My Pontiac Has Intake Gaskets Leaking- Is It Safe To Drive?

Picture of the GM 3.8L 3800 V6 Engine
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I took my 2001 Grand Prix 3800 V6 engine (130,000 miles) into the dealer for a bit overdue oil change. After doing the courtesy inspection, a mechanic familiar with my car fills out a form with some problems I should get fixed, the main one being that the intake is leaking coolant. I’ve been keeping a check on the coolant in the overflow reservoir and all has been fine, so far.

Car is running at normal temperature, but I don’t feel good about driving long distances. Is it safe to drive the car and monitor it for a while? Or should I try to get this fixed at the $700 price tag? It’s a good car — I’ve been happy with it, but I don’t want to keep pouring money into a sinking ship.

Also, the oil pan is leaking and crank seal, whatever that means, and there was a leak on the power steering pump. Not sure how much those might cost to repair. To note, I’ve already spent about $1,000 in the past year on repairs — EGR valve, mass air flow sensor, etc… Thanks for any advice

It is safe to drive, but please know that when you have a leaking intake gasket, it also most likely leaking some coolant into the oiling system which will eventually mix and cause engine damage. Extended driving with a condition like that, you’ll start to see a milky build-up inside the engine which damages bearings, lifters, and most internal components.

Intake Gaskets Leaking

It would be wise to try and get at least the intake fixed in the near future. Usually the oil pan and/or crank seal is a minimal problem and unless you see large amounts of oil dripped under the car, that problem can go for a good while. Just keep an eye on the oil level!Picture of the GM 3.8L 3800 V6 Engine

Power Steering Leak

Also, the power steering leak is probably minimal too and can be left for a bit as long as you don’t see fluid under the car, or lose steering assist. If you like the car, and it’s in decent enough shape, it’s always a good idea to put money in it to keep in running, as you normally can’t find another car for the price of repairs.

So, to sum it up, I would definitely recommend getting that intake leak taken care of and then you should be able to drive the car safely for a long while before needing to worry about any other of the repairs listed. Good Luck!


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