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Unread 08-24-2012, 04:26 AM   #1
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Default Best preventive maintenance on GM 3800?

So..Fiance and I are most likely picking up a 97 Olds 88, with the 3800 v6...
Know for a fact it has a parasitic drain or something of the sort, minor electrical problems (penny stuck in cig lighter, whaaat?) and intake gasket needs replaced... has 120k ish miles...Just figuring what i should do to keep the car lasting...never played with GM sooo...
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Unread 08-24-2012, 04:28 AM   #2
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Keep the fluids and plugs changed. 3800s are fire-and-forget for the most part, and very durable. 120K is barely anything at all to a healthy 3800. Sounds like the car's been beat on a bit beforehand though.


Oh, and if there's a penny stuck in the cig lighter, that penny is probably the parasitic drain. Some cig lighters work key off, that olds may be one.
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Unread 08-24-2012, 05:10 AM   #3
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Since it's that old I am betting the cig lighter works all the time, so the penny could be the drain. Anyways just like Kenny said, plugs and fluids.

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Unread 08-24-2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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I'm hoping so.

It's a 97, though my truck's cig lighter is only on in ACC and key on.
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Unread 08-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Penny stuck ni cig would result in a blown ACC fuse not a drain, but weird things have happened.
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Unread 08-25-2012, 01:17 AM   #6
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Stay on top of the oil changes, and get rid of Dexcool if it still has it.
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Unread 08-25-2012, 11:00 AM   #7
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Notorious for intake gasket leaks. I had to change mine on my old chevy. Its a pretty simple install though. Just grab a gasket and some tools and youll have it done in a day. You will need a special tool to remove the fuel line though. Any auto parts store will have one...
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Unread 08-25-2012, 11:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Car Guy View Post
Stay on top of the oil changes, and get rid of Dexcool if it still has it.
How bad really is this dex cool? I hear talk of sludge if it mixes with everyday ethylene glycol.

I have it in my Blazer and If it's as bad as I hear I'll flush it out soon.
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Unread 08-25-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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Dexcool is supposedly OK as long as you don't get air in the cooling system, that's what I have been told by a GM tech. If you do get air in the cooling system the coolant turns highly corrosive and eats intake gaskets and aluminum.

So if you ever open the system for repairs and you cannot get 100% of the air out you are hooped. Also it will turn to sludge and clog rads and heater cores and coat the inside of the block creating overheating conditions.



I prefer to just get rid of the stuff and not deal with the consequences.

Once you have sludge it is VERY difficult to flush it out. It is not unusual to flush for an hour before it's clear.

Just use a good brand name anti-freeze like Prestone.
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Unread 08-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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My lines started getting "crunchy" and I had intermittent over-heating issues on my blazer. I did a one week flush with a prestone flushing product, then flushed the whole thing out again with water, and then put good old standard coolant in place of the dexcool. I won't touch the stuff anymore.
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