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Discussion Starter #1
2002 impala 3800 engine
210000 miles
About a month ago I replaced the upper and lower IM gaskets and the plenum. I also changed the oil twice right after.
Every time l cold start my engine lately and check the tailpipe l notice a little white smoke coming out which goes away as the engine begins warming. I didnt notice any sweet smell, just smells like car exhaust but l dont exactly have the greatest sense of smell. After shutting off the engine lve been hearing some gurgles or gulps from around the coolant reservoir area. I finally bled the air out of the cooling system but I still hear a couple after every time l shut the engine off but havent noticed anymore air entering the reservoir. When I only turn the battery on without starting the engine and then switch it off it will do the same thing but after about 4x of that it quits gurgling until l run the engine again.
Otherwise everything runs great, the temp never goes over 200, gas mileage hasnt changed. No codes for the cooling system. The rpms arent doing anything funny but they fluctuate slightly while idling give or take 100 probably because of the small emissions hose leak at the throttle body.

Does this sound like a head gasket leak or maybe the intake wasnt put back together quite right? I tried replacing the radiator cap and air bleeding the cooling system but theres still gurgling and white smoke at the startup:bang:!
Any ideas???
 

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Cooling

Bleeding cooling systems on cars are getting more difficult, and it's on all cars not just chevy's. After you bled it, does it use any coolant? That white smoke is usually valve guide seals. That's if it's not using coolant.

Jeff
 

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Mr. Handy
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Def sounds like coolant leaking into the intake. Are you loosing any coolant at all? Did you replace the coolant elbows?
 

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Based on what happened with my 2003 (RIP), which also got a UIM/LIM job, I would suspect the head gaskets, of course a leak down test can confirm. Eventually, I ended up having an external head gasket leak, which made it next to impossible to get a good bleed. I hope for your sake it's not the head gaskets, it may not be - for the UIM/LIM job, I assume you replaced the bolts and utilized thread sealant. There's a slight chance bolts have warped loose if you didn't, but again, I'm not sure how the job went for you. White smoke from exhaust is burning antifreeze, a little bit of white haze especially on cold startup is normal, full blown white, liquid nitro, dry ice smoke machine looking stuff billowing out of the tailpipe is a different story.. Can you see any external head gasket leaks where they meet the block? For me, if I ever have to replace the melted plastic gaskets, I'm going to do the head gaskets even if they "appear" ok. Aluminum engines suck. You have a 3800 though, so there's hope for you lol! Also, curious, you said you have an emissions hose leak @ throttle body - any chance you're getting coolant in there? I know on my 3.4 throttle body, there are coolant hookups for cold/warm response.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well the gurgling was coming from underneath the dash so l played with the ac a little bit cuz l hardly ever run it and the noise stopped since then. I guess calling what was coming out of the tailpipe smoke was a bit of an overstatement. Its more of a whispy mist that disappears about 12 inches from the tailpipe. It only happens on cold starts and lasts about 20 seconds then disappears entirely. Its been a couple wks since l bled the cooling system and havent noticed any siginificant change in the reservoir tank level. '
Does it sound like l have anything to worry about?
 

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Back in Black
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Nope you should be good of course it never hurts to check things like overflow tank, oil and such.
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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13,660 Posts
x2, sounds just fine.
 
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