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Need help.. Coolant in cylinders

Old 07-14-2014, 09:28 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Default Need help.. Coolant in cylinders

Hello everyone, I have a 2002 MPV with the 3.0 engine..

About a month or so ago my family and I were taking a short trip and on the way back the van suddenly started bucking and smoking, I pulled over and looked under the hood to see everything covered in oil, it wouldn't start and we were stuck! I got it towed home and once it was cool it started and ran perfectly but when warm would skip and throw all kinds of lights and things like that.. I told you all of that to tell you this.

We took it to a local small shop and they determined that the intake gaskets had failed. They also told me that the radiator had cracked since it was smoking from there and bleeding coolant, alot. I told him that we had never had an issue with it leaking coolant before to which he replied " it may have just happened on the test drive then" so, $ 1400.00 later I've got new intake gaskets, new radiator and thermostat, new valve cover gaskets, etc.. since we got the van back it has had an issue on cold start, it will skip and you have to feather the gas to keep it running but once it's up to temp it runs perfectly, in fact we took a 400 mile trip in it the weekend after we got it back.

Since we have had it back there have been issues, the above mention skip on cold start, smell of coolant in the interior, check engine light on and flashing. The mechanic said that the flashing MIL was due to a bad M.A.P sensor, which miraculously failed after they worked on it, never had a problem with it before and also the B1S1 O2 sensor is throwing a code as well.

The main point of my post is this, the cold start issues have gotten worse and worse until the point that the van would not even start at all. The last few times it did start it was puffing a good bit of white smoke from the exhaust. I got the mechanic who did the intake gaskets to come out a look at it, he found that all 3 front cylinders were full of coolant he said to the point that turning it over without the plugs in " shot coolant everywhere" he also said that compression was 155 P.S.I on all 3 front cyls. He has not checked the rear yet but is supposed to do that today, from there he says he'll know whats going on with it.

I am here to ask among other things if there is coolant running through the intake manifold on this vehicle and if a faulty install of intake gaskets could cause the issues I have described. I know to me it seems much more likely that the shop botched the install of the gaskets than it is for the headgasket to have blown after the repair when the vehicle has never run hot with the exception of when the mechanic test drove it and blew out the radiator.

Any help here would be greatly appreciated, the mechanic is not on my side here at all, he is saying that there is no coolant in the manifold therefore impossible for the gaskets to be the issue, I don't believe a word he says after seeing the shoddy work that he is putting out, so I am here to ask the experts what are your opinions on this, and other suggestions on what could be causing this? are the intake gaskets even a possibility?
Old 07-14-2014, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,636

More than likely head gaskets were already faulty before you wasted your money on intake manifold or intake plenum gaskets.
If you have an automatic, the bottom of the rad is used for tranny fluid.
before when you had cracked leaking rad, you should also have checked the tranny fluid. Please check it now, possible coolant in tranny fluid!
Fluid does not compress and will damage internals, like intake/exhaust valves. Not to mention the coolant will plug your catalytic converters! The cats needs to be checked as well.
Good luck! Gone for rest of day!
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