Antifreeze Leak At Intake Gasket


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
89,300 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. replace intake manifold gaskets (1 reports)
2003 Pontiac Grand Prix cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments

problem #9

Nov 052015

Grand Prix SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 206,000 miles


Need problem fixed. Disabled and limited income, no $ to fix the problem. Car not driveable! Have no other vehicle at the moment.

- baez4085, Lake Worth, FL, US

problem #8

Sep 012013

Grand Prix 3,8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

I bought this vehicle with rubber floor mats covering up the cloth mats, which were covering up the wet carpet. Experienced issues with soaked carpet on both sides and heat going in and out. Had several opinions and suggestions until I decided to pay for a diagnostic.

I have researched several sites regarding a possible recall. Unfortunately, I was given the same answer. GM is not covering this expense, indicating that it is not a safety issue. This is an expensive repair and could indeed be a safety issue, especially if you travel a lot with your pets.

Antifreeze leaking into your vehicle at any time is not healthy and definitely a safety issue.

- hibbardr, Poland, OH, US

problem #7

Oct 012010

Grand Prix LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,505 miles

Slow leak onto the garage floor. I control it by topping up every couple of weeks

- Ian J., Cambridge, Ontario, canada

problem #6

Jan 012010

Grand Prix SE 3100

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,452 miles


The problem i am having is a leaking intake manafold gasket. I have owned GM cars for 30 years and have never seen such a failure in a gasket in the short amount of time i have had this car. a intake gasket should not need replacing this early in a cars life. I have never seen gaskets fail this badly in all the GM cars i have owned. I had a 301 pontiac engine in previous cars and it was a great engine (it had 350,000 miles) and never needed to replace intake gasket. Why pontiac hasent recalled these cars on a recall is criminal. (I may not be a GM customer for long) if they do not compensate me for this repair, due to the use of cheep materials. Pontiac (GM) you need to do somthing fast to satisfy customers or you will loose future car sales. I will be spreacding the word that GM does not care about what they sell just that they get your money.

- Mark C., Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #5

Dec 282009

Grand Prix SE 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

When I first purchased my Grand Prix it ran like a dream! Plenty of power from the V6 and a solid feel for the road which I found very satisfying from an American 4 door sedan. The dream faded into obscurity with the the clock reaching 60K. I've got to be fair and say that I wasn't always on top of the maintenance but maintenance did not affect or have anything to do with the problems that I'm having with my car currently. First, the light on the radio went out. That drives me f**king nuts because there is no reason for such a simple little thing to go bad in a vehicle less than 5 years old! On top of that, the light can only be repaired by trashing the radio and buying a completely new one! (If anyone knows how to repair the light w/o replacing the radio, please share!)

The A/C went out a couple of months back due to what the mechanic referred to as a deterioration of a valve in the lines. He repaired the valve and charged the refrigerant which solved the problem for a couple of months and it's on the frits again. I haven't had a chance to have it re-checked to determine the problem. (Will follow up on this)

Finally, the dreaded intake manifold seal. To those who have written you experience with this problem - my sympathies go out to you. My car currently has a little over 100K on the clock so I guess you can say that I am rather lucky that my car held out this long w/o having this problem. My mechanic and others have confirmed that it is their opinion that this problem is due to flaw in the motor design. The motor is a standard design used in many GM vehicles and the mechanics that I have spoken with are all very familiar with this issue. There is no solution to this problem other that to be vigilant and keep an eye on your coolant level and get it in the shop as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the engine. A potential problem warning may also be your heater. If you run your heater and you notice that it's not blowing hot air out of your vents than take it to the shop and have your car checked. I read one of the entries in this site that mentioned a lawsuit against GM regarding this problem. I haven't been able to find anything on this subject but would be interested into looking into it. If anyone can provide me with information or links on a pending law suit, I would greatly appreciate it.


- G. F., Corona, CA, US

problem #4

Jul 072008

Grand Prix SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,024 miles

Similar problem as the rest of the posters. Took my car in for a regular oil change one morning and had the mechanics call me in to show me the problem. They said that my coolant tank was almost empty and showed me, using a flashlight, the rusty leak locations on three sides of the engine. Said they would have to open up the engine which was about $600 in labor and another $300 in parts.

Can't tell you how annoying this is considering my last payment was in June 2008 and I only have 50K miles on the car. Several months ago I was elated that the car would soon be paid off and I could drive it for at least another 5 years with very little to worry about. Now, I'm not so sure. This is the kind of stuff that made me buy a new car in the first place... not wanting to deal with these kinds of repairs. This is the sort of thing I went though with my '87 Cutlas Ciera; not a five-year old car. I'm completely disheartened by this repair and I'm extremely worried that this damage may have caused additional problems that won't show up until a year or so down the road.

- ggstar, Edgewood, MD, US

problem #3

May 152007

Grand Prix SE 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,540 miles


Same as others. leaking coolant around gasket and pretty sure it is getting into the engine. Cold weather is causing knocks now. I don't drive much distance, service car often. Leak is bad. Read many sites where it was told to car owner that the DEX-COOL is the problem. It hardens like sludge and clogs up the engine causing gasket leaking. You can smell the DEX-COOL every time the motor runs and now you can smell it when you turn the heater on. Front window is covered in film. I have read on several sites where the cost is around $900 to $1500, depending on amount of damage. Rotors wear out often for no reason, clunking noise coming from front end. When I have the air on in the summer, I can smell the car fumes from the cars in front of me. The smell is so bad I turn off the air and open the windows when I have to sit in traffic. No wonder Toyota and Honda are becoming #1 and #2. It won't be long before Hyundai becomes #3.

- Jim D., Springfield, MO, US

problem #2

Mar 202007

Grand Prix

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

In March 2007 I took the car in for overheating, they found the Dexcool had clumped up in the radiator. They replaced the blower resistor and did a radiator flush. Now that I no longer have an extended warranty, I took it to the dealer again with a major loss of radiator fluid on the garage floor. My son is a former dealer mechanic, he looked at it and said there was leakage around the intake manifold, the exhaust manifold, and the radiator was stopped up. The dealer wants to replace the intake manifold gasket for $700 and the water pump for $316. But cannot tell me if the head gasket is blown, nor does he think the radiator is blocked. If there is pressure to blow the intake gasket, does it make sense that the radiator is not affected? I have not decided yet what to do, the dealer still has the car and I have a rental. The long term damage to the motor is unknown but could cost a lot of money.

- Bonnie F., Pittsboro, IN, US

problem #1

Oct 112007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I purchased a used 2003 Pontiac grand prix SE. Until yesterday, I loved my car. I took the car to my mechanic for a bad blow motor resistor and low engine coolant. They discovered that my intake gasket was bad and that antifreeze was leaking out and into my engine. They further told me that this is a common problem with GM vehicles and that it would take over a thousand dollars to fix and that I should consider getting rid of my car because I will develop more severe engine problems later on down the road. This disturbed me greatly so I went online and did some more research only to find that they were telling me the truth. I found that the Dex coolant that is currently in my car, reacts with the intake gasket causing it to fail. My mechanic offered to fix the problem with stop leak but they assured me that it is only a temporary solution and I will develop more problems later on down the road. I was told that later on down the road could be 6 months from now or 2 years from now. There are so many reported problems with this particular problem that there are several attorneys in numerous states who have filed lawsuits. I also found that on Autobeef's website, 2003 pontiac grand prix is not listed as part of one of the years listed with complaints. So I submit this complaint so that the list can be complete. I still love my car and I have not had any other problems. Unfortunately, the one problem I do have is severe and could cost me thousands of dollars.

- mayfly2430, Silver Spring, MD, US

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