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  #1  
Old 05-20-2009, 09:33 AM
browndonw@bellsouth.net browndonw@bellsouth.net is offline
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Water in Oil

Question: I have a 2000 Chevy Silverado 4X4, 5.3 engine getting water in the oil. The dealer said the head or heads are cracked. The truck has 190,000 miles. Dealer recommends a new engine rather than replacing the heads due to the high mileage as new heads may “stress” the lower end thus causing it to fail. Is this good or bad advice? I am the original owner and the truck has never had any issues in the past, just routine service.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:00 AM
Saltmine Saltmine is offline
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190,000 miles? Well, you're getting good service out of it, at least.

Cracked heads? On a 5.3 Chevy V-8....not likely. (unless you overheated the bejesus out of it)

This is a common conclusion some shops will jump to as soon as water shows up in the oil.
I wouldn't advise driving it, at all, until the problem is addressed....Dex-Cool makes a lousy lubricant.

First things first. Has your cooling system been maintained properly? A cooling system pressure test would be the next step. If the system won't maintain pressure, I'd go to the one place where GM engines have shown problems in the past, especially on late model, aluminum intake engines.
Yeah, the intake manifold gaskets. With their plastic material and silicon sealing rings they do have a tendency to fail, especially if the plastic starts breaking up.

Times are tough in the automotive industry, but that doesn't entitle them to recommend a whole new engine....without investigating a little deeper.
I can understand their point, though. coolant in the oil, damaging the bearings, piston skirts, and camshaft. They don't know how long this has been going on, and to be "safe" and not have to worry about litigation, they would prefer to replace the engine.

Take it to a trusted professional and have the intake manifold pulled....first.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:52 AM
browndonw@bellsouth.net browndonw@bellsouth.net is offline
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Never overheated and always serviced at proper intervals. The dealer said they did a pressure test and told me the heads are cracked. I just can't belive both of them would be cracked. Your theory better fits the problem.
Thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:28 AM
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carsandcycles carsandcycles is offline
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I'm a little surprised that they, at least, didn't suggest a blown head gasket (a lot cheaper than new heads). Now they do have a point if the water has been in the engine for an extended time (what Saltmine said; shot bearings, rust/corrosion, etc.).
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:51 PM
Scribs Scribs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browndonw@bellsouth.net View Post
Never overheated and always serviced at proper intervals. The dealer said they did a pressure test and told me the heads are cracked. I just can't belive both of them would be cracked. Your theory better fits the problem.
Thanks for the advice.
losing pressure doesnt automaticly mean cracked heads.

I really have to say, figure out if you really want to put money into the truck or buy new/used. then go from there. But I am more than willing to say the heads arent cracked and at worst its a head gasket. But, you would have to clean up all the internals to clear out any water/coolant.

To add to what Saltmine said, I wouldnt drive it for fear of damaging the engine or even blowing it up. But, I would drain the coolant and change the oil and then start it and let it idle for less than a minute. That way, if anything is rusting, it wont lock up on you.

Last edited by Scribs; 05-20-2009 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:40 PM
dougbfresh dougbfresh is offline
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If it's a GM, the 1st thing I'd look at is INTAKE GASKETS.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:54 PM
Saltmine Saltmine is offline
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Years ago, when I was working in a dealer, we used to see quite a few trucks coming in that had just had their head gaskets replaced...It seems the "indy" shop guys would get one in the shop with an intake gasket blown, and sell them a head gasket or a valve job. Of course, everybody knows that when you do a head gasket or a valve job, you have to take the intake manifold off...so they fixed the problem without knowing what it was in most cases.
I used to see them with a complaint of "losing coolant" with no vivible external leaks.
One quick look at the oil dipstick would "seal the deal", when it read two quarts over full.

Just recently, a friend who lives in Las Vegas called me. He has a '98 Chevy S-10 pickup, with a 4.3 V-6.
After an oil change, he noticed that the oil level was way over full. Taking it back to the oil change place, they swore that they had added the correct amount of oil, and offered to drain it off, to get the proper level....They ended up draining out almost four quarts.
A week later, my friend tells me it's over "FULL" again....this time two quarts.
I told him to park it, and I'd take a look at it when I was in 'Vegas next time.
Well, he couldn't wait (or didn't want to)...He found a guy in a pawnshop who offered to replace the manifold gaskets for a real good (cheap) price, provided my friend supplied the beer.
Well, long story short....The intake gaskets had blown out on one side. The guy replaced the gaskets properly, and installed a GM MFI conversion kit while they had it apart. No more water in the oil...but, now, the engine had a knock in it.
After much pleading and crying I went to look at it. Seems the "top notch" technician my friend hired to replace the gaskets drank an eighteen pack of Miller, and somehow dropped a 10-32 bolt down the intake. It was lodged in the top of #5 piston.

With a little help from a partner of mine, we pulled the manifold and left cylinder head...there it was, stuck in the top of the piston...A little work with a pick and a small screwdriver and the bolt came out. the piston got cleaned up, and the head reinstalled, (with new TTY head bolts) and the oil was changed again. On startup it settled down into a nice smooth idle, no funny noises...good oil pressure...That was two years ago, and it's still performing perfectly....That's why I said find a "PROFESSIONAL".
Usually hiring some guy out of a tavern or standing in front of a pawnshop is almost a surefire way to spend almost twice what the job would have cost if it was done right, in the first place.
BTW, When I was working Fleet, it wasn't unusual to auction a Chevy truck with 300,000 miles on it. The best was a 3/4 ton Chevy crew-cab that went to the auction with 310,000 miles and NO major repairs during it's service life (we did have to replace a ball-joint and a Hydro-boost unit)
The best Ford we auctioned was a '93 Ford van with a 5.8 engine...it went to auction with 290,000 miles on it....but I cheated on that one...I overhauled the engine at 150,000miles due to oil consumption.

Last edited by Saltmine; 05-20-2009 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:57 AM
Scribs Scribs is offline
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Saltmine, I wish you lived down the street from me lol!!
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:48 AM
browndonw@bellsouth.net browndonw@bellsouth.net is offline
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Or you lived up the street from me! hehehe.
Funny thing, I live about 2 miles from Sam. Maybe I need to go see him...
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:42 PM
Scribs Scribs is offline
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well, saltmine clearly knows his stuff, thats the kinda person I would like to learn from lol!!
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2009, 12:46 AM
danny danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribs View Post
well, saltmine clearly knows his stuff, thats the kinda person I would like to learn from lol!!
just ask him about fords he is an expert on them.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:15 AM
Scribs Scribs is offline
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just ask him about fords he is an expert on them.
I love chevy and ford so thats good
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:39 PM
olddog olddog is offline
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Quote:
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I love chevy and ford so thats good
That one flew over your head. The Great Salty One hates Ford so much, I have come to suspect that a Ford executive stole his favorite girl.

If it wasn't for his irrational hatred of Ford, he would be the 2nd perfect man on earth.

PS: he don't have much love for Mopar either. Chevy all the way!

Or was that sarchasm, and I missed it?

Last edited by olddog; 05-26-2009 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:37 PM
Saltmine Saltmine is offline
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Naw, I don't hate ALL Fords, Olddog...Just some of the NEWER ones....[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by Saltmine; 06-19-2009 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:39 AM
Scribs Scribs is offline
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lol I had no idea. but i am more of a fan of older cars anyways so it still works out lol!
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