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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm new to this site, and I just bought a 2003 Impala 3.4L with 162,000 miles. So far I really like the car, it runs and drives great. I do however have a few questions... 1. how high should the temperature gauge read? It seems to hover about 1/4 of the way up while driving, but has gone up to 1/2 while idling for a few minutes. It seems a bit low to me. And 2. how long should it take to warm up? My last car was a little 4 cylinder that pretty much came up to normal operating temp in 5-10 minutes of idling, but this one seems to take much longer to start producing heat, about 4 miles of driving. My next question is pretty much just a confirmation of whether or not the intake gasket is bad... It is leaking oil on the outside of the engine, rather heavily, and has oil in the radiator and coolant tank. There is no coolant in the oil however.
 

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OEM LOL
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Where is it leaking oil from can you post a picture?

Oil in your coolant points to a cracked block not intake manifold or head gaskets
Those leaking will cause coolant in your oil not vice versa.

And the warming up problem sounds like a bad thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The oil leak seems to be coming from the front of the engine, near the top. From what I can see, the oil has pretty much coated the whole lower area of the engine in one way or another. I have checked the oil, and it is clean and clear, although it is due for an oil change. It doesnt seem to be leaking an excessive amount, because in a couple days there was no noticible drop in the oil level. The coolant was a bit low, but not low enough to cause it to overheat, so I filled it back up and it has been fine. The engine runs extremely smooth and accelerates well.
 

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Mr. Handy
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Oil in your coolant points to a cracked block not intake manifold or head gaskets
Those leaking will cause coolant in your oil not vice versa.
This is not correct! Most of the time it's coolant in the oil but, in rare cases you can get oil in your coolant through the lifter rod valley. Although at the worst it would be a low amount of oil. My guess is it's actually sludge caused from dex-cool. Would also explain the cooling problems. Dexcool sludge is causing the thermostat to stick open.


To OP: I would have your coolant system flushed with a machine at a quick lube. Then drain coolant, replace thermostat and coolant temp sensor while your at it. Replace coolant with prestone :eek:k3:

Oil leak actually sounds like valve cover gasket.

Ejbiers: I specifically remember you telling me not to give advice on 8th gens as I don't own one and here you are doing the same crap
 

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OEM LOL
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Lol

Dexcool doesnt cause that sludge condition. Its the stop leak tablets put in at the factory which i was gonna get into after a pic was posted

Also it takes oil at a higher pressure to squirt into the coolant which doesnt happen at the intake gaskets.

Also i dont own a 7th gen but have worked on many friends 3800 motors to know enough about them. And yes that includes to op's 3.4l
Congrats at starting another fight which you lost maybe youll learn to keep your mouth shut and just give advice if you have it not to pick fights.

Op if you could please post a pic of where the oil leaking on your engine.
And also check your transmission fluid for me.

If your cars running good the block isnt cracked but i have a hunch its trans fluid in your overflow tank not oil
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The transmission fluid is full and clear. We checked all the fluids when we bought the car, the previous owner had the car 7 years, so no telling how long it has been leaking.
 

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LIFETIME HILLBILLY
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Welcome! That's the same temp range mine operates at. It does take a while to warn up on a cold day also, I could use a thermostat and flush...
 

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OEM LOL
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If everything is full and clean then i think you'll be good with a flush and a new thermostat.

Sounds like either someone mixing some non dexcool in with the dexcool coolant or the stop leak tabs from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The oil and trans. fluid both look clear, obvoiusly the coolant looks nasty, would it be ok to drive it for a couple weeks as is until I can get the radiator flushed?
 

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OEM LOL
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I wouldn't.

The longer you run it the more you run the risk of blowing the heater core,radiator,water pump, clogging your cooling system and overheating the car,ect


If you need a cheap solution do a flush yourself. It won't be as good as a professional flush but it will get the job done pretty good.
 

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OEM LOL
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And keep an eye on your tranny fluid.

My dad and i had a 3.4 montecarlo we bought to flip and make money on really cheap and it had a problem where the internal trans cooler inside the radiator broke and was leaking trans fluid into the coolant.


It looked like motor oil was leaking in but it turned out to be trans fluid.


I'm not sure if your impala has it or not but just something to look out for.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I almost forgot about my next issue- when I turn the back window defroster on, the radio loses signal/turns to static/hissing. I havent left it on long enough to tell if it is actually working or not, I'm afraid there is a short somewhere and I dont want to blow the radio or start a fire!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I dont think it has an external antenna. I would guess that means it is in the defroster grid. And now, my latest issue... The air bag light came on today... My dad took the car to the store and when he came back he said the light was on, and I just drove it, and was still on. Any idea what is wrong amd how to turn the light off?
 

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OEM LOL
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I'd check all your defroster connections and put die electric grease on them.

Then inspect the rear defroster for any damage.


It sounds like the you have a faulty connection.


No idea about the airbag man sorry.
 

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If everything is full and clean then i think you'll be good with a flush and a new thermostat.

Sounds like either someone mixing some non dexcool in with the dexcool coolant or the stop leak tabs from the factory.
do not for get to change out the cap it might have sludge on it also. as the cap regulates the pressure.
 

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LIFETIME HILLBILLY
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All tho ridiculously expensive, a gm dealer should be able to scan the bcm for codes regarding the airbag light.
 
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