fix it all and don't look back or trade it in. I like it though and I have to say the mileage is impressive for a car this size. city/suburban brings an average of 22-23 consistently.

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Old 05-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Transmissions in these just don't last, there are a few out there who have been ok, but most of them fail under 100k, the plus side if it does is, it will be under warranty. Keep taking it to the dealer for any and every little issue with it, that way it will be documented in the case that it fails outside of the warranty, the dealer will then have enough to justify covering it anyway. In the mean time, service it every 30k, and make certain to use dexron VI rated fluid. Never rev the engine, in gear it can overheat the tranny fluid, out of gear it can damage the motor. Don't do any towing, and try to keep loads to a minimum. Hopefully you will not have an issue.

For brakes, the factory pads are actually quite good, but the rotors are total garbage. Do not replace them with delco rotors, do not replace them with the cheap rotors from the parts store. I have heard that the duralast rotors from autozone hold up well, but I don't know much about that. Best reports are from using EBC, quality metal won't warp so easily as the chinese garbage GM is using.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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Old 05-09-2012, 05:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good to know, thanks. I put up another post earlier today, thinking about trading for an 04 SS when it gets repaired. Do you see the 3.8 being any better with head gaskets than the 3.5? Also, is the HD trans in the SS, and if so is it any better?

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Old 05-10-2012, 08:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The 3.8 didn't really have any issues beyond valve cover gaskets that I am aware of, overall a great motor with lots of potential. Yes it has the HD trans, not that there is really that much difference between the standard and HD. But transmissions held up better in the 7th gens for some reason, even though they are the same design. Still, follow the same precautions and maintenance schedule.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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Old 05-11-2012, 07:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a 2011 Impala LT 3.5l, Will I be facing these issues too?

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Old 05-11-2012, 08:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I bring it in Monday to verify the leaks and have the repairs done it necessary. I'll keep you all posted, but I would suggest keeping an eye on yours if you suspect any leaks. Carcomplaints.com had a few on there reporting head gasket leaks and a few with multiple attempts at fixes.

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Old 05-11-2012, 09:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Since Gm needed to make more money after the bailout I would not put it past them to use cheap gaskets in the newer cars.
They made a profit this year.
Where did they make it?
IDK but I question the gaskets and the transmission.
If the gaskets are anything like they used on my 7th gen then WTF.
The transmission in the 7th is better than the 8th
Why?
IDK
It just is.

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Old 05-11-2012, 09:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've had 13 cars now and never had to replace head gaskets. I'm a little concerned to say the least. Bought a brand new 2011 Dodge caravan for the wife and kid last year and that thing is scary as well. Trans feels like it is going to drop on the pavement every time it shifts. Just disappointed in cars lately. Wish I had my 86 Fiero GT back with the 4 speed! 172K and she still ran great. Not very kid friendly though...

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Brought the car in today. They gave me a loaner. 12 Impala LT. Holly crap, this thing is fast! I didn't know they had a new motor and trans this year with 300HP. NICE. Think they did it on purpose so I'd want a new one!

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Old 05-16-2012, 10:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Got the car back yesterday. Dealer says they could not find an oil leak. Head tech looked and confirm, so why do I see and smell oil burning??? anyway, they did find a coolant leak and fixed that. I'm disappointed, but what am supposed to do? Warranty expires in Sept, maybe it will get worse by then so I can bring it back.

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Old 05-16-2012, 10:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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You said you could see the leak, they can't deny that if you point it out.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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Old 05-17-2012, 10:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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There is some wetness near the corner of the head and center side of the manifold. I put stop leak in it 2 months ago when the manifold was leaking because I though it was not under warranty and I didn't want to fix it. Apparently it has worked fairly well so I kind of screwed myself. If it gets worse in the next three months I will return, otherwise I'm on my own.

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Old 05-17-2012, 11:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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For future reference, never use stop leak products of any kind. They will plug more than just leaks.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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