My name is Bruce and I just joined this forum. I am usually on the older Ford Mustang forums, but since this car has come into the family I need to educate myself on it. My mechanic experience dates back from 1984 to 1989. Since then I have not really needed to delve into a car since they have all been new and only needed basic maintenance. So while I am knowledgeable, my knowledge is dated.
The car belongs to my elderly mother. It's a 2008 Chevy Malibu four door with the 3.5l V6. The car has 74,000+ miles on it and was bought used from a reputable dealer. She has bought from them before and has had good luck with their vehicles. Until now. Yeah, I know. She has already had to have the fuel tank sending unit changed as it would sometimes read an empty tank for about ten seconds before bouncing back. And I still haven't gotten around to replacing the intermediate shaft on the steering either.
Anyway, the engine started running hotter than normal yesterday and the heater wasn't putting out ANY hot air either. Being the family mechanic it was my job to take a look at it for my mom. Popped the hood and the coolant recovery tank was dry. Let it cool off and topped it off with DexCool. Drove it down the road a peace and brought her back. Again the tank was dry. Topped it off again and did another drive cycle. This time she was only half empty when I got back. Water temp was back to being where it normally is and the heater was blowing like a blast furnace.
Got under her today and found a coolant leak at the rear passenger side of the engine. It appeared to be a head gasket, but upon educating myself on this engine I discovered it was most likely the coolant crossover on the front of the engine. I took a pic, but it's a little blurry.
The red circle is a drip of DexCool. The blue circle is the head gasket. And the yellow circle is the bottom edge of the crossover assembly. Can you guys take a look and advise if this is what everyone on the misc. forums are talking about? I'm aware of the TSB on this issue and will be taking the car into the local Chevy dealer tomorrow for them to confirm and repair.
The local Chevy dealer stated the power train warranty expired in July of this year 2012. They told me the car was first put into service in July of 2007. I think that's a bit early for an OH8 model car. But I don't know who first sold the car. So no warranty work by the Chevy dealer. And at their labor rates there is no way in heck I'm going to have them work on the car. I feel confident I can do the repair myself.
However, I did contact the used car lot where she bought the car. The car has a certified extended powertrain warranty through them. I called them and they said they will do the repair under their warranty. So an A+ to Jeff Holman auto in Jackson California.
So, hopefully by the middle of next week this thing should be back on the road. Will advise further when I know.
The big shot major player in the area Chevy dealer that won't cover it under warranty or even go to bat for the elderly owner despite of all the problems GM has had with this issue, apparently.
Or the little guy un-affiliated used car dealership, the one who IS going to fix the problem under their warranty program?
She was lucky the dealer she bought this vehicle from has the car as a certified vehicle. But I really don't think they should be fixing this. I think GM should be fixing it. The car only has 74,000+ miles on it. Jesus, if it were a Japanese car it would just be getting broken in. I guess that's why I bought an F250. GM has lost me as a future owner. Sorry, but it's true. I used to be hard core GM. No more. And not solely because of this car. Besides, this is the third problem she has had with this car in less than 18 months. Some of this is just inexcusable.
Okay, rant over. Thanks, Bruce
Last edited by LindenBruce; 11-15-2012 at 08:34 PM.
Okay, got the old girl back from the shop. They confirmed the cross over passage was leaking and it was the gasket. They R&R'ed the crossover and replaced the gaskets using the Fel-Pro gaskets I had already purchased. Topped off the coolant and test drove the car. No more leaky leaky.
They gave me the old gaskets. I'm not sure which one when where. The triangular gasket seemed to be fine. The larger more squarish gasket had some issues. The large water passage looks as thought there was a miss-alignment of the gasket between the passage and the cylinder head. I don't know if that's the source of the leak. Also, the small water passage on this same gasket was torn. That could have happened during the R&R, but I don't think so. Judging by the amount or crud buildup on this passage around the broken area, it appears to have been that way prior to the R&R.
Anyway, take a look as the attached pics and feel free to comment. Bruce
Sumpin' ain't right with those gaskets! Not only does it look like they were damaged during a failed install, the orifices aren't even round. That's crazy!
Glad to see it's all fixed up. Back in 2008 I had a '97 GP 3.1 that couldn't stop leaking. Fix one and another'd start leaking, etc, etc. Finally "traded" it (yeah, right, $500 is a trade??) on my '09 that I eventually traded on the current '11. But that's another guy's story. I'm just glad for ya!
'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS
V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Cool Mods: Drop-in K&N air filter; 20% tint, DRLs on turn signals,
Painted grilles, 1-wipe washer, WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser
Thank you sir. Yeah, I have never worked on this version of the 3.5l before, so I'm not sure how they are supposed to come out. You definitely see a mismatch around the larger water passage on the squarish gasket. Oh well, she's fixed no thanks to GM. Bruce
I have a 2008 3.6 with the same problem it seems. I'm concerned that I too will get stuck with the "in service july 2007" line. What would be the best way to find out it's in-service date?
My dealership is New Rochelle Chevy and I have had nothing but trouble getting answers out of them when I'm not there to buy a car. I called today and was given a hell of a run-around by the service dept so I need to go in with more information before I let them lay a finger on my car at risk of $125 service fee.
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