1998 Olds Achieva Intake Gasket

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  #1  
Old 09-20-03, 09:53 PM
Matt Kobylinski
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Unhappy 1998 Olds Achieva Intake Gasket

Car is a 1998 Olds Achieva, 3.1 engine, automatic, air, abs, p/s. Car runs fine overall. A very slight leak of coolant has been pointed out when taken in for 3 month oil change. Car was purchased about four months ago, and I have few records on it. It appears to have been well taken care of. The engine was fully cleaned. The area around the suspected leak was wiped until dry and spotless. It is apparently a leak that needs pressure, for the car can be hot or cold running when fluid appears. It does leak when car is off or overnight. It also seems to happen only sometimes when running. It is on the side closest to the firewall, driver's side and drips into a small "valley" under the plenum area. There is no sign of coolant in oil or oil in the coolant resevoir. Dipstick and add oil cap have no moisture. Exhaust is not an unusual in color or smell. I cannot do a compression check on my own. How serious and/or urgent of a fix is this problem? Car is driven about 400 miles a month, mostly short trips like to a store. I am on disability and have a fixed income, so money is tight for a garage to repair. I would have to have someone assist me. What I can do is myself is limited, but I used to do some repairs before illness on my cars. If the repair can wait for now, what should I look out for to know it is time to fix? What are consequences that might happen without warning, if it is not fixed?
I have a Chilton Manual and it looks like a lot of work on a 3.1 Litre engine, so if there are any shortcuts or the like anyone knows to make changing the gasket easier, it would be appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-21-03, 05:06 AM
Joe_F
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It is and it's a common problem on the 3.1 engine. I think you are OK until you save up the money to have it repaired.....
 
  #3  
Old 09-21-03, 08:14 AM
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As long as your trips are short (just a few miles and no long waits in traffic) and your fluids arent mixing then all you have is an external leak. The repair is very involved as a lot of parts must be removed to properly repair this. Keep your coolant topped off. I have seen this on many of these engines as well as the 2.2L's My dad drives his 1991 Corsica 2.2L 30+ miles each way daily with a bandaid fix that I told him adamantly not to do and he has been driving it this way for almost 2 years. If it blew up tomorrow he got his money out of it.
Just be careful,
Billy
 
  #4  
Old 09-21-03, 10:24 AM
Matt Kobylinski
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Smile 1998 Olds Achieva Intake Gasket Info...

To Joe_F and BILLYS68SS:
I appreciate your info and will do more checking as Joe suggested. My biggest concern still is any danger of blowing this car even if I nurse it for now. I could not afford to prchase another car or engine if it could unexpectidly go out without warning. This is also the first time I have used this service and I think it is great and I hope in the future I can help others too.
 
  #5  
Old 09-21-03, 03:57 PM
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Just make sure it doesn't start getting in the oil,if it does stop using it right away and get it repaired.It is common for these gaskets to go suddenly because they are made of plastic and when it cracks it pours inside the engine.You will not smell or see anything when it happens.So check your oil everytime you go to use the car only way to be safe other than repairing it now.Make sure your coolant doesn't get low because if steam from overheated coolant hits the gasket it will leak right away.Good Luck.I wish you well and hope you get someone to help you do it and the money before it gets too bad to drive.
 
  #6  
Old 09-21-03, 05:16 PM
Joe_F
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As noted, just drive the car locally and save your pennies until you can fix it or pitch it for another vehicle if you ruin it somehow.

Piss poor design, but just the way it is
 
  #7  
Old 09-22-03, 09:47 AM
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KEEP THE RESERVOIR FULL.....
IT IS COMMON, AND A BIG JOB TO DO THAT INTAKE.
KEEP AN EYE UNDER THE OIL FILL CAP, LOOK FOR THE PRESENCE OF WHAT I'LL CALL BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE CAP. OR , PULL THE PCV VALVE UP OUT OF THE VALVE COVER AND LOOK FOR THE PUDDING THERE. THIS MEANS THE COOLANT IS GETTING INTO THE CRANKCASE. THEN IT WILL NEED REMEDYING RIGHT AWAY.
 
  #8  
Old 09-22-03, 09:57 AM
Matt Kobylinski
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To all who have replied. Thank you for the info although it looks like I may be in that place without a paddle. Ifno is helpful to monitor, I just wish a solution was available, even short term that I could do over and over, because money and my ability to do it alone are both so limited. Any thoughts on a short term sealer other than the glass type?
 
  #9  
Old 09-22-03, 01:55 PM
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DON'T PUT ANY ADDITIVES IN IT, JUST KEEP AN EYE ON THE RESERVOIR AND THE OIL FILL CAP....
 
  #10  
Old 09-22-03, 05:36 PM
Joe_F
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Save your money and fix the vehicle right. Do not band-aid it, the engine will be useless later on with sealants in it.
 
  #11  
Old 09-22-03, 08:21 PM
Matt Kobylinski
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Will do guys. I just hope Murphy's law will give me the time.
 
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