Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 8 years ago

car maintenance and repair?

I have a 2001 chevy Malibu with a coolant leak. I took it to a shop and they said it was my head gasket, and would cost 1700 to repair. My car has over 250 thousand mile on it.. I do not want to put a lot of money into it.. I decided to try the head gasket leak blue devil product. Here is where my question comes from. I have been putting water into the radiator for weeks instead of coolant to drive it around. But when we opened up the radiator to drain it I expected only water to come out. However when we drained it, coolant came out and it was not watered down at all.. look fresh and green. This does not make since to me. After running it and draining it again (car did not leak or over heat while it was running) When we drained it again their was still some coolant this time it was watered down. But the really strange thing is it seems to not be leaking anymore. Before I would put water in it and it would leak out from under the back of the car, and want to over heat unless I ran the heater. Does any of this make since? It make no since to me and I am not sure I should use the blue devil stuff or not.. Taking out the thermostat is a pain. Please let me know what you think.. Thank

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The 3.1L engine has a bad problem with head gaskets but, it also has a bad problem with leaking lower intake manifold gaskets, A proper diagnosis is mandatory! Pressure testing a cooling system is NOT a recommended process for diagnosing a leaking head gasket, although it IS for checking for a leaking lower intake gasket! A combustion leak test or (block test) has to be performed to check for the presence of CO2 in the cooling system. Actually I would recommend using Steel Seal

    Steel Seal has a much higher success rate than the Blue Devil and you don't have to remove the T-stat with Steel seal.

    Source(s): 28 Year Master, L-1 Technician
  • 8 years ago

    I recommend not using the Blue Devil unless you have no choice.

    I have a bad feeling about the diagnosis. Head gasket failure results in coolant disappearing, not running out onto the ground. That era GM cars with V6 engines (the 2001 Malibu only came with a 3.1L 6 cylinder in the US) had a problem with the specified coolant dissolving the intake manifold gaskets. See the first source for what the intake manifold gasket problem is about. GM settled a class action suit about it but the window for filing claims is past.

    If you have a bad intake manifold gasket the Blue Devil won't help because the gasket gap is full of mush. New gaskets are impervious to the Dexcool your engine should have (not green, but orange). Replacing the gasket is no fun but it is within the reach of a DIYer, more than the head gaskets are. To have it done professionally is about $850 if the head gaskets were to be $1700. That is fairly high, about the top of the range for the head gaskets in my area. You can put your own zip code in the second source for better figures.

  • 8 years ago

    Ok this is what you do , with the engine cold pressure test the cooling system (you can go to advance auto parts and they have loner tools , and auto-zone does also ) pump it up to about 15-to-18 PSI and see if it will hold the pressure if not with the engine off you will see where the coolant leak is coming from , and this way you know what it is that is leaking and what it is going to take to fix it good luck hope this help ya .

    Source(s): drpeppers
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