Leaking Coolant, Intake Manifold Gasket Failure


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace intake manifold gasket (1 reports)
1997 Pontiac Grand Prix engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments

problem #2

May 112007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE 3.8 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


I own a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix se 3.8 V6 engine with 92000 miles.

The car started shaking and running rough, was eating up coolant like crazy and pouring out white smoke from the exhaust. The low coolant light was on constantly. took the POS in to have a look and was told it was a "common" problem with the upper intake manifold gasket ( plenum) melting and causing a coolant leak. The mechanic said he had fixed a lot of similar cars with the same problem. He told me to hope it wasn't the head gaskets. He was 70% sure it wasn't... that did not make me feel any better at all. when they drained my oil it was all coolant. When he removed the upper gasket it was also full of coolant. He pointed out where it had melted and leaked and I kept the part.. just in case they do a recall for this particular problem...which the chances on that are slim to none. I took the car back in a week later to have the oil checked again per his request to get " the rest of any left over gunk out". Some was found and got another oil change. Yet another week later I brought it back in to check the oil and per his request, to check for a "milky film" which would indicate coolant in the oil. So far the oil has looked good. I am going to continue to check the oil for that "milky film" and if it starts to look that way i know I have a head gasket problem. And if that's the case... so long car! I refuse to pay thousands of dollars for someone to tear down the engine just to replace something as simple as a fricking head gasket. I have had so many problems with this car, every time I get something fixed another problem turns up. I used to love my car. Now all I want to do is shoot it and put it out of it's misery.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 142007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I bought my 1997 Grand Prix with 22,000 miles on it in 1999. The car has been pretty good until I reached 65,000 miles when a number of problems occurred. The manifold/gasket problem has been there for a while, but could not afford to get it fixed. Now, the problem has to be fixed since I live in cold weather and the car is paid off now. I just don't understand how Pontiac can ignore these problems with design. I guess they really don't care about customer satisfaction. Now I see why the US car companies are laying off people by the hundreds of thousands - I know I will never buy a Pontiac again.

- , Warren, MI, USA

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