Thread: Head gasket failure or something else?

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1 Head gasket failure or something else? 
    SE Level Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    22
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    Hey y'all so I've been working on my 04 gtp trying to get the cooling system clean and I've done 2 hose flushes, 2 regular distilled water with flush treatment type flushes, and was doing my 3rd just now when after running it for about 25/30 minutes and turning car off, my coolant started overflowing out of my reservoir. I've never had this happen before even when driving it more than this, and it's also never overheated on me. I did notice the upper radiator hose was super hard like a lot of pressure when the car was idling after a bit at operating temp..is that normal? I'm super worried about a possible blown head gasket, my buddy thought I could have one because he said he smells lots of gas when idling.
    I just don't understand why this happened after shutting car off, and it wasn't overheating either. Any ideas here before I start a compression test?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2 Re: Head gasket failure or something else? 
    GrandPrix Junkie
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    4,625
    Thanks (Received)
    18
    Likes (Received)
    67
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    Have you replaced the thermostat after all these flushes? Could be clogged up with junk causing undue pressure. FYI the 3800 is RARELY known to blow a headgasket even if it gets overheated so I doubt that is the case. Where was the fuel smell coming from? The exhaust or somewhere else? Could be running rich if there is a vacuum leak.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3 Re: Head gasket failure or something else? 
    SE Level Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    22
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    Hey thanks for the reply
    So this happened with the thermostat still out. Started freaking out because it didn't happen with flush 1 or 2 and I'm pretty sure I ran the car longer than I did on flush 3 when the coolant overflowed.
    But someone told me that it probably happened because I had the thermostat out and the water wasn't cooling down at all, and when I turned off the engine and stopped the flow/circulation it expanded out? Seems to make sense I think right? Still confused as to why this never happened on my first 2 flushes though. I did a 4th flush and made sure to burp some air bubbles out for a good while too, and same thing happened once I shut her off, overflowing out my reservoir again. I've put the thermostat back in and plan to flush it some more to test the theory and see what happens. If it overflows again I know something is wrong.
    And yea I've heard it's hard to blow a head gasket on these engines, but I tend to over worry lol.
    As for the gas smell and running rich I'm not sure, I can't see any vacuum leaks and it seems to run good with no idle issues.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4 Re: Head gasket failure or something else? 
    GTX Level Member QUICKSILVER462's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    HUDSON
    Posts
    1,115
    Thanks (Received)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    7
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    What you are experiencing sounds normal to me.

    We must review several key properties of water to understand what is happening here:

    1) water expands when temperature rises. If you run the engine with the pressure cap off, the temperature of the water will rise, and the water will expand, if you shut the engine off, the water flow in the radiator stops, and heat transfer to the air is halted, the water will instantly start to expand in proportion to the amount of heat that was put into the water by the engine.

    2) The the hoses will feel hard when the pressure cap is installed and the engine is run to operating temperature, the cooling system is designed to hold pressure to about 16psi.

    3) Water boils at 212 F @ sea level, and will boil at a lower temp. as altitude increases (lower atmosphere pressure). The pressurized cooling system raises the boiling point
    of the engine coolant, this allows the water to remove more heat from the engine. The higher the pressure rating of the cooling system, the higher the water temperature before it boils.

    Typical operating temperature of the cooling system in the 3800 is around 180-230 F, the preferred temperature is around 200-215 F. Anything over 230 would be considered hot, but as long as
    pressure and coolant have not been lost due to hose rupture hose or other scenario, it's not overheated. Loosing pressure and coolant at temperature are what can cause damage.

    On one occasion I have reached 240 F in my car, I was trapped in stopped traffic on I77 in Charlotte NC. It was a HOT afternoon day. The coolant temp went down when traffic finally started moving again, the car handled it with no problems.

    If your really worried about a blown head gasket, watch for water in the oil, and/or get the coolant checked for combustion gases.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5 Re: Head gasket failure or something else? 
    SE Level Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    4
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    Sure your coolant sludge problem isn't oil in the coolant? Did you take the T Stat out? Bleed the air?
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. LIM gasket failure or old fluid sludge?
    By 04lss in forum 3.8L V6 Supercharged (L67)(L32)
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-20-2015, 07:21 AM
  2. LIM-FelPro gasket failure?
    By michael redmon in forum 3.1L V6 (LHO/LG8)
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-10-2015, 04:11 AM
  3. Worst Intake Gasket Failure Ever
    By TLSheff in forum General Grand Prix Discussion
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 10-02-2014, 08:46 AM
  4. TB Gasket Failure?
    By ChrisJ in forum 3.8L V6 Supercharged (L67)(L32)
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-14-2010, 05:49 PM
  5. head light failure
    By kamikaze275 in forum General Tech Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-25-2009, 02:46 AM
Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •